Business Diary: Can Tim and Greg take on the City?

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Note to Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski: this could be the easiest way to earn big bucks for charity you've ever come across.

In New York, two high-profile hedge fund managers, Bill Ackman and Craig Effron, have just agreed to pay $100,000 to take on John McEnroe and his brother Patrick for an hour – on the tennis court, obviously. Both men are apparently good players, and financiers tend to be ultra-competitive, but one imagines the McEnroe boys won't be breaking into much of a sweat.

RBS bankers are 'stupid' - official

One senses Chuka Umunna, the Labour MP for Streatham, had been looking forward to interrogating Stephen Hester for some time. When the Royal Bank of Scotland boss this week appeared in front of the Treasury Select Committee, Umunna had a little treat in store. He brandished press reports of a boozy celebration held by RBS investment bankers earlier this year in which a £60,000 bar bill was run up. "They were consuming large quantities of drink, chanting 'Down with Brown, down with Brown'," Umunna said. The bank boss, who says he has to pay big bonuses to keep key staff, played a straight bat: "I think anyone who would behave like that in any walk of life I would consider stupid."

At least Weber can do its own PR

PR Week's analysis of England's failed World Cup bid makes for interesting reading: it concludes that the bid's PR effort was certainly not to blame for the catastrophic outcome. Industry guru Phil Hall describes the contribution of the agency on the bid, Weber Shandwick, as "masterly", while an insider from the bid team tells the magazine it was all down to the Russians' last-minute lobbying: "Domestic and international PR had little or no effect on that series of events." Isn't lobbying supposed to part of their jobs?

Travelodge plans charity bonanza

Good luck to budget hotel chain Travelodge in its partnership with The Pennies Foundation. It allows customers paying online to round up their bills to the nearest pound, with the spare change going to charity – in this case Cancer Research UK and KidsOut. Travelodge reckons it is the UK's first ever "electronic donation charity box". Sounds a good idea to us.