Financial Dynamics gets some work experience

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The Independent Online
The Norwegian plunderers safely vanquished, Amec has further cause for satisfaction. The construction company will not be receiving an invoice from Financial Dynamics, the advisers it fired just days before the final bid deadline. It is understood that the public relations firm - which received its marching orders for breaching City takeover rules - has written this one off to bitter experience.

Given the short timescale of the bid this would never have been a big earner for the PR firm. The success fee was thought to be just shy of pounds 100,000, with the same again to be billed for the routine work. Still, that is close on pounds 200,000 down the drain and a damaged reputation to work on.

Instead, the success fee (and you can probably add a bit on here) goes into the Dewe Rogerson bank account - money the rival firm will doubtless claim was well spent given it had to pick up the pieces after such a demoralising incident.

Not bad for five days' work, though.

Barely weeks after it was revealed that the author Tom Clancy had lost $1.6m to a conman he met at a baseball game comes news that many of New York's top models have been similarly hoodwinked. David Weil, 33, and Peter Bucchieri, 35, are charged with fleecing up to 30 of the nation's most-exposed women (some as young as 15) of $1m through their Star Capital Management firm.

Many of the models - who earn up to $400,000 a year - were referred to Star by the prestigious Elite agency. The women thought their money was being invested. But the advisers had used it to buy Porsches and pay substantial tax bills.

You would have thought that a mobile bank - which started life as a converted coach and ran to a published timetable in remote rural areas - would have been a sitting duck to anyone with a sawn-off shotgun and a hole in his pocket. But Midland assures us that it is now 25 years since its deals-on-wheels service has been operating in Lincolnshire, Cornwall and Wales and there has not been a single unsavoury incident. Someone did once mistake it for a bus. But that appears to be it.

"Of course they are now modern armour-plated vehicles,'' says a Midland spokesman, adding that Securicor vans tend to carry a lot more cash (in case any villains are reading).

Today's offering in our pre-Christmas week series of great executives and their words of wisdom comes from Sir Anthony Gill, the former chairman of Lucas Industries. The advice is to Alicia Bishop, an 18-year-old pupil who is about to leave Heathfield school in Ascot.

"Understand the meaning of integrity,'' writes Sir Anthony. "Commit to it and live by it - but do not expect always to find it in others.''

Heavyweight stuff, indeed. And with more than a touch of piquancy. You will recall that it came as something of a shock to Sir Anthony to discover that one of his integral US operations had been falsifying test certificates for aircraft landing gear - a practice that cost Lucas squillions of dollars in damages and much loss of reputation.

One of the more enduring refrains in popular music surfaces again - namely the long-running dispute between the Sixties pop group, The Hollies (above), and their one-time bass guitarist, Eric Haydock. Mr Haydock, who plucked for the band between 1962 and 1966, is on the wrong end of a writ from his evergreen contemporaries who are seeking to prevent him (and his new band) suggesting that they are in any way connected with The Hollies.

Sixties buffs may think they have heard this all before. And indeed they have. The Hollies, who still record as a unit, have already won a similar action with undisclosed damages. And the solicitor representing The Hollies? One Brian Eagles.

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