Business Diary: 01/08/2009

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The Independent Online

A new name for Nelson's county?

Mark Hodges chief executive of Aviva's UK life business, obviously isn't one to shy away from a challenge. The insurer was, of course, previously known as Norwich Union, and Hodges' rebranding work is not yet done. He'll be giving the keynote speech at a launch of a campaign to boost his county, World Class Norfolk, with a talk entitled "Reinventing the brand: Aviva and Norfolk". One down, one to go, you might say.

Playing the long-term game on making money

Amelia Fawcett, chairman of Guardian Media Group, says "the lack of institutional investors and a far-sighted approach to investment have allowed the Group to place long-term security before short-term profit." Certainly no one could accuse GM of focusing too much on the latter – it announced a full-year loss of £98m yesterday.

Nationwide saves footy annual from red card

Bless them. The good folk at Nationwide Building Society have stepped in for the second year running to sponsor the world's oldest football annual, which would otherwise have been facing closure. First published in 1887 as the Athletic News Football Supplement and Club Director, this year's version will be titled the Nationwide Football Annual.

Godfrey calls it a day

So farewell then, Daniel Godfrey, one of the City's great survivors. The director-general of the Association of Investment Companies is stepping down after 11 years at the helm, a period which has spanned traumas ranging from the split-capital investment trust scandal to the credit crunch. Godfrey has finally had enough.

US economy back on track?

Looking for green shoots to brighten your weekend? More freight was carried on US rail in July than in any month this year. One for the economic trainspotters.

4: Number of the day

Successive quarters of contraction for the US economy – the worst run on record