Column Eight: Who put a stopper on Cork?

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The Independent Online
INSOLVENCY staff at Coopers & Lybrand have got used to carrying around two business cards, one emblazoned with the Coopers name, the other carrying that of Cork Gully, the famous receivership specialists it absorbed in 1980.

But could their Jekyll-and- Hyde lives soon be over? At the presentation of the Cork Gully annual insolvency review yesterday, the name 'Cork Gully' was mysteriously absent, replaced by Coopers.

The accountancy giant is touchy on the subject, especially since last year when Cork's senior partner Michael Jordan publicly lamented the merger. Suspicions that Cork's identity was expendable were heightened when it deserted its HQ near St Paul's in favour of a block next to Coopers.

Coopers partner Chris Hughes, meanwhile, says nothing dramatic should be read into yesterday's Cork-pulling, insisting the name will survive.

AS BILL Clinton basks in his first 24 heady hours in the White House, Cookson Group, the British ceramics and metals company, has been busy churning out gold and silver blanks for the official presidential inaugural medal.

Richard Oster, the American-born head of Cookson, can even claim to have played a part in the new president's success. Apart from breeding labradors and shooting, he is a keen Democrat and put Hillary up for the night at his house near Providence when she was on the campaign trail in Rhode Island.

THE STRUGGLING TSB Group has appointed a German, Hans-Detlef Bosel, to join Sir David Plastow, Lady Prior et al as a non-executive director. Mr Bosel, 46, is the managing director of Bayerische Vereinsbank, a large German bank. Previously he was with Citibank.

The bank that likes to say ja insists that the choice does not mean it has ambitions in Germany. It simply briefed an outside search agency and up popped Herr Bosel.

POLICE are helping Brazil with its latest little foreign exchange hitch. Computer disks holding information on dollars 19bn of reserves have gone missing from the central bank in Brasilia.

RAY MACSHARRY, the former EC commissioner who brought Jacques Delors to heel in a showdown over Gatt last year, has a new job. He is to chair Ryanair, the airline owned by the sons of the embattled businessman Tony Ryan - Declan and his pilot brother Cachal.

Coincidentally, Mr MacSharry's predecessor in Brussels was Peter Sutherland, who returned home to join the board of another Ryan-connected business, the troubled GPA aircraft leasing group - now deep in refinancing talks.