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 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
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