CITY DIARY

The takeover of Britain's ShareLink by America's Charles R Schwab should result in a grand celebration for the Birmingham entrepreneur David Jones, the miner's son who invested £4,000 to start up the public share-dealing company. His 2.3 million shares will be worth £5.4m in cash and Schwab's loan notes.

The entrepreneur says some of the money will be invested in doing up his beautiful 200-year-old Cotswold manor in the village of Teddington, Gloucestershire, which, since he bought it 18 months ago, has been gutted, re-roofed and given new chimneys. "The garden remains in a terrible mess and I may treat myself to a new JCB," he says.

I hope the work distracts him from the memory of the time when his shares were theoretically worth £9.1m.

God has just recruited a new salesman with impeccable training. The Reverend Douglas Caffyn, a director of the eponymous Sussex-based car dealership, has resigned to become a part-time worker with the Church of England.

The race for the post of Sheriff of the City of London has begun. Elections are due on 26 June and Kenneth Ayers, the managing director of a Middle East investment consultant, is reported to be ready to throw his hat in the ring.

Two Sheriffs are selected each year by the 25,000 members of the City's liverymen. A largely ceremonial position, it includes helping the Lord Mayor promote the City and dealing with local issues such as security in the face of IRA attack.

Last year the shrieval election became the focus of a hard-fought fight between Jonathan Charkham, the Bank of England adviser, and Peter Martinelli, a representative of meat traders at Smithfield market.

This year the ongoing conflict between Michael Matson and the Aldermanic court will hang over the election. Mr Matson was blackballed by the court after his election and is fighting for an explanation.

Last week the IT entrepreneur, who has recently appointed Clifford Chance as his lawyers, was granted leave by the Appeal Court to pursue his case. The hearing will be a month after the election.

The departure of Miles Rivett-Carnac, the former chairman of Barings Securities who resigned yesterday from the councils of the Stock Exchange and Lloyd's, may cause speculation that pressure is getting to the top men at Barings.

In fact Mr Rivett-Carnac, one of the City's great and good, had been unwell for some months following a stroke and his departure was expected by insiders for some time after his doctor advised him to reduce his business commitments. We wish him well in his recovery.

With the retirement from Hewden-Stuart of Sir Matthew Goodwin, Scottish industry is losing a colourful character. Sir Matthew built up the business over 26 years after the plant hire company was bought from Hanson, and became an outspoken treasurer of the Scottish Conservative Party. During the company's expansion of the 1970s he displayed a focused approach to acquisition.

When a rising star called Sandy Finlay, who was yesterday appointed executive chairman, was sent to Aberdeen to seek opportunities in the oil industry he found his telephone calls were not returned. When challenged about this communication problem Sir Matthew replied: "Communication problem? I have not even spoken to him for weeks!" Sir Matthew will be spending more time on his Lanarkshire estate, where dinner guests frequently remark on the deliciously sweet, locally shot duck. The canny entrepreneur feeds the fowl on waste from a friend's caramelised wafer business.

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