CITY DIARY

When Glaxo Wellcome reports its end of year results it will do so without the help of its director of business development in Europe, Dr Martin Preuveneers.

Dr Preuveneers has been bitten by the targeted non-viral delivery systems bug - state of the art stuff in this industry - and has joined the gene therapy company, Therexsys. He is at pains to point out that his move is "entirely positive." The decision to leave the newly-merged Glaxo Wellcome was very difficult, but he could not resist the challenge.

As chief executive his task will be to attract finance with a view to floating the company in around three years time. The company is obviously hoping for a little of the Preuveneers magic: at Glaxo he was responsible for marketing Zantac, its best-seller.

Billionaire Bill Gates had a sly go at IBM during his speech to computer executives in Paris yesterday. Reminiscing about the heyday of Big Blue in the 70s and early 80s, he said "I don't think IBM would have included Microsoft as one of the companies to worry about in those days." Neither is Bill loosing sleep about IBM's OS2, a competitor to his Windows 95: "Everyone in this room knows about IBM's record on software," he quipped. But Gates admits that companies in the high-tech sector seldom keep their lead for long. So exactly which companies and technologies give him cause for competitive concern? Considered threats include the likes of voice recognition and the new high-tech consoles from the likes of Sega and Nintendo.

The Capital Club, brainchild of Dieter Klostermann, and founder of the CCA `club' group, will be celebrating the first birthday of his first London venue later this month.

Backed by the likes of Lords Palumbo and Gowrie, David Band of BZW and Michael Dobson of Morgan Grenfell, the Club has benefited from the Oxford and Cambridge Club's continuing veto on women membership.

Each time the Oxford and Cambridge raises the issue, the number of women members at the Capital increases, as Klostermann is fond of pointing out. Women can take advantage of all the club's facilities - even the gent's loo - which is listed as of historical interest.

Jonathan Fry, chief Executive of Burmah Castrol, needs to work on his joke repertoire. In preparation for a presentation to the group's brokers, Cazenove, his daughter, Lucy Abigail, who works at the stockbrokers and would be present in the audience, implored her father to kick off his presentation with a few good jokes. Mr Fry took the advice and worked up a series of witty and good-humoured opening lines. However, when he ran them past the great and good at Cazenove they were all vetoed. Stunned, Mr Fry asked why his jokes would not rate at the presentation. "Far too intellectual," came the reply. "You should stick to the much shorter, and preferably dirtier, variety."

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