M&S counting on success after Cantona for Sir Richard the Red

People & Business

Sir Richard Greenbury has always been a Manchester United fan first and chairman of Marks & Spencer second. So how would Sir Dick handle Eric Cantona's shock retirement?

"Cantona was one of the greatest players ever," the chairman tells me, with a catch in his voice. Bravely, he continues: "Earlier this year the papers were saying that Cantona was not as good as he was. Now they're all asking: "How is United going to replace Cantona?"

A number of Mr Greenbury's fellow directors are relieved, however, that the Boss seems to have taken the news reasonably in his stride. One said: "It would be better for all of us if United's success story doesn't falter."

Just so. As Sir Dick puts it: "I'm terrible to live with if we lose."

BZW boss Bill Harrison can comfort himself with the fact that following the recent departure of hordes of analysts from BZW, one group of loyal employees called "the Scottish desk" were moved to hold a "Staying Party." Because they were staying, not leaving.

In another sense they were also leaving - to go to BZW's shiny new offices in Canary Wharf, down Docklands way.

While BZW grapples with staff departures, SBC Warburg strides on ward and upward into the heady realms of snail racing.

David Ruck Keene, a long-time Warburger and currently executive director for equities client development, came first on Monday night in the Fitou "Leadership Steaks" with his thoroughbred mollusc, "Hague".

Fitou, the French wine-making region, held four snail races in central London, including the "Upturned Bottle Handicap", the "Flat Earth Hurdle" and the "Channel Tunnel Sprint." But it was the "Leadership Steaks" which caught the imagination of onlookers, since it included six snails named after the competitors for the Tory leadership.

Sadly, Mr Ruck Keene wasn't there to see the youthful Hague romp to victory. Fitou tell me a good flow of mucus is vital to a snail's pace, while "beer impedes performance." The young snail covered the "Channel Tunnel" course, a scaled down version of Dover to Calais, in 6 minutes, 45 seconds.

Fitou commented: "Lilley came a creditable second and Howard (cautioned for overuse of the whip) a slightly distant third. Dorrell, who had shown early speed, was originally placed third but disqualified by the stewards for interfering with other runners."

"Redwood never left the stalls and Clarke hung too violently to the left, a dietary imbalance being, according to his trainer, a possible problem."

UBS has poached Gregg Sando from Morgan Stanley to head up its European Financial Institutions Group. Mr Sando joins in June and will be joint head of the Group along with Alan Banks.

Mr Sando has been heavily involved in the consolidation of financial companies in the last few years, having advised on the sale of Bristol & West building Society to Bank of Ireland and the acquisition of TSB by Lloyds Bank.

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley Mr Sando, who has a biochemistry degree from Harvard and an MBA from Chicago, spent 12 years at Merrilly Lynch. Looking at his track record, I'm sure Mr Sando will be running his slide rule over the newly converted building societies. What am I bid for the Woolwich?

Its fair to say that the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamed, has not always had a happy relationship with this country (don't mention the dam). All the better then to hear that he will address a galaxy of City fund managers and heavyweights this lunchtime in order to drum up investment for Malaysia's "Multimedia Super Corridor".

Although the PM is on holiday for two months, he's taken a break from his relaxations to address people from the likes of Henderson, Gartmore, Hermes, Mercury Asset Management and Schroders.

The reason is simple; the Corridor, which was first announced in 1995, is intended to attract investment and companies from all over the world to Malaysia, in the process creating a world-class cluster of media businesses.

Rupert Pennant-Rea, chairman of Caspian Securities, will be hosting the lunch at Lincoln's Inn. Don't forget to take your cheque book.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue