NatWest to turn valet parking into an art

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The refurbishing of the bombed-out NatWest Tower, still a City landmark, is nearing completion. NatWest, which owns the freehold, will seek new tenants in the spring, and offer them a new service called "hoteling".

The idea, developed in the US, is for the owner of the building to offer all services such as valet parking and cleaning, included in the rent.

The rebuilt tower will also feature a vastly expanded glass atrium several storeys tall just down the street from the Stock Exchange.

Lord Alexander, NatWest's chairman, also has plans for NatWest's more traditional head office in Lothbury, just opposite the Bank of England. Builders are revamping the large entrance lobby, which Lord Alexander wants to turn into an art gallery, open to the public.

He has always been a keen advocate of the arts, and the bank has collections in London and Manchester which would easily fill the space.

One more thought. When Lloyds bank bought TSB it didn't know what to do with TSB's extensive collection of modern art, collected with the encouragement of Sir Nicholas Goodison, another keen art fan. There isn't room in Lloyds' head office in Lombard Street - so how about lending it to the NatWest gallery opposite?

Morgan Grenfell Asset Management has had some pretty rough press recently over the Peter Young affair. But how many people know its other claim to fame - fecundity?

For some time now Nicola Horlick, a director of MGAM and known as "the Carol Galley of Morgan Grenfell", has been considered one of the leading lights of the division, and has recently been asked to help out on the troubled unit trust side. She is also the mother of five children.

This has always impressed City folk. Now we hear that another highly successful MGAM executive, Frances Davies, in marketing, is also the mother of five children. As one Morgan source murmurs: "It must be something in the air conditioning."

Everyone's heard about how Wallace & Gromit got lost in a New York taxi. Now I hear that Wensleydale Dairy, which produces a cheese with a picture of the plasticine heroes on the wrapping, was on the brink of offering a pounds 500 reward for anyone finding the misplaced figurines.

Wensleydale was nearly closed down before its present boss, David Hartley, led a management buyout from Dairy Crest in 1992. Now that Nick Park, creator of the animated series, has recovered the figures, Wensleydale has sent a carton of cheeses to New York as a reward to the person who returned them. Here is the problem. The person who returned them has spurned the pounds 500 reward, preferring anonymity. The package of unclaimed cheeses now lies suppurating somewhere in the Big Apple. The cheese itself is described as "tangy and crumbly." Now doubt tangier by the day.

Pets at Home, a rival to the Pet City shop chain, is opening five more shops, one of them with a fully operational veterinary surgery, as the war for the "pet pound" hots up.

Anthony Preston, chairman and managing director of Pets at Home, has 27 branches including the new openings, and plans to have 39 before the middle of next year.

Mr Preston thinks he has a secret weapon which will put him ahead of competitors like Pet City. Pets at Home says: "Where the supermarket chains stopped at in-store pharmacies Preston has set up a veterinary surgery in the Walsall store, under the band name Companion Care."

Mr Preston claims the pounds 80,000 clinic is a first for the UK. Now all he has to do is sign up Rolf Harris.

The people at Rapture, a cable television company aimed at teenagers, are still recovering from last week's cable industry conference at Olympia in London.

And not just because of the corporate hospitality. They suffered a spectacular backfiring of their best-laid plans for a publicity stunt. Rapture had its stand at the conference rigged up as a teenager's room - a carefully constructed tip. Imagine their horror on Thursday to find that Olympia's cleaning crew had cleaned it up - clothes hung up, mags and crisp packets in the bin. They were presented with an immaculate, un-teenage-like flat. The best-laid litter of mice and men.

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