City People

AMERICAN INVESTMENT bank Chase lost four members of its exotic equities derivatives team at the end of last week, led by David Samuel, a vice president. The destination of the quartet is unclear.

Rumours that they had left "big losses" on their trading book at Chase appear to be unfounded. Suggestions also that Fraser Partridge, the head of derivatives trading at Chase, had left, proved incorrect.

One of the leavers, Rowan Connolly, is a structured derivatives trader while the others deal in exotic equity derivatives. One City source helpfully explained this means they are "a derivative of a derivative". Clear?

HOLIDAYS FOR Britain's hard working small business bosses feature sun, sea, surf and fax, according to a survey published yesterday. Up to a third of small enterprise owners work while away on their holidays, says Business Direct, the Co-operative Bank's phone banking service for businesses.

As well as risking sand in the keyboard (43 per cent of those surveyed use a laptop on the beach), business owners also work at the weekend (83 per cent) and do without bank holidays (68 per cent).

One finding which will comfort eurosceptics, who fear that working time directives are preventing people from working as long as they like, is that 72 per cent of those surveyed claim to work more than 48 hours a week. More than a third say they clock up over 60 hours a week.

If that sounds exhausting, at least the 35 per cent of respondents who work from home can grab a snooze when no one's looking.

IT'S CHIPS with Mickey as Walt Disney announces it is having a Harry Ramsden's chippie at the UK pavilion of Epcot, one of Disney's theme parks in Orlando, Florida.

The fish and chips will be served from a kiosk as well as from the Rose & Crown pub. Since going public in 1989 Harry Ramsden's, founded in Guisely near Leeds in 1928, has spread across the globe, with outposts in Singapore, Hong Kong and the Middle East. But to have planted the Union Jack in the heart of burger country is an achievement. As Maurice Gammell, the group managing director says: "There's nothing more British than fish and chips."

ROBERT JACKSON is turning his back on bean counters in Birmingham for a job with an investment bank in the big City. Mr Jackson is leaving Deloitte & Touche to become senior director of corporate finance at Albert E Sharp, the investment banking subsidiary of Old Mutual, South Africa's biggest insurer. This is the fourth senior appointment in recent weeks by Edmond Warner, Albert Sharp Securities' newly appointed chief executive. Mr Warner and the others came from Bankers Trust, where they didn't fancy life under Deutsche, the new owners. Mr Warner officially starts his new job on 16 August - he's been hiring people while on holidays.

Mr Jackson, 43, originally qualified as an accountant with Coopers & Lybrand, then worked at Messels and Charterhouse Tilney until 1994 when he joined the Hollas Group. He finally arrived at Deloittes, where he specialised in taking small and medium-sized public companies private. No prizes for guessing what he will be doing at Sharps.

BRITISH MIDLAND Airways may change its name as a part of a comprehensive rebranding exercise, as it considers the current moniker "too parochial". The airline is about to increase its flights to the US, for instance.

The most obvious name, reached simply by dropping the "Midland" is, sadly, already taken. After a straw poll, I can offer the following suggestions: Wings over Brum; West Brom Airways; Brumhansa; Brummoflot; Aston Express.

Any further suggestions on a postcard please.

LORD TEBBIT's son William Tebbit is making quite a name for himself in corporate finance. Fresh from helping his boss Nick Wells at Rea Brothers advise Philip Green on his successful bid for Seers, Tebbit Junior is now bringing a night club group to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Mr Tebbit is advising Po Na Na Group, a curiously named chain of after hours drinking clubs with a Moroccan theme. At the same time as moving from Ofex to AIM, Christian Arden of Po Na Na is buying out another nightclub entrepreneur, David Phelps.

Mr Phelps is perhaps most famous for rebranding the Theatre nightclub in Wandsworth as Liquid. Previously, he had a stake in Kartouche, the flash London restaurant in which, legend has it, Imran Khan first met his wife-to-be Jemima Goldsmith.

It all might sound like classic, top of the market stuff, but Po Na Na's shares have risen from 10p when they listed on Ofex three years' ago to 117p when they closed last Thursday. If the AIM float goes OK it will be another feather in the cap for William Tebbit, who arrived at Rea Brothers from Butterfield Securities last spring.

Rea Brothers itself has just announced that it is selling up to another niche merchant bank, Close Brothers. Wags in the City have been pointing out that Close and Rea Brothers have been doing about the same volume of deals recently, whereas Rea Brothers has only 15 corporate financiers against Close's legion of 60. "It's quite obvious where the profitability is in those two houses," one insider mused yesterday.

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