City People

Industrialists, MPs, members of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and journalists will tonight be making their way to Whitehall in London for "a cocktail reception to mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the British guided weapons industry".

Considering events in the Balkans, that represents interesting timing, shall we say.

The bash will be hosted by John Weston, BAe's chief executive, Fabrice Bregier of Matra and Alan Garwood, deputy chief executive of Matra BAe Dynamics, the Anglo-French missiles joint venture which makes the guided weapons concerned.

Guests will be toasting the fact that it was 50 years ago today that the forerunner of British Aerospace's missile business started up, in specially built premises in Stevenage.

I trust the party will go with a bang.

A new London-based venture capital company called Catalyst is about to celebrate its first year in business with a party. Just one problem. Catalyst set the date for 26 May - which just happens to coincide with the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

Once he realised his dreadful mistake earlier this month, Rod Schwartz of Catalyst wrote to UEFA saying they hadn't realised the coincidence: "We know it's a bit short notice but we'd be very grateful if you could postpone it [the match] until the following week."

Displaying a previously undetected sense of humour, Lennart Jonson, President of UEFA, wrote back to Mr Schwartz, regretting that they would be unable to do so: "We apologise for our oversight in not checking with you first before we arranged the date of the match."

Instead, the considerate Mr Jonson suggests that Catalyst should hire a television for the party. "That way your guests will not miss out and the rest of Europe will not be inconvenienced."

Jeremy Fenn is bowing out as managing director of Leeds Sporting, the owner of Leeds United, the football club he and fellow entrepreneur Chris Akers took over in 1996. Mr Fenn said yesterday that he intends to resign from the club at the end of July "to pursue wider ambitions".

Mr Akers left last year to build his online betting company Sports Internet Group, leaving Mr Fenn, originally finance director at Leeds, to take the helm.

Mr Fenn says that the task of turning the company's finances around has now been completed and a new management is needed to complete the redevelopment of the Elland Road Ground. Plans are afoot to build a new leisure complex and arena next to the football ground.

Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale will assume full executive responsibility for the club, with Allan Leighton, the chief executive of Asda, as non- executive deputy chairman. Mr Ridsdale also runs a separate private company, Tulchan Group, which owns Sock Shop.

My spies at Alliance & Leicester's palatial offices in London's Park Lane tell me of a new word the bank has coined for the painful cost-cutting which the proposed joint venture with Bank of Ireland will entail: "De- duplication".

The plan is for the two back-office systems of the respective banks to be de-duplicated, saving pounds 200m a year.

This reminds me of an American computer industry neologism for sacking people - "decruitment".

Let's hope the shareholders don't "de-vote" the deal.

The revolving doors are spinning fast at the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Out goes Fiona Fry, head of regulatory investigations at the FSA (and before that IMRO) for the past eight years, to join accountants KPMG.

Separately, up goes John Liver, who has been promoted from senior manager to head of the Investment Business Division. He is succeeding Roger Bright who is leaving the FSA at the end of the month to work for the Crown Estate.

j.willcock@independent.co.uk

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?