Sunday serialisation – Knight after Knight, 17.1

Knight after Knight250

In Knight & Deigh, Hannice Knight suffered a back injury that left him without the use of his legs. Sophie Deigh, physiotherapist and recent widow, devoted herself to supporting him.

As Hannice’s body recovered, he became ever closer to Sophie, and soon they found themselves in a relationship they had neither anticipated nor intended and for which neither was fully prepared.

A bump in the Knight followed Hannice as he juggled business, hedonism, marriage and ultimately parenthood.

Knight after Knight is the third and final part of the Hannice Knight story. Starting after the marriage of Hannice and Sophie’s only son, David to Jess, the only child of Jason and Noelani Reeves of Hawaii, it traces the Knight family’s progression through the generations.


Knight after Knight. Chapter seventeen, part one.

“Did she behave?” David asked when we’d returned from India.

“Impeccably,” I said, “Not only that, but Susie who, by the way, is a heck of a forensic accountant, said that she enjoyed working with Hannah and she’d be happy to work with her again.”

“I’m not surprised. They’re close in age and Hannah’s a nice person to be with.”

“That’s not the reason. Oh, it’s true, they got on extremely well together, but mostly, Susie was impressed by Hannah’s understanding of the principles and her work ethic. They even worked into the night together to produce the presentation for the clients.”

“But Susie found the problem in the end.”

“Not alone. Susie did the deep digging, but it was Hannah who spotted the anomaly. I’d have to say that Susie, before long, will reach the standard Max was at when she started her practice. She’s going to be an asset to the firm. Look after her.”

“But, if she were your responsibility, what would you do with Hannah?”

“I can’t give an impartial opinion, I’m too close. However, based on what I saw and based on what Susie said, I’d not discourage her if she said she wanted to follow through in forensic accountancy. She does seem to have a natural aptitude and she said she enjoyed the work.”

“Thanks, Dad. I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Meanwhile, in case anyone says anything, here’s what happened after we did our job…”

I went on to tell him the detail of the interview in the Nairs’ office, culminating in the dismissal of the culprit, and their thank-you to us.

“So you weren’t working all the time you were there?”

“No. Is that a problem?”

“Not for you or Henk, or even for Hannah. But Susie is on contract and with a rigid leave structure—”

“And during our tour of the Golden Triangle, she spent a lot of time giving instruction and advice to your daughter. That took a lot of worry and responsibility from Henk and me. It may not have been exactly what she was employed to do but be assured, she was working.”

“You do know she has to submit time-sheets to cover the period. What will she put for those dates?”

“She’s already done it. Assistance and duties while in India as instructed by Mr Knight and Mr Overbock. It has the benefit of being true and complete.”

“That’s not going to wash with HR. If she’s lucky, she’ll lose holiday entitlement.”

“And if she’s not lucky?”

“That depends on her line manager.”

“Okay. Put her on permanent secondment to KOP. We could use a permanent, competent accountant, and to have a forensic accountant on tap will be great for us. We can also use her as Hannah’s mentor for her university studies and cover all her work experience.”

“If that’s what she wants.”

“Of course. Anyway, back to Susie. You pay her salary, we’ll look after her working conditions. That way she won’t need to submit timesheets and everybody should be happy.”

“I’ll need to ask Finance and HR.”

“No you won’t, David. You’ll need to tell them.”

“Fair enough. I’ll tell HR and they’ll tell Finance. Susie’s bosses won’t be happy. It’ll leave them without a forensic accountant.”

“They’ll have to sponsor another accountant through the training – they have plenty to choose from.”

“We’ll talk to Hannah at dinner, and put it to Susie tomorrow.”

I wasn’t surprised to see that Hannah jumped at the chance. She and Susie really hit it off in India and I fully expected that the prospect of the two of them working together more would please my granddaughter; not only for the relationship they’d formed, but also to further Hanna’s chosen career. Susie was less enthusiastic at first. She had a number of friends at Knight Global’s head office and was loathe to part from them. However, at one level, the chance to move from being an accountant in a large organisation to being the accountant in a small outfit presented her with what she called an exciting challenge. She was marginally hesitant at the prospect of becoming Hannah’s mentor; not because she didn’t want to do the job, but because she didn’t believe she was adequate to the task. However, when I told her that I would hand over to her all of Max’s books, files and notes, her attitude changed.

“You’ll really give me access to the files and notes of the legendary Max Matham?” she asked.

“No, Susie. I won’t give you access to them, I’ll gift them to you, and all of her books.”

“Can you do that?”

“I can. In fact, I have to. She left them all to me in her will with the stipulation that I hand them to a young forensic accountant that I judged could make good use of them.”

“When you say files and notes—”

“I mean full details of every case, every investigation she ever worked on. And that will give you unique access to all her thought processes. The only thing I’d ask is that you respect the absolute confidentiality of all these records.”

“Of course.”

“That includes not telling Henk or me; or Hannah; about any of the cases or any of her notes beyond what we need to know to do our jobs. There are bound to be some things about me in there; some I’d rather no-one else saw and some I’d probably rather not know myself. I’ll rely on your discretion to decide what is appropriate to pass on to us.”

“I can agree to that, Mr Knight.”

“Does that mean you’ll take the job?”

“If my managers are okay with it, yes.”

“Don’t worry, they will be, we’ll make sure of that. Just think about it, though, Susie. This job will be as close as you can get to private practice without actually being it, but with none of the financial risks.”

“And with none of the promotion prospects, either…”

“We’ll work something out, Susie. Whichever way this goes, your career prospects will not be negatively impacted.”

Subsequent discussions with David and, through him, with the relevant departmental directors produced a structure that ensured that Susie’s progression would continue as normal, the biannual assessments that form part of the staff development programme being completed by Henk and me instead of her line managers. She remained contracted to Knight Global Trading as a developing member of head office accounting staff but on indefinite secondment to Knight Overbock Partnership.

The other major success we achieved was having an open-ended casual internship agreement signed between Knight Global and Hannah. The arrangement was looser than we would have liked, but it did mean that Hannah could work with us, according to our needs, whenever she was not at university, whilst enjoying all the protections and benefits available to her as an employee of the group.

 

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