Lord Mayor has a penchant for key-holes

Business & People
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The Independent Online
The post of Lord Mayor of London has traditionally attracted a long grey line of accountants and brokers but the present incumbent, Alderman John Chalstrey, is much more interesting.

Mr Chalstrey is the first practising surgeon to wear the City's ermine robes.

In a long and distinguished career, spent mostly at Bart's, in the City, Mr Chalstrey has developed an expertise in non-invasive procedures, or "key-hole surgery".

He also specialises in treating stomach cancers. Next week the Lord Mayor will open a pounds 2m endoscopy unit at the London Clinic in Harley Street. The clinic claims it will be the best-equipped private unit for the early detection of illness, particularly, cancer, in the world.

This is right up Mr Chalstrey's street. In 1975 he helped establish the first fibre-optic endoscopy day unit in the independent health care sector. The opening of the new unit chimes in with his chosen theme for the mayoral year - "Good health to the City and the Nation".

A City spokesman comments: "He's trying to explain to City fat cats that a healthy workforce will be a more effective workforce, with less absenteeism. He's also a useful man to have around if you're not feeling very well ... "

Financial Dynamics, the City spin doctors clinched a new earnings deal with their French owners, BDDP, two days ago. Then the following day BDDP, which owns 51 per cent of FD, sold itself to the UK-based advertising agency GGT (the old Gold Greenlees Trott).

This faces FD's chairman Tony Knox with the ghastly prospect of renaming his firm FD GGT BDDP.

"I never understood what BDDP stood for in the first place," wails Mr Knox.

A most revolting little object has just landed on my desk from Chez Gerard. The Carnivores' Club, which is dedicated to the eating of meat in these BSE- blighted times, has sent me a miniature bottle with a model, "Sheep in formaldehyde", in the style of the much-hyped artist Damien Hirst.

The preserved sheep is accompanied by an invitation to the tenth gathering of the Club at Butchers' Hall in the City in October. I may go if my stomach has recovered from the shock by then.

Michael Hicks, head of UK sales trading at Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull Securities, is attending this year's Monster Raving Loony Party conference next week. He's a member himself, and is seeking new recruits for Screaming Lord Sutch's hordes.

No doubt Mr Hicks will find the City's wine vaults a fertile hunting ground.

If you're looking for someone to show you how to grow your money, Michael Parry, chairman of Dwyfor Council in Wales, could show the Square Mile a thing or two.

He is also chairman of the Pwllheli Partnership, which represents a small sailing club in the tiny resort of Pwllheli. He has managed an initial input of pounds 50,000 in development money into a project worth nearly pounds 5m.

The initial pounds 50,000 enabled the club to raise a notional pounds 1.2m locally to redevelop the marina. This in turn enabled them to persuade Welsh Secretary William Hague to dole out a matching pounds 1.2m from European funds for the redevelopment.

The agreed pounds 2.4m regeneration then becomes the platform for an application this week for a further back-to-back pounds 2.4m from the Millennium Fund to expand the project.

Mr Parry could clearly command a telephone number salary in the City.

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