CITY DIARY

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The Independent Online
Simultaneous chess challenges are not everyone's cup of tea, but Henry McWatters, who works for UBS as an options and futures trader, managed to beat chess grand master Raymond Keene as part of a series of City-based events which raised pounds 22,000 for Save the Children.

McWatters is modest about his achievement. He practices by turning out for the UBS chess team which has recently been promoted to chess's premier league.

Kevin Arnold, head of European government bond trading at NatWest Markets, went to greater lengths to raise cash, however. He had his hair chopped off to raise pounds 7,000.

BT wants to be Marks & Spencer of the communications world, according to BT's head of corporate sponsorship, Roger Broad. Yesterday, when BT announced a pre-tax profit of pounds 874m, Broad waxed lyrical about the company's pounds 2.6m-a-year sponsorship of the arts and its latest venture to sponsor the National Children's Orchestra.

Broad is refreshingly keen to let you know that this spending is not sponsorship of art for art's sake, but for the business's sake. BT is intent on wooing the customer on its service record and believes sponsorship of the arts plays an important part in its strategy to trounce the likes of what Broad describes as 'trendy' Mercury. But does desire to emulate M&S-in quality of service mean that BT chairman Sir Iain Vallance must now wear an apron to work?

Companies have a hard time sticking around for a year or two in the current economic climate, let alone foreseeing the next 100 years.

But one which is about to join the small band of golden oldies - such as the 300-year-old Mitsui corporation of Japan and Du Pont, nearly 200 - is bike manufacturer Harley Davidson. The company will feature later this month in a BBC2 series called The Business, which examines the secret of success based on research carried out in the Eighties by Arie de Geus, then an executive of Royal Dutch Shell.

According to de Geus, the secret of company longevity is to stick to what you do best and capitalise on brand image. Harley nearly came a cropper, though, when it diversified into golf carts. This gave club-swinging executives the chance to roar down the fairway on a Harley without the club secretary raising so much as an eyebrow.

Golf carts were hardly compatible with the company's groovy biking image, though. Needless to say, they do not make golf carts anymore.

Sausages are big business, as chief executive of Tesco Sir Ian MacLaurin knows. Yesterday, however, York Magistrates fined Tesco pounds 6,000 plus prosecution costs of pounds 513 for serving up bangers that were not quite what they purported to be. Tesco ran several advertisements declaring their sausages were free from additives and colourings but when trading standards officers put Tesco's own to the taste-bud test they discovered said sausages fell short of their quality standards. The official offence is of misleading the public. A solicitor for Tesco said that mistakes were bound to happen.

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