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
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Sport
football
News
Hillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test