Mutineers are still adrift

CITY DIARY

Life gets more frustrating by the day for the nine private client brokers who defected to James Capel from the old Buckmaster & Moore in July. The mutineers, who took exception to the management style of Continental owners Credit Suisse Asset Management, are still on "gardening leave'' and some have a further nine months in which to twiddle their thumbs.

The defectors are forbidden contact with investors, some of whom they have looked after for 20 years. They have not even been allowed to answer letters asking for advice. So aggrieved is one titled gentleman that he is threatening to take the matter up with the regulatory authorities.

In the meantime, Credit Suisse has hastily rebuilt its team, and is now trying to sell the new line-up to clients.

"Obviously we would like them to stay,'' said a Credit Suisse spokeswoman. "But we are not holding a gun to their heads.''

So farewell then Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. New editions of the official histories of both clubs are published next week, penned by Philip Soar, the football historian and former chief executive of Blenheim Exhibitions. Not one to waste time, Mr Soar has bashed out 200,000 words on each club simultaneously and the lavishly illustrated tomes will go on sale at pounds 16.99 each - in time for the local derby on 18 November. Both clubs must hope that the author's recent personal form does not rub off on them. Mr Soar left Blenheim in 1993 after over-expansion led to a collapse in fortunes and painful retrenchment.

Sir Bryan Nicholson, chairman of the CBI, on being courted by all the main political parties at the same time: "It's a bit like three in a bed at the moment... Adair, would you like to comment on the pleasures of the political parties wooing us?"

Adair Turner, director general: "Yes it is nice to be wooed on all sides." Oh very funny.

Philip Green's latest shopping concept will be viewed with concern in parental circles.

The retailer is launching Kids HQ - billed as "the shopping adventure for kids'' - in four of his Lewis's and Owen Owen department stores.

They will, he claims, offer "a stimulating environment for kids and parents alike''.

The thought of the hard swearing Mr Green stimulating kids is a sobering one.

Give the punters an inch and they'll take a mile - albeit very slowly. The pounds 1.8m-a-year Whitbread community investment programme - set up in 1981 to foster relations with the public - is catering for ever- stranger requests. The brewer has just dispatched two industrial cooler fridges to a tortoise breeder in Tewkesbury to spare the reptiles the rigours of the winter (the tortoises, not the breeders).

Those not familiar with the hibernation patterns of the tortoise should know that they must be kept at constant temperature, so the fridge needs an alarm. Stick a tortoise into any old fridge and you will have the RSPCA down on you.

Maggie and Paul Coleman have 130 tortoises, of which 30 are going into cold storage. They can do this because Heineken (brewed under licence by Whitbread) can reach the parts of tortoises that other beers can't reach.

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