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The Independent Online
NO MATTER how tense it gets in the BT boardroom, June de Moller is likely to find it a doddle compared to the 15 years she spent working with the mercurial Michael Green on the Carlton board, latterly as managing director.

Ms de Moller, 52, joined BT as a non-executive director yesterday, having retired from the broadcasting company in January. Analysts interpret her appointment as evidence that BT is looking at offering music and other entertainment down its existing network when the Government's ban on BT providing these services comes up for review in 2001.

In 1993 Ms de Moller (pictured) became the first woman to be appointed managing director of a FTSE 100 company. She retired this year as the highest paid director of Carlton, taking home over pounds 350,000, bettered only by Mr Green, who bust the half-million mark. She was replaced by Steven Cain, 34, a marketing whizz from Asda.

Ms de Moller has acquired a nice portfolio of non-exec positions, at Anglian Water, Cookson and Lynx. And hopefully BT's chairman Sir Iain Vallance will be rather more relaxing to work with than Mr Green.

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A SECOND former Barclays investor relations bod has popped up at Makinson Cowell, the independent consultants who advise companies on the subject.

Lorin Gresser, 28, is joining Makinson Cowell in September. She was previously a consultant with Boston Consulting Group, and before that spent five years at Barclays. Ms Gresser, a graduate of Cambridge and Harvard Business School, will work alongside Elizabeth Wade, who joined Makinson Powell in June.

Ms Wade rose rapidly in Barclays, and became an influential confidante of Martin Taylor before he was ousted as chief executive of the bank last year. She left soon afterwards.

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PETER JOHNSON is auctioning his majority stake in Everton but hanging on to his stake in Tranmere Rovers. Mr Johnson, confusingly a Liverpool fan, also owns 68 per cent of Park Group, the specialist suppliers of Christmas hampers.

No surprises then that Mr Johnson has decided to hold Park Group's annual general meeting on 28 September at Tranmere Rovers in Birkenhead, Merseyside. There's synergy for you.

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CURLING UP with my favourite bedtime reading, The Allied Dunbar Tax Handbook, I notice that the new edition by Tony Foreman. of accountants Pannell Kerr Forster, has a special section for ministers of religion.

And what a splendidly unreconstructed 19th-century section it is : "If the clergyman pays his wife wages for cleaning the part of the house used for official duties, this may be treated as a tax deductible expense for him."

Mr Foreman adds that the clergy can deduct secretarial costs against tax, "including wages paid to the clergyman's wife for providing such assistance provided this is separate and distinct from work she performs as an active member of the church."

Who are these Superwomen? Oh, and Mr Foreman concludes that travelling expenses can be deducted, "including the 12p per mile for `business use' of the bicycle".

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A PLAN hatched by that wily bird "Rags" Simmonds, shortly before he became head of institutional sales with brokers Seymour Pierce, is beginning to pay dividends, he says. Under his own company banner - "Buzzard" - he has devised a website bulletin board to put vendors of small companies in touch with potential buyers. Says Rags: "Traditionally, owners of small companies ask their adviser for assistance in selling the company. The adviser, in turn, asks for a list of competitors. If a sale doesn't result, the trail often runs dry".

He claims that his web sites - www.smallco.co.uk and www.smallbus.co.uk - attract a wider audience. (They certainly offer a cheaper alternative to some of the usual, bearing in mind the pounds 140m in advisers' fees racked up in the sale of Allied Domecq's pubs to Punch Taverns, for instance).

But why "Buzzard"? Says Rags: "With small company acquisitions in mind, the combination of a protected species and a bird of prey seems very apt." Nothing to do with vulture-like activity, then.

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LAW FIRM Cripps Harries Hall has strengthened the private banking arm it launched three years ago by recruiting Simon Joyce from Capel-Cure Sharp, the private client stockbrokers, and Chris Orchard from RBC Dominion Securities.

David Lough, managing director of Finance & Investment Services at Cripps Harries Hall, says: "These two senior recruits are an important part in equipping ourselves to take forward the advisory role for the investment affairs of more and more affluent families."

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