City Diary

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The Independent Online
PERUSING THE weekend press coverage of Claudia Jay, managing director and the only employee so far of, the British arm of an American Internet financial news service, several of my colleagues asked: "Is she the daughter of Peter Jay, the BBC's economics editor?"

In fact, 28-year old Ms Jay is Jay Senior's niece. "My father is his brother Martin," she tells me.

And while Jay Senior, once dubbed "the cleverest man in England", is - she says - delighted and supportive of his niece's drive on to the information superhighway, she is hardly in need of any nepotistic help.

Claudia read English at Oxford, trained with cult management consultants McKinsey & Co, obtained an MBA at Insead and headed up product development at before taking up her present job.

Jay senior also made all the right moves when he was young, reaching his apogee as ambassador to the United States from 1977 to 1979. Things never quite recovered after that, after he became chief of staff to the late Robert Maxwell.

Of her new venture, Ms Jay says: "He's excited and hopes it will be successful."

ROBERT KYPRIANOU, head of fixed income at ABN Amro and a well known figure in the Square Mile, has been poached by rivals AXA Investment Managers, despite strenuous efforts by the Dutch bank to hang on to him.

AXA has been aggressively hiring for some time now. Derek Terrington left Teather & Greenwood last year to help Don Brydon, a former boss of BZW Asset Management, set up a global fund management arm for the French- owned insurance giant. Ambitious fund managers should get their CVs in now.

TALKING OF Teather and Greenwood, the AIM listed broker has just made a high profile hiring of its own. Paul Jellicoe has joined as a director of the corporate finance department after 17 years with James Capel, now part of HSBC Investment Bank. Mr Jellicoe, 43, has quite a few deals under his belt, including the flotations of Compass Group, ED&F Mann and Independent Insurance. Jeremy Delmar-Morgan, Teather & Greenwood's chief executive, hasn't finished hiring yet. Again, CVs are in order.

STAFF AT HSBC's head office in Lower Thames Street can been forgiven for thinking that they are undergoing their very own Changing Rooms-style TV makeover. A swarm of interior designers has invaded the place in recent days, bring with them a big red sofa, tasteful oatmeal carpets and all the other impedimenta of interior redecoration.

The reason is the launch this Wednesday of the UK's first-ever TV banking service, called "Open". An HSBC spokesman enthuses that the room will be decked out as a "typical British living room in order to demonstrate to the media how you can switch from Coronation Street to your bank account with the press of a button."

As for the design, the spokesman adds: "We were going for that Ikea/Habitat look".

And who is the bank's equivalent of Carol Smillie? Step forward a blushing Paul Seward, head of strategic development, and his trusty assistant Alan Hughes, general manager of marketing.

HSBC is launching its new service via a joint venture operation set up two years ago, which has been rechristened Open. The other partners in the venture are BSkyB, British Telecom and Panasonic.

The digital service will be available through set-top boxes at first, while HSBC is in talks with cable companies to widen its delivery.

CHARLES HANDY, the media-friendly management guru who speaks regularly on Radio 4's "Thought for the Day" slot, has a tome out called The New Alchemists.

Nicknamed "The Saint" by some of his fellow broadcasters, Mr Handy has enlisted the help of his wife Elisabeth to co-author the work, which is described as "a study of 29 individuals who have created something out of nothing in business, the arts or the community". Most of the usual suspects are present - Richard Branson and Terence Conran, Tim Waterstone of the eponymous booksellers chain, Bob Ayling of British Airways, Julian Richer of Richer Sounds and so forth.

The authors are launching a European seminar tour based on the book at the end of this month. Appropriately enough, the event is scheduled to take place at Church House, Westminster.