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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
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

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Data Analyst/Planning and Performance – Surrey – Up to £35k

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker