CITY DIARY

Cuts at Lloyd's have taken a terrible horticultural toll on the place. I can remember when, in the days of pansy-loving council member Gordon Hutton, £90,000 a year was spent on flora for the executive floor. Now there is only a vase of dried flowers.

However, some people are not doing badly at Lloyd's. Word reaches me from a Lime Street bar that Mark Brockbank, the brilliant underwriter at syndicate 861 who recently traded in his commission arrangement for £2.85m, has grown so rich he is buying a palace in St Tropez.

Not true, says Mr Brockbank. He does own a ramshackle landholding in Santa Fe, the artistic Indian community in New Mexico that hosted DH Lawrence and Ernest Hemingway. The house cost "less than a one-bedroom home in Chelsea", he says.

Maybe he has set a trend, for I hear that Richard Brendel, deputy head of John Sharman's syndicate 488, has bought a place in Colorado, to be near the skiing.

An unexpected fit of slushiness must have come over David Hudd, the flamboyant cricket-loving chairman of Vardon, the bingo-to-London Dungeons leisure company. When planning the takeover of Parkdean, the holiday camp company, which was announced on February 15, he romantically gave his company the code name Valentine and called Parkdean Princess.

Gene G Marcial, a Philippines journalist who moved to New York after the fall of Marcos, is set to publish a rich expose of sleaze and corruption on Wall Street.

The book, which is to be published in Britain, claims to tell how to rig initial public offerings and reveal the investment banker who romanced her way into closing underwriting deals when the competition clearly had the inside track.

"Marcial names big names on every page and makes revelations that will redden a lot of Wall Street faces," the book blurb reads.

I hear that such dirty tricks were unheard of when Marcial was a journalist in his home country.

Surrey-based car maker Frazer-Nash, once famous for its sports cars and defence systems, is diversifying into ecologically friendly rickshaws. The vehicle (above), christened Solar Baby, is a small solar power-assisted electric car being launched as a joint venture between India-based Peerless Developers and Frazer-Nash. The pollution-free vehicle, which sells for $4,000 (£2,700), can carry four passengers. It is ideal for city transport, according to the company. Rickshaws are a popular form of transport in India.

To me, it looks like a cross between Clive Sinclair's C5 and one of the vehicles in Gerry Anderson's forthcoming space drama, Space Precinct.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral