CITY DIARY

Time for a double celebration for property investment company Jones Lang Wootton in the United States.

It has just closed the sale of New York's Plaza Hotel six months ahead of schedule in its 20th anniversary year.

The deal, the largest single US property sale of the decade, sees the 808-bedroom hotel at the foot of Central Park transfer ownership from the socialite Donald Trump, Citibank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia to CDL Hotels of Singapore and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia.

Mr Trump still keeps a finger in the pie, though. He becomes a member of the Plaza's management committee and will be the developer for the partnership of the luxury condominiums on the hotel's top floors.

In late 1993 , when Plaza Operating Partners decided to sell the hotel, the US real estate market was beginning to show signs of life.

When Jones Lang Wooton was selected from among a dozen competing property and investment banking firms, its "Plaza" team went into top gear.

The team logged thousands of air miles as it travelled around the world to sing the hotel's praises.

A Young Turk has invaded the British Chamber of Commerce, according to a BCC spokesman. Christopher Greenall, 26, has been appointed as the new head of policy. Mr Greenall joins the BCC from the Society of British Aerospace Companies. Before that he completed an MBA in international trade and finance. The post is a new one for BCC but necessary "just to deal with the mound of paperwork". "Government departments just keep throwing paper at us," said an overworked BCCer - and we need to make sure we respond to the right things." In triplicate, I trust.

Gerry O'Neil, once of Kleinwort Benson and now at ABN in Ireland, is still keeping tabs on the London-based band Who Cares?, which he manages through his Gilt Edge music business. After a successful first gig in the City last week the band's CD is doing roaring trade in Our Price in Cheapside, which does not usually stock unsigned bands.

Band leader and song-writer Paul Dexter, who works at Midland Bank in the City, has his eye on the big time. He says fame, fortune and world domination are next on his career path of life. After all, he says, "my multi-million pound career is not going to happen at Midland".

New management methods at Nomura. Earlier this week, six systems analysts from Nomura Research, led by Martin Ince, set off on a team-building exercise of a different kind. Not for them the usual forge accross a river on a self-constructed raft of twigs and toilet-roll holders, or hikes across wild mountain side - this was big-time bonding.

Mr Ince took his team to a site overlooking Chelsea Bridge in London to bungee jump their way into working together. At 325 feet, the jump is one of Europe's biggest, or longest, drops, depending on your vantage point. According to a Nomura, Mr Ince had to go first as everyone else was too terrified. Even he had second thoughts. But all successfully lived to tell the tale. Next stop, walking on hot coals. Really.

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