It now appeared a little unusual
It now appeared a little unusual, but not at the time. But then later on this was what many people who had met John Grey
also thought that.
The phone rang in Jack Walters’ office, Jane, the receptionist said “there is someone here who say’s he
needs an accountant, would you like to see him”. As business in the Accountancy Profession was a little slow at that
time and the clients that Jack had were even slower in paying their accounts, any new client, especially a paying one would
be extremely welcome.
“Send him is to see me, by the way what is his name”. The receptionist asked the man his name and he said in
a quiet but well spoken voice “John Grey”. “Mr. Grey“ said Jane to Jack Walters.
Jack Walters replaced the phone and got up from behind his old desk, which had been acquired second hand many years ago, when
he had first been given a very junior partnership in the firm of Slater & Co. Mr. Slater had passed away a long time ago,
but the firm still retained the same name. He went to the door to his office and welcomed in Mr. Grey.
“Jack Walters, nice to meet you Mr. Grey”. “Thank you for giving me your time”, replied Mr. Grey.
“I am new to London and wanted to start a business here, I was given your firm’s name by an old friend of Mr,
Slater, Brian Jones, who said that you were a good firm and would be able to take care of my affairs”. “I am
very sorry but Mr. Slater passed away a number of years ago and I do not remember Mr. Jones. However I would be happy to
act for you, please sit down and tell me what you require”.
I understand that in order to do business in the UK, I should have a company said Mr. Grey. Jack Walters went on and explained
to Mr. Grey the advantages of having a company, more exactly a Limited Company. “I understand that the company would
also require a Bank Account”. “Ah yes said Jack, warming up to this new client”. I hope he has money,
as I can see that he does not know much about business. “I can arrange to form a company for you and also open a bank
account for the company with the firm’s Bank, National Bank”, which was one of the leading clearing banks. “There
would be no problem with my recommendation said Jack”.
Mr. Grey asked, are there any further requirements. “Well you need to have Directors of the company and also a company
secretary” answered Jack. Mr Grey responded “As you have been so kind to advise me so far can you also take care
of this matter, maybe you would like to be a director, with of course me being the other director”.
Jack thought very carefully, this is not something that he liked to do, being a director involved many legal responsibilities
and could be very dangerous if something went wrong with the company. However business was not too good at present and a
new client, who appeared to be OK was not to be turned away lightly. Also for some strange reason Jack took a liking to this
polite, quite charming man who sat in front of him. When he was later asked for a description of John Grey, he said he was
about 6 foot tall, nearly good looking, no particular distinctive marks. About 40 years old, really just a nice fellow, if
anything a little grey like his name.
He came to a quick decision he told Mr. Grey that his firm would be happy to work for him and he would also consent to be
a Director albeit for an extra fee, although it would not be exorbitant. Now only one thing more, would it be convenient
for you to let me have a deposit for the work we are about to commence for you. The registration of the company and the opening
of a Bank Account etc. “That would be fine”, said Mr. Grey, “I am staying at Claridge’s at present
and I will send you over say £10,000 later today to cover any incidental expenses”.
Jack then went away for a few minutes and collected a sheaf of papers to be signed by both him and Mr. Grey. Again later
in reflection, he could not understand as to why he had not asked Mr. Grey a whole host of questions about himself and his
business as required by the various Financial Regulatory Authorities, but he really liked Mr. Grey and felt that he should
All the papers were signed, Mr. Grey got up smiled shook Jack’s hand firmly and said “if you need to contact me
then phone me at Claridge’s”, he handed him a Business Card with only John Grey and a telephone number on it.
That’s a direct line to me at Claridges if you ever need to speak to me. “Goodbye”.