The City Diary

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With Mayor Boris as his boss, Bendy Hendy might prefer a ticket to ride

Will he stay or will he go? Boris Johnson (pictured) hinted that once he took over the capital's reins of power, Peter Hendy, the Transport for London Commissioner, would remain in post, whatever else of Ken Livingstone's mayoral structure was dismantled.

But word reaches Diary that the incredibly mundane row over buses – yawn, the nostalgic Johnson wants to bring back Routemasters – could encourage Hendy to look for work elsewhere. Apparently, "bendy buses were Peter's baby".

On the other hand, Hendy, who has spent more than 30 years working on London's transport system, has already implemented Boris's policy to rid the Tube of alcohol, suggesting he could be a useful sidekick to the wild-haired one.

Don't mess with Millwall

The fearsome reputation of Millwall Football Club's fans is, it seems, still alive and kicking.

The Division One club, led by Heather Rabbatts, is currently in the throes of defending itself from the clutches of the eccentric Manx corporate raider Graham Ferguson Lacey.

Last week angry fans piled on to blogs and bulletin boards as speculation grew that Lacey plans to break up the club and scoop its property.

The threat of a kicking even seems to have spooked Lacey's lawyers, thought to be the august Denton Wilde Sapte. A spokesman for the firm, which has acted for Lacey in the past, tell us: "I'm afraid we can't comment on whether he is a client or not."

Is Howell the man to get Close Bros on the move?

Speculation is mounting that Jonathan Howell, 45, finance director at Close Brothers, is being positioned to take over the blue-blooded investment bank. Chief executive Colin Keogh is on the brink after talks with suitors, including Cenkos and Blackstone, collapsed earlier this year. Some staff are said to be disgruntled, particularly that a large part of the fees they generate goes towards renting their expensive HQ in Liverpool Street. Many hope that Howell's finance background will make him sympathetic to their desire to move somewhere cheaper.

Barbarians at Boujis' gate? Call this number

The empire built by Aaron Simpson is growing. His company, Quintessentially, which caters for the world's rich and famous, reserving them tables at the Ivy or a place on the guest list at Boujis, will be launching its own security service in the coming weeks.

The new venture is to be headed by David Jones, chief executive of the Counter Threat Group, which already offers services from kidnap rescue to bodyguards. A sign of the times it may be, but it's sure to be a money-spinner too.

Death by dryer ball

At last, the "Battle of the Dryer Balls finally resolved", we are told. A press release from the hitherto unheard of Green Lane Products says: "After a year wrangling over technical aspects and interpretation of European IPR law, PMS and Poundland will be withdrawing from sale their spiky tumble dryer balls."

I for one will certainly sleep much easier this evening. ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz!

On the edge in the hedge

The battered hedge fund industry is turning to new ways to find talent, with one manager giving his cash to, er, complete novices. The, as yet, anonymous capitalist is bankrolling a BBC documentary which will pit five people against the market, letting them "strut their stuff on a trading floor". Given the performance of most hedge funds of late, they might be stumping up for losses rather than fat bonuses.

And so to bed. Broker ready to tuck in its staff

Insurance brokers Willis opens its new offices in the Square Mile on Tuesday. Designed by architects Foster and Partners, it consists of two adjoining buildings of 10 and 29 storeys, totalling a whopping 475,000 sq ft and rising to a height of 125m. It is the fourth-tallest building in the City and houses around 2,200 people. The building will also offer a large number of dormitory-style beds for its staff. Given that Willis paid top-of-the-market prices for the swish new HQ, it seems its workers might be doing a little more overtime than they think.

Son of 'Apprentice' isn't firing

Sir Alan Sugar's recruitment TV show 'The Apprentice' may have garnered a hefty following but Lloyd's of London's Charity Challenge, which sees the fearsome chairman Lord Levene reprise Sir Alan's role, is going down rather less well. Just seven teams from the insurance industry have signed up and the deadline is this Friday. It's a wonder more people aren't up for the sort of humiliation experienced by Jennifer Maguire, fired last Wednesday from the show.

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