HSBC, my university, my "home", my employer, played a large part in my life for 37 years. We eventually parted company on good terms when I retired almost four years ago. In time-honoured HSBC tradition, a retiring Chairman severs links with the old organisation - mostly for good reasons, although for some not so good reasons. Like losing the accumulated knowledge of, in my case, 37 years of "corporate history", and contacts built up particularly in the later years. On balance, however, it is the right thing to do. Your successor, for example, does not want you looking over his or her shoulder all the time. No, you move on.