Wednesday, 31 March 2010
The law of unintended consequences strikes again. I hear that Cadbury World, the chocolate maker's Willy Wonka-style theme park, is doing a brisk trade around the Easter holidays. The reason? Apparently parents are worried that nasty Kraft, Cadbury's new owner, might look to close the attraction down and this might be the last chance they get to visit. Who'd have thought it?
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Whither Antisoma, once one of British biotech's greatest stars that's now worth less than its £50m bank balance?
Its shares slumped 75% to 8p yesterday (plus another 1.3p today) after trials of its cancer drug failed - all of which sounds like bad news for patients, investors and, er, the City "experts" who followed the company.
As recently as September, KBC Peel Hunt reckoned the shares were a "buy" at 27p (and set them a target of 70p!) while last month Charles Stanley confidently told its clients to wade in at 35.5p. D'oh!
Monday, 29 March 2010
Willie Walsh reckons he's not getting enough support over the strike from BA chairman Martin Broughton. For that (and a few more little tales) from the Sindy column this week, click here.
Friday, 26 March 2010
Has anybody noticed the uncanny resemblance between strike-obsessed Unite leader Tony Woodley and Eric Richard, the actor who played Bob Cryer in television's The Bill? Are they perchance, related?
Thursday, 25 March 2010
As the Financial Services Authority dons the marigolds to probe deeper into the Square Mile's bowels, I wonder what percentage of City investors will be suspected of skulduggery? Absolutely loads if this (entirely unrepresentative) extrapolation from a 2008 market report filed by the Daily Mail's veteran hack, Geoff Foster, is a guide.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Monday, 22 March 2010
Friday, 19 March 2010
Thursday, 18 March 2010
I'm not a natural supporter of marketing execs, but I do like this...
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
I'm sorry to learn of the death of Lady Parker, the wife of the late Sir Peter Parker, the former chairman of British Rail.
Her obituary in today's Times states: "She is survived by her four children: Lucy, Alan, Nathaniel, the actor, and Oliver, the film director." Indeed so, but why doesn't Alan's career warrant a mention? Last time I heard he was one of the Square Mile's most influential players, as founder and boss of City PR giants Brunswick.
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
A decent start to the Cheltenham Festival for the bookmakers with the defeat of odds-on favourite Dunguib in the first (Paddy Power had a liability of £4m alone on the supposed "banker of the week").
Still, elsewhere I hear that William Hill has been busy schmoozing investors to float the idea of another bond issue later this year - in order to refinance its debt (again) and extend maturities.
And who was conducting this City charm offensive? Er, none other than departing finance chief Simon Lane. Should an outgoing CFO really be allowed to present to the City, I hear you ask? The answer, in Cheltenham week, seems to be "yes".
Monday, 15 March 2010
Tubby Liberal MP Matthew Taylor getting stuck in the revolving doors at the entrance to Portcullis House. Taylor squeezed out through a small gap and informed the security guard that it was only his svelteness that allowed him to escape. Sarcastically, presumably.
Friday, 12 March 2010
Malcolm Calvert, who is appealing his conviction for insider trading that was handed down this week, joined Her Maj's broker Cazenove in 1961 and retired in 2000. At the time of his departure a colleague commented that Calvert, known as "Streaky", had "had enough of the City". I suspect the feeling's now mutual.
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
It's March, so time for those lazy pieces about the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year award being cursed. Is it really?
Sure, Nikki Beckett of NSB Retail Systems issued a profit warning shortly after collecting her gong in 2000 - a setback that came after 1988 winner Sophie Mirman saw her Sock Shop slip into administration.
But, since inception in 1974, that's about it, while other winners include Body Shop founder Dame Anita Roddick (1985), Stagecoach's Ann Gloag (1990), Pearson's Dame Marj Scardino (1998), LK Bennett's Linda Bennett (2003) and Alexander Mann's Rosaleen Blair (2007).
Monday, 8 March 2010
Sunday, 7 March 2010
Thursday, 4 March 2010
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
News of a relaxation in the rules governing the advertisement of condoms, comes a little too late for some in adland.
Inspired by the success of the famous Country Life jingle "You'll never put a better bit of butter on your knife", I recall one ad exec pitching a spoof commercial to his contraceptive company client. His slogan? "You'll never put a better bit of rubber in your wife".
It never made the airwaves.
Paul Boateng, former chief secretary to the Treasury, enjoying the free Wifi at the Baker Street branch of Apostrophe, the fancy coffee shop chain.
Boateng, who was sitting alone, hogged a table for four in the busy outlet, while surfing the web with abandon long after he'd finished his drink.