CITY DIARY

CITY DIARY

British Aerospace has set the cat amongst the pigeons this week by cancelling a comprehensive press visit to its defence operations. Specialists in the defence publications, who were delighted at the chance of inspecting BAe's workshops, have been told that next week's trip is off because of, er, lack of interest. Could this sudden attack of inhospitality have anything to do with inside information about the long-awaited publication by Michael Heseltine of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report on the sale of VSEL?

Philip Augar had an inauspicious start to his new career as group managing director at Schroders yesterday. To celebrate the arrival of the former chief executive of NatWest Securities, and to make him feel at home, staff at the Cheapside headquarters decided to throw something resembling a party. However, on his way to the appropriate floor, Mr Augar's lift ground to a shuddering halt and would not respond to button-pushing. As the party-goers waited, the new boss, who is not famous for his keen sense of humour or light view of the world, waited in the suspended box. This glitch dampened the levity of the event.

Colin Wilkinson, the unreasonably young director of Eidos, has been knocked off his perch as Britain's youngest director by a specialist in smells. Christopher Pickthall, 26 and five months, has been with CPL, the fragrance, flavours and aromatic ingredients company which was floated in June 1994, for seven years.

After A-levels he worked at Smith New Court but jacked in a broker's life when the business run by his father, Terry, began to take off. He made his mark by turning round HE Daniels, the Kent-based aromatic ingredients division.

The precocious corporate man is currently working on a chocolate-based fragrance. "I am very excited by its potential," says he.

Another Schroders man is in the news. The Association of Unit Trusts and Investment Funds this week welcomed Clive Boothman, 39, managing director of Schroder Unit Trusts, as chairman for the next two years. Schroders' funds are enjoying a run of good luck at the moment and have become darlings of the fund management scene. However, Mr Boothman will have to use all of his skill at the end of the year in handling the bad publicity for the industry that will arise from the disclosure of key facts about unit trusts, including the size of managers' fees, which is likely to cause some gulping amongst investors as they read the new tranche league tables.

Meanwhile Mr Boothman, a lover of antique cars, is distracting himself by looking for a replacement for his old car, an AC 2-litre Ace built in 1935 at Thames Ditton. "I cannot tell you what I am looking for unless news leaks out to the market," says he.

In the world of the future, when ferocious gangs wage their wars on the streets of Mega-City One and the only law is dispensed by ruthless judges, how will the average family travel in safety? The answer, according to a new film, is in a highly evolved Land Rover (pictured left). Judge Dredd is the screen version of a popular comic. Directed by a precocious Briton called Danny Cannon, 27, and starring Sylvester Stallone in the lead role, it is released in Britain on 21 July. Land Rover detailed 20 people to the project, including a young designer, David Woodhouse, 26, who first worked at the company after winning a designer competition in Autocar at the age of 16.

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