Hugh Alexander, father of the British Yellow Pages, has just pulled off another publishing coup. Thirty years ago, Mr Alexander, a former submariner who had joined Roy Thomson's publishing empire, joined forces with the Post Office to publish the first Yellow Pages. The venture was an enormous success and for more than five years, he released all 81 regional volumes of the handbook. He continued as a publishing entrepreneur, working at News International to start Elle. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, he became captivated with opportunities in Eastern Europe, where telephone numbers were considered state secrets run by the security services. He moved from Bulgaria to Hungary and onto Russia, starting local publications, employing students whose skills he found unspoilt by communist attitudes. "The secret is to publish comprehensive guides which are easy to read," said Mr Alexander. Now his work is bearing fruit and he has sold St Petersburg Yellow Pages to Petersburg Long Distance, a Canadian company backed by Cable & Wireless, for more than £1m. However, the 64-year-old businessman is not leaving the market. "There is much to be done for domestic and mobile telephone users," the indefatigable entrepreneur tells me.
The blood-letting at Barings will result in few tears inside or outside the bank. One sadness is the dismissal of George Maclean, the dour Scottish banker appointed head of banking in 1986. He ran a notoriously tight loan book and developed a reputation as a very conservative manager. As head of banking, his name did appear on many documents but many regret he had to pay the highest price.
Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
Exclusive: Suspect was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.