Business Diary: Catlin gets a lift in terrible year
Wednesday 05 October 2011
Our congratulations to Stephen Catlin, chief executive of Lloyd's of London insurance group Catlin, who was named as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year yesterday. Catlin is certainly entitled to the prize, having founded the insurer in 1984 with just one other colleague for company. Today, it turns over £2.6bn a year and employs 1,600 staff in 22 countries around the world. Catlin also deserves a break – 2011 has been the worst year for natural disasters in the insurance business's history, with all of the big listed insurers reporting chunky losses.
Barclays axes perks of the job
Who says the banks aren'tbuying the "we're all in this together" mantra of our Prime Minister? We hear that Barclays Bank is having something of a crackdown on costs, reining in many of the privileges its staff have long enjoyed. There'll be no more business class tickets on flights of less than four hours duration, for example, while staff will have to stay in the office for a whole hour longer – until 10pm rather than 9pm – if they want to use the bank's late night car services. Even then, many employees will only be entitled to get a cab to the nearest station. Austerity bites.
New role for retail industry veteran
Good to see that Steve Johnson is continuing to bounce back. Yesterday, he was appointed to the newly formed "Industry Advisory Board" of private equity firm Mid Europa Partners. You'll remember Johnson from the days when he served as chief executive of Woolworths, before the retailer went bust in 2009. He had previously spent four years running Focus DIY, though it, sadly, is no longer around either, having gone under earlier this year. Johnson will certainly bring some valuable insights to Mid Europa.
Unseasonal lift for John Lewis
Breaking news from department store chain John Lewis, which tells us that sales of trampolines were up 200 per cent over the weekend, as much of Britain basked in an Indian summer. Climbing frame sales did even better – up 300 per cent. All we can say is that if you managed to get the things home and build them before the weather turned, we salute you.
- 1 Amy Winehouse statue unveiled in Camden
- 2 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 3 George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
- 4 Headaches, fry ups, and hair of the dog - why do we get hangovers, and is there such thing as a 'cure'?
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained in Los Angeles after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
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