CITY DIARY

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The Independent Online
There was a moment of agony for Lord Rockley, the outgoing chairman of Kleinwort Benson, at a joint press conference to announce Dresdner's successful pounds 1bn takeover. The 61-year-old aristocrat kept his upper lip suitably stiff as he vigorously endorsed the German invasion plans for his beloved merchant bank. However, his expression of calm became briefly unsettled when one mischievous hack asked the stern-faced Jurgen Sarazzin, chairman of Dresdner, what the employees felt about the plan. "Career prospects of employees on both sides of the business will be enhanced," replied Mr Sarazzin. Poor Lord Rockley could hardly control his emotions.

It seems that if John Redwood should succeed in his quest for the Tory party leadership, he will be ably assisted by his wife.

For Gail Redwood (46) is deputy company secretary for British Airways. Mrs Redwood has been at BA since 1986, when she joined as a corporate lawyer working on the privatisation. She was promoted to company secretary, a position she held for four years. Last year she decided to go part- time and became deputy company secretary, although according to BA's spokesman her role is essentially the same as when she worked full time.

Currently Mrs Redwood not only has her hands full with supplying cups of tea to the journalists camped on the steps of the Redwood family home but also is busy preparing for BA's July annual meeting.

Rocky Shaw, chairman of the insurance broker Lowndes Lambert, who was due to report healthy pre-tax profits of around pounds 15m today, is expecting more success come late September, which has nothing to do with the renewal season.

Mr Shaw, whose boat Moonmaiden reverts to a floating cocktail party venue for the week when reinsurers meet in Monte Carlo for their annual rendezvous, will run his horse, Martomick, in the Grand Gran Premio Merano Forst on 24 September.

Martomick is trained by Kim Bailey, who also trains Docklands Express, owned by Compton Hellier of Sporting Index, which finished third in the Italian race in 1983.

The last big win for Shaw was the 1984 Grand National with Hallo Dandy, and opinion is that Martomick, who likes a fast track, will be hard to beat. The prize money is suitably rich in picking. Last year's winner took home L300m (pounds 115,000).

The price of strawberries at Wimbledon is set to burst through the Chancellor's inflation target. After a two-year price freeze at pounds 1.70, this year's punnet of 10-12 berries will set you back pounds 1.75, a 2.9 per cent rise.

If that sounds expensive, six or seven strawberries at Royal Ascot will cost you pounds 2.50 and for roughly the same number you pay pounds 2.60 at the Stella Artois tennis tournament and pounds 2.65 at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Last year the Wimbledon caterers, Town & Country, sold 24 tonnes in two weeks. The All England Club, where the tournament is held, says it has been a good year for strawberries, so this year's supplies will be British.

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