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
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas