Tony Watson, the affable chief executive of asset management group Hermes, has pulled off a real coup with his recruitment of California's ace fund manager Mark Anson. It is the financial services equivalent of Kevin Spacey signing up at the Old Vic, or Madonna deciding to make London her home.
The lure for the 47-year-old American is a big pay rise, it's true - at Calpers, the giant Californian investment group, he was only paid some £430,000, compared to the £1.3 million he will get at Hermes. But probably just as alluring for Anson is the fact that he will not have to deal with those awful Californian interest groups - they call them 'single-issue lobbyists', but what they really mean is 'crackpots' - that dominate US public investment. He will also be less likely to be on the receiving end of a class action brought by an opportunistic Sacramento lawyer, though that kind of thing is catching on here as well.
And he will find an organisation in pretty rude health, thanks to Watson's shrewd management over the past seven years. Watson has also built up an enviable reputation for achievement in corporate governance, and there must be more than one former chief executive of a badly run FTSE group, or an over-ambitious financial engineer, who has Watson's his face in the centre of his dartboard.
Anson will have to carry on the equally fine track record of Calpers in dealing with corporate extravagance, but give it a British accent - less naming and shaming, more raised eyebrows and sweet-reasonable telephone calls to recalcitrant executives.
Sadly, that means no more annual 'hit lists' of bad companies, as was the Calpers practice. But the new boss, in a spirit of transparency and goodwill, should start by publishing the constituents of Hermes's 'focus fund' - the companies that Watson believes deserve his own special treatment. In fact, I am even willing to set aside a good chunk of Observer Business space to do so. What about it, Mr Anson?