CITY DIARY : An analysts' note full of sound and fury

" 'A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothin' is as colourful if tendentious a summary of our research output as any we have seen recently, although to be fair there are at least two idiots involved." So wrote Philip Middleton and Charles Cade, analysts at Merrill Lynch, in a recent note on Edinburgh Fund Managers' proposed takeover of Dunedin.

Taking Macbeth as their inspiration - "The Scottish Play on fund management?" - the pair quoted: " 'Doth it take away the performance?' Shakespeare's comments here refer to drink rather than fund management, and we believe that the merger should tend to augment performance here."

Then on page four of the note they ask: " 'Stands Scotland where it did?' This has always struck us as a somewhat otiose question, in that it has remained resolutely north of England for some time now." Let's hope the traditional theatrical curse will not fall on the merger now that the Scottish play's name has been invoked.

SBC Warburg continues to lose corporate financiers at a striking rate. Yesterday Nicholas Fry, formerly a senior director in the corporate finance division at SBC Warburg was poached by NatWest Markets to become its head of UK Corporate Finance. On the same day Stella Coulthurst, another director in the same department who had been with SG Warburg since1985, left to join BZW.

Ms Coulthurst was recruited by Mark Seligman, now BZW's joint chief executive corporate finance, and himself a former Warburg director. With the recent defection of another big cheese, Derek Higgs, to Prudential, does this mean that the Warburg corporate finance side is unravelling since the Swiss takeover? "No", retorted an SBC Warburg source yesterday.

While the bank would say nothing officially, the source said that suggestions of unravelling were "a tired, cracked record that stopped before Christmas. There's no exodus or flood. Just the normal flow of joiners and leavers."

A gaggle of economics writers from the national press demonstrated their gratitude to the Treasury's Andrew Hudson on his departure as head of the press office by feting him at London's famous Hungarian restaurant, the Gay Hussar, on Wednesday evening. Mr Hudson sustained his famous discretion till the end, sticking with nothing stronger than a white wine spritzer or two.

The one thing he let slip to the hacks before his departure back to a policy job in the Treasury was the revelation that the press office had had to work hard to persuade Kenneth Clarke not to appear on Fantasy Football.

For the uninitiated, this is the late night television programme on footie with comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner. The Chancellor - a Nottingham Forest fan - thought it would help boost his man of the people image. The minders thought our beer-quaffing, panatella-puffing jazz aficionado Chancellor was already man of the people enough.

Bowlers, toppers, felt hats, riding hats, tweed caps, panamas, - Christy, the Stockport-based hat maker, has been turning out such headgear since it was founded in 1773. Yesterday the firm was bought for pounds 3m by Priory Investments, a London-based company founded just six years ago to invest in middle sized businesses. Christy claims it is the only company in the world which still makes the traditional English bowler and top hat, now enjoying a revival following the popularity of Four Weddings and a Funeral. The company is the official supplier of panamas to the British Olympic team this year, and is a great favourite of Geoff Boycott. More recently the company has expanded into the "fashion-led youth market", turning out Mr Men hats and beanie hats, knitted pull-ons and a crushable bowler. How ghastly.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence