Column Eight: No fillip for Mr Smith

Click to follow
The Independent Online
The case of Terry Smith v UBS Phillips & Drew trundles on. The suspension of P&D's head of research has prompted a flurry of speculation that he may join another City firm, but those fingered in the rumours seem unkeen.

Salomon Brothers are in recruitment mode at the moment but deny any talks. And over at Credit Lyonnais-Laing, Michael Kerr-Dineen, managing director, dismissed the rumours with a couple of pithy words worthy of Gerald Ratner himself.

Terry Smith is not the only victim of the P&D Thought Police. A memo circulated to all staff threatens the direst of consequences to anybody who speaks to Mr Smith, or about him to anyone else. All inquiries from press or clients are to be referred to heads of departments. Big Brother is watching you . . .

This is the crafty graphic published yesterday by the Department of Employment. Conceivably, it hoped the graph would adorn every front page, leading a casual reader to think the unemployment rate was going down. Of course it merely shows the rate is getting worse more slowly.

Conspiracy or cock-up? In the pounds 85m hostile assault on the paint maker Manders by its rival, Kalon, take your pick.

The fuss concerns Windeck Paints, bought by Manders last Christmas and which a victorious Kalon would close with the loss of 150 jobs. But (hugely embarrassingly for Manders) Tim Steer, an analyst at James Capel, has claimed that Manders also planned to close Windeck, setting aside pounds 800,000 in last year's accounts to cover the cost.

Kalon is crying 'foul' but we bring you a more endearing explanation from Roger Akers, Manders' chief executive: 'I'm not a financial accountant so when Mr Steer asked what the money was for I said 'It could be this or it could be that'.'

Our first 1993 diary - from the Institute of Financial Accountants - arrived yesterday. So Christmas decorations and Silent Night muzak in supermarkets cannot be far behind. Horror.

Comments