Coaching/Mentoring - Bill Fairclough's Background

May 04, 2018 Bill F

Few if any mentors/coaches will have the breadth of experience to support you as I can. Please see


More details are available on request and a sample of references since 2000 is attached. Originals of the "To Whom It May Concern" references can be made available along with oral references if required.

COOPERS & LYBRAND (1969 TO 1983)

From 1969 to 1983 I worked at and helped establish Coopers & Lybrand International (C&L) ending up as the first ever Secretary to the International Executive Committee reporting to the Group CEO. At the time C&L was the largest accounting firm in the world. While at C&L I established Faire Sans Dire (please see later). Since leaving C&L I have been a Director of over 50 companies some of which were household names in their day (please see later).


I was Deputy CFO Citibank (Europe/MEA) and reported to the Group CFOs in both the UK and the USA. At the time Citibank was the largest bank in the world in terms of assets/profitability and Citibank (Europe/MEA) was larger than the Lloyds and Midland Bank global Groups combined.


After leaving Citicorp I joined the Barclays Bank Group in 1986. By 1995, after many promotions, I became a Barclays Group Director and Senior Group Executive (reporting to both the Group FD and CEO). I left Barclays along with Martin Taylor and most of the other Group Directors in 1999.

I was a Director of many Barclays companies (including Barclays Directors/Barclays Holdings, Ebbgate Holdings (BZW), Mercantile Credit, Barclays Financial Services and Barclays Stockbrokers). In addition, I shared responsibilities for much of Barclays’ non-UK businesses including in particular Barclays Global Investors. From 1986 to 1999 Barclays was one of the largest global banking consortiums in the world. 

From 1993 until 1995 I was seconded to Reuters where I formed Instinet Holdings. Parts of the Instinet Group were sold to NASDAQ for billions of dollars a few years later.


In 1978 I established Faire Sans Dire (FSDL). It is a niche intelligence and investigatory global organisation which now mainly handles assignments involving investigations into international corruption on a pro-bono basis. More information about my past relationship with FSDL is available from its website. As noted therein, my ownership of the organisation did not breach my contractual arrangements with C&L (or others later) as I was not employed by it nor was I a Director of it during the relevant periods.

FSDL remains active although I am now only the Non-Executive Chairman. Sometimes its activities were regulated and conducted through a UK based accounting practice I owned and at other times it operated as it does today as a limited company in the UK and/or through associates overseas.

FSDL and indeed I have been recognised by the authorities. In 2002 I was placed on the reserve list for membership of the Financial Services Authority’s top board committee, the Regulatory Decisions Committee. No suitable opening arose; later the structure of the committee changed and the FSA was eventually disbanded. I have been commended for my investigative work throughout my career by regulators and law enforcement agencies. For example, the Bank of England has commented on my performance on more than one occasion (“What on earth do external auditors, risk management and internal audit departments do if Bill keeps digging this muck up?”).  

Since leaving Barclays in 1999, until June 2014 I took a more active role (as CEO) running FSDL. In addition I also held various senior positions as summarised below.




Name of Business


Investigating fraud, contractual breaches, corruption and abuse

Non-Executive Chairman

1978 – Date

Faire Sans Dire

Intelligence & investigatory (Owner)

Business start-up & capital raising

Chief Executive Officer

1999 – 2005

Faire Sans Risque Ltd (FSR)

Statistical arbitrage

(Main shareholder)

Group reorganisation & capital raising

Executive Chairman

2000 – 2001     

WW Excellence Group Ltd (WWE)

Dentistry & dental product distribution

Corporate governance & financial management

Financial Adviser (Regulated)

2003 – 2005

Fix Protocol Ltd (FPL)

Global IT & financial services coordinator

Financial management & capital raising

Finance Director & Consultant

2004 – 2007

The Money Portal Plc (TMP)

IFA acquisition & fund management/administration

Provision of NED & investigatory services

Non-Executive Director

2007 – 2012

ECF Group Plc  (ECF)

Corporate asset & property finance

Business start-up & regulatory liaison

Executive Chairman

2008 – 2009

PonderSwamp Ltd (PSL)

Social & news website

(Main shareholder)

Publishing company based on The Burlington Files series

Executive Chairman

2012 – Date

The Burlington Files Group


(Main shareholder)

From 2007 to 2012 I was the independent NED of ECF, a finance and property Group which was ranked in the top five asset finance companies in the UK. The Group was wound down as a result of a combination of confidential issues. Its assets were sold to Manchester Building Society and a bank in the Isle of Man.

From 2008 to 2009 at PSL I devised a novel and unusual business model for a start-up social/news website which was later aborted due largely to cash constraints arising from the credit crunch.

From 2004 to 2007 I worked with TMP in various capacities (including as FD). I was falsely accused (please see later) of various activities and subjected to unwarranted High Court action by TMP in 2005. In July 2006 TMP apologized. I agreed a settlement with Richard Hambro (then TMP’s Chairman) and was re-hired by TMP to undertake investigatory work on their behalf in 2006/07.

The person who tried to frame me was one of TMP’s founding Directors whom I was investigating. Inter alia, he was barred from acting as a Director in the UK for 10 years, made bankrupt, extradited from Australia and imprisoned in England. He was tried for his alleged involvement with others in the second largest pension fraud in the history of the UK. Various persons were found guilty and given custodial sentences. (Robert Maxwell was responsible for the largest ever UK pension fraud; whilst at C&L I was also involved in covert investigations into Maxwell’s affairs.)  

From 1999 to 2012 at WWE, FPL and ECF I helped determine a revised Group structure for each Group which was subsequently implemented. At ECF, WWE and FPL I introduced a controls conscious culture to fortify the strategic base for corporate and operational change.

At TMP, WWE and FSR I obtained offers of finance (ranging from £25m to £140m) all within less than three months of being mandated to do so which were ample for planned organic and/or acquisitive expansion. FSR was owned by me but jointly run with the last Head of Enforcement of the SFA (before it was closed down when the FSA was established).



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