Business week in review

In profit...

Prudential boss Tidjane Thiam pleased the insurer's investors on Monday as he hiked their half-year dividend pay-out by 15.8 per cent to 9.73p and then laid into those rotten bureaucrats in Brussels. Thiam warned that new EU capital rules for the sector, known as Solvency II, are "one of the biggest threats to UK jobs and growth".

Another popular insurance head honcho was Resolution's Andy Briggs. On Tuesday, he predicted that the UK annuity market will be worth £40bn by 2020, helped by the retirement of the "baby boomer" generation.

New Look chief executive Anders Kristiansen announced a "really successful start" to its financial year, also on Tuesday.

...at a loss

Jim McNerney, the global chief of Boeing, compared himself to Darth Vader earlier this year when he talked of cutting jobs and squeezing suppliers. Well, the image of Boeing's Dreamliner is deteriorating to the extent that a TIE Fighter under fire from Luke Skywalker appears likely to make for a more comfortable ride than the 787 jet. On Wednesday, an electrical wiring fault was found on the engine fire extinguishers of three Dreamliners, which follows issues with the jets' batteries.

Wednesday also saw Barclays finance director Chris Lucas step down due to his worsening health.

SIG boss Stuart Mitchell said on Thursday that the insulation company's profit was hampered by cold weather. Errrr…

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