James Ashton

Head of Business at London Evening Standard, The Independent, Independent on Sunday, i

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Jim Ratcliffe has no room for a loss-maker

If this is a case of brinkmanship, don’t expect Jim Ratcliffe to blink first. The secretive tycoon behind Ineos needed cast-iron nerves to build his empire, borrowing billions of pounds to buy up dozens of unwanted manufacturing plants when debt was cheap. Then, when the financial crisis hit, he stood before 600 bankers to persuade them to cut him some slack. Compared with that, I imagine Ratcliffe will take the closure of one facility out of 51 spanning 11 countries in his stride.

Headhunters hired by Bank of England in search for Court chairman

The Bank of England is searching for a new chairman of its Court and has brought in headhunters for an appointment which will herald the next stage of the revolution taking place at the 319-year old City institution.

Headhunters brought in to find Bank’s new Court chair

The Bank of England is searching for a new chairman of its Court and has brought in headhunters for an appointment which will herald the next stage of the revolution taking place at the 319-year old City institution.

Thomas Cook’s chief executive Harriet Green: “I felt I would be pacy, resilient and able to generate belief in the company”

Harriet Green: Thomas Cook gets the green light

The travel giant was on its knees just a year ago. Now the woman behind its £1.6bn rescue talks to James Ashton

James Ashton: Bankers toiling in these dog days will be wagging their tails at bonus time

The whodunnit 'Broadchurch' was praised for its ‘restrained approach’

James Ashton: 'Absentee landlord' shareholders? No, we're all activists now

Outlook The attention that has been given to making sure shareholders are not the "absentee landlords" that Lord Myners grumbled about in the aftermath of the financial crisis should have made redundant the description of any investor as an activist. It clearly hasn't, as Carl Icahn's move on Apple proves.

James Ashton: Rentokil is still not sprung from its trap

Outlook Whenever Rentokil Initial says it is doing better, I smell a rat. This is a company that has flattered to deceive for as long as I have been writing about it. A glance at yesterday's figures shows that underlying revenues are falling, it is enduring tough times in Europe, and it is trying to put in place a more efficient country-by-country operating model. So what's changed?

James Ashton: Smart-meter plans aren't looking so bright

Outlook The companies queuing up for a slice of work from the Government's grand plan to put a smart energy meter in every home have been waiting for a verdict longer than most homeowners used to have to hang around for the meter reader to knock on their door.

James Ashton: Extra time for Manchester United with latest sponsor

Outlook I suppose the whole point of companies you have never heard of taking out multi-million-pound sponsorships is to raise their profile. So Bulova, which traces its history back to 1875, must hope that becoming Manchester United's official timekeeper will help it shift a few more luxury watches.

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