Business Diary: Chair envy at Channel Five
Monday 28 February 2011
Divide and rule? There's a certain amount of jealousy to be found just now at the central London headquarters of Richard Desmond's ever-expanding media empire.
Having bought Channel Five last year, Desmond has installed many of its staff on the editorial floor occupied by the Daily Express and Sunday Express. The television folk have brought their gaudy office furniture with them, including comfy chairs, which is going down like a lead balloon with the newspaper journalists stuck with their decidedly old-fashioned equipment.
Banker loses fortune in crash
We know people aren't particularly well disposed to bankers just now, but can you find just a tiny bit of sympathy in your heart for Steffen Korbach of Germany? The 28-year-old banker has just had a rather expensive car accident on a journey to Milan. It's resulted in the complete write-off of his motor, a Pagani Zonda Clubsport Roadster, one of only 25 of the supercars ever made, and costing a cool £1.4m. Let's hope his insurance premiums were up to date. He was unharmed, by the way.
Trading punches at UBS
Rum goings on at the Sydney office of conservative bank UBS. The Swiss institution has suspended two senior traders who fell out over a deal. A bit of pushing and shoving quickly developed into something a bit more serious, with colleagues of the pair forced to pull them apart as the punches rained down. UBS bosses intervened and the two gentleman, who have apparently worked together for 15 years, have yet to return to the office.
Protesters come to Harrods
The Qatari Investment Authority, tipped as a possible buyer for Manchester United, has an ongoing dispute with the GMB union over care homes it acquired from Southern Cross. The union accuses it of using public money that was meant to pay for the care of the elderly to finance bonds raised as part of the deal, though QIA disputes any wrongdoing. Now there's going to be a public show of anger from the union which is arranging a demo on Thursday.
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