BZW's American accent gets louder; People & Business

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The Independent Online
Bob Diamond continues to reshape BZW's Global Markets Division in his image with the appointment of a fellow American, Neil Cummins, who has worked for Morgan Stanley in London for the last 12 years.

Mr Cummins, 42, will become the division's managing director and global head of sales and research, reporting directly to Mr Diamond. The appointment is "critically important in the development of our global markets capability," Mr Diamond says. Indeed. With Tony Smith, chief executive of BZW's sterling bond division, due to retire at the end of the month, expect more senior appointments to follow.

Who says the Germans don't have a sense of humour? Full marks to Siemens, the Teutonic industrial giant, which draped the chairs in its annual UK press conference yesterday with beach towels.

Jurgen Gehrels, head of Siemens in the UK, says: "Our towels obviously did the trick. Its good to see people moving to the front seats for once." This was a reference to journalists pathetically huddling at the back of last year's bash.

Herr Gehrels added: "For myself, I have never seen the Germans on holiday putting their beach towels on deckchairs." He obviously doesn't spend much time on the Costa del Sol.

Michael Grade, cigar-chomping head of Channel Four, is a keen sailor and proud owner of a 64 foot ketch. He is also chairman of First Leisure, which owns four marinas, one on Guernsey and the other three on the mainland.

As luck would have it, Mr Grade recently sailed into one of these marinas, Port Solent. As he marched into the local office to pay his mooring fees, the First Leisure operative asked him which company he was with. "First Leisure," Mr Grade replied.

At which the employee brightened and said: "You might be eligible for a discount, then," and started tapping enthusiastically into his computer.

Seconds later he looked up and admitted: "Er, no you don't." Now that's what I call commendable attention to costs.

Jean-Marie Dru, a French advertising guru, has had a little linguistic trouble with his latest book, Disruption, about how to get ahead by upsetting conventions. Among thecompanies doing this is Tesco, Mr Dru enthuses.

"Tesco has even opened what it refers to as `metro convenience stores', which as their name implies, are located in commuter rail stations."

The name might imply it, my dear Jean-Marie, but Tesco metros have rien to do with the French "metros" or railways and tubes.

Write out a hundred times: "Tesco Metros are simply smaller city centre stores."

Lord Harris has three sons and a daughter - so who shall inherit his carpet empire? Despite being only 54, the Carpetright boss is already preparing to avoid inheritance tax. Hence his sale of shares yesterday. But in spite of having three of his children in the business he denies that he is grooming a dynasty.

Martin Harris, 27, the company's marketing manager, was again wheeled out yesterday to make a presentation, and Lord Harris admits the callow youth "may be on the board before long".

However, he added: "I think they've got a lot to learn and I'm going to be here another 10 years or so yet."

Damien McCrystal, former Daily Telegraph City diarist, has jacked in his job as press spokesman at UBS after just 11 months - but where is he going?

"There are irons in fires," says Damien mysteriously, after leaving his job on Tuesday night. "I'm going to stay in PR, and I hope to say what soon. There are one or two unresolved issues with the bank which have to be resolved before I can say anything." We wait with baited breath.