A good read when you're redundant

People & Business
Click to follow
The Independent Online
Nowadays there is a magazine and a website to cater for every taste so why not one aimed at those who have recently been made redundant? The first edition of Bounceback has just hit the streets, packed with advice about how to plan a CV, spend that redundancy cheque or set up a business from home.

There is even an interview with a celebrity redundantee - the Pet Plan Insurance founder Patsy Bloom - and, for those who see the funny side of life on the dole, a "humour column". It will appear quarterly and cost pounds 12 a year on subscription but the publishers, Ultima, hope caring ex- employers will offer it as part of the redundancy package.

In case you were wondering, Bounceback is written from the heart since a pre-condition of working for it is to have been downsized in a previous life. The editor, Stewart Andersen, involuntarily left a large German publishing company to take up his new post. "Redundancy is here to stay and for that reason, so is Bounceback, he warns in issue number one. It's an ill wind...

Where does Dick "deal-maker" Brown, the frenzied US chief executive of Cable & Wireless, get all his energy and self-confidence? We can exclusively reveal that his peculiar drive, such as the liking for 6am board meetings, stems not from something as mundane as eating three Weetabix for breakfast, but from a much more exotic source - his longstanding personal adviser and guru, Ram Sharam, an Asian American who has followed his mentor since his time managing US telecoms and IT businesses.

"Ram Sharam goes everywhere with Dick," says one C&W insider, adding that Sharam, in classic American guru fashion, advised on everything from "positive thinking" and public image to lending an ear on tough corporate decisions. He has even sat in on job interviews to pick top executives at Cable & Wireless Communications, the UK telephony and cable offshoot. Rumour has it that Sharam was there during the interview of Graham Wallace, CWC's chief executive, poached from Granada at the beginning of the year.

Unfortunately, it seems that even Mr Brown's attempts to spread the Sharam philosophy, including helping his British executive team "find themselves" has its limits. With Sharam in tow, he recently called them all to a group get-together on an obscure island in the middle of an obscure American river. It took the globetrotting Brits so long to find the place that they could only stay for 10 minutes before returning home.

C&W was coy about Mr Sharam's role. "As far as I'm aware he's a consultant," a spokesman said. Next time you experience one of those spine-jarring Brown handshakes, you'll know where he gets it from.

Pharmaceuticals comprise one of the hottest sectors in the stock market, so it's not surprising that analysts are cutting deals and jumping around.

The latest to go through the revolving doors is Janet Dyson, who is leaving Merrill Lynch's European drugs team to join counterpart Mark Tracey at Goldman Sachs. Also on the move is Steven Cox, drugs analyst at Cazenove, who is joining Martin Hall and Stephen McGarry on James Capel's UK pharmaceuticals desk. These shifts follow hot on the heels of Mark Clark and David Grogan, UBS pharmaceuticals analysts who are preparing to jump ship to join Stuart Donachie at SBC Warburg.

Messrs Clark and Grogan originally left Warburg five years ago to join Nomura. Now back at their old haunt, they are rumoured to be getting four times their original Warburg salaries. Who says drugs don't pay?

Is David Wright, founder of Citigate, financial public relations agency, on gardening leave?

I think we should be told. Apparently he can be seen wandering around the offices clad in gardening gloves and wielding a hosepipe. The reason? He has miniature allotments on Citigate's seventh- and eighth-floor balconies where he lovingly grows cucumbers and tomatoes as well as a variety of bedding plants. Apparently he hands out each year's harvest to delighted colleagues.

Citigate, once so straitlaced it was dubbed the ministry of PR, is becoming a social hotbed. Employees are so often found propping up the bar at the local watering hole, La Paquerette, in the centre of Finsbury Square, that Mr Wright recently tried to buy the place to convert into a Citigate social club.

Comments