City Diary: When the boss's son is a Brando lookalike

There are certainly perks to be had when you're the boss's son. Howard Hodgson, the long-haired former funeral director and Aston Villa- fan who runs Ronson, the lighter company, has a son working for him - called Howard Hodgson. Although they sound the same, Hodgson junior goes in for short-haired, brooding Brando-like machismo as shown by the photo from Ronson's current ad campaign. At 22, Howard Junior is international sales manager for Ronson, and looked just the type to spearhead its drive for younger customers, according to Hodgson Senior. After all, says the chief executive, "he's a good deal better looking than I am".

A sour broker's joke doing the rounds yesterday on Sears' (owner of Selfridges) less than sparkling figures: An anagram of chief executive Liam Strong: "Lost Margin". Ouch.

While shadow chancellor Gordon Brown was lambasting Britain's top accountancy firms for supposedly "peddling lies" over Labour's tax policies yesterday, there must have been several in his audience squirming. Attending the London conference "Business and Labour" to hear Mr Brown and others were at least four people from the vilified firms. Although no firms were named, Michael Fowle, senior partner of KPMG's London and South Eastern Region, must have been more irritated than most. A hullabaloo recently blew up over KPMG's 50 tax seminars across the country to advise on what to do if Labour gets in. Other high-powered bean counters present were from Coopers & Lybrand, Arthur Andersen and BDO Stoy Hayward.

More squirming at "Business and Labour". At one point Ed Balls, economic adviser to Gordon Brown, was due to chat to Dr Laura D'Andrea Tyson, national economic adviser to President Clinton, via a TV satellite link. The link, supplied by BT, failed to connect for six minutes, during which time Balls waffled on brilliantly. Finally Balls had to admit: "Now I know what it feels like to be Terry Wogan waiting for the link to Luxembourg."

Thomas Teichman announced yesterday that he will step down as executive director of Maid, the over-hyped on-line information company, in order to launch his own corporate finance boutique. Teichman helped Dan Wagner to launch Maid in 1985 after he had spent 20 years in investment banking, with the likes of Bankers Trust and Credit Suisse First Boston. Teichman's new firm, NewMedia Investors, will specialise in giving advice to on-line- type companies, "Internet companies and that kind of thing," according to a spokesman. The first client will be Maid itself. The firm will limit its advice to six clients at a time to maintain quality - "Tom's 6 Max rule", it says here.

We neglected to say yesterday that Darren Higgins, who ran the London Marathon dressed as Wonder Woman, ran the course in an impressive three hours and 40 minutes. Darren, of Ernst & Young, also wanted to point out that "the tights and black wig were hired for the occasion". Of course, Darren.

Miles Emley, chairman of St Ives, the printing company, observed yesterday that "the collapse of Barings had its bright side for us. We printed two books on the subject. Every disaster has its silver lining". St Ives also managed to print last year a biography of the Queen, an Oasis album cover, something called Rock'n'Rom for Penguin, Tina Turner's "Wildest Dreams" album and two Beatles anthologies. The busy chaps also managed to print the documents for the merger between Lloyds and TSB and all the copies of Loaded magazine. Is there a connection here?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
Life and Style
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own