Friday 08 September 1995
German Ancochea, chief executive of the Spanish telephone company Telefonica, yesterday launched what ought to be a bomb-proof pounds 900m international share offer.
The dining room at the company's 1920s head office building in Madrid had been used by the Republican top brass in the Spanish Civil War and had come under heavy shelling from the hills in the distance.
Recently the surviving generals from both sides were asked to a reunion in the same room. There was a sharp reminder of the past when two unexploded Civil War bombs were found at about the same time in the basement.
"It shows the solidity of the foundations on which this company is built," Mr Anchochea proudly told journalists.
Good news for hard pressed Lloyd's names. Yesterday the Council of Lloyd's appointed Lazard Brothers, the merchant bank, as its general financial adviser. Lazards chairman David Verey and executive director David Anderson will lead a team dedicated to sorting out the restructuring and other thorny matters. Lloyd's will now have plenty of advisers; JP Morgan and SBC Warburg are already working on raising corporate capital. No doubt the names will be reassured that Lloyd's money is being well spent.
Readers of this column may recall yesterday's piece about Richard Branson challenging investment giant Fidelity to keep down its prices to customers.
On Wednesday Mr Branson, a brash newcomer to the personal finance scene, had smuggled Virgin steward Freya Sones into Fidelity's New York press conference, held to launch Fidelity's latest PEP. Ms Sones startled Fidelity's chairman Barry Bateman by issuing the challenge - but Mr Bateman quickly recovered himself and yesterday responded in kind.
He confirmed that the annual management fee of the new MoneyBuilder Income PEP "will not rise above 0.7 per cent over the next five years" - and went on to offer pounds 35,000 of units in any Fidelity fund to the charity of Richard Branson's choice if the performance of his UK Growth PEP does not beat the Virgin Index Tracking PEP over 10 years.
We now look forward to Mr Bateman's challenges on transatlantic ballooning and speed boating.
This year's City shake-up, which has seen five top British investment houses falling into overseas hands, has prompted a multi-million pound game of musical chairs amongst the auditors.
The tune goes like this: Ernst & Young may lose their pounds 3.6m audit of SG Warburg if it switches to Coopers & Lybrand, who are auditors to Warburg's new owners, Swiss Bank Corporation.
According to the bean-counters' weekly Accountancy Age, E&Y may also lose out as auditors to fund managers Jupiter Tyndall, now owned by the German Commerzbank, which is also audited by Coopers. Bang goes another pounds 350,000 annual fee.
But Coopers have themselves already been eclipsed at Barings, which has opted for KPMG, auditors to its new owners, ING. Coopers could also lose Smith New Court to Deloitte & Touche, auditors for the new owners, Merrill Lynch. Touche could reap pounds 900,000 if they win the Smiths audit. Touche could, however, lose the Kleinwort Benson audit, since new owners Dresdner Bank use KPMG.
Exciting times in the accountancy world.
- 1 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 E.L James's #AskELJames Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Dutch city of Utrecht to experiment with a universal, unconditional 'basic income'
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
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