Business Diary: CNBC takes a tour with Mellon

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The Independent Online

Tonight's must-see TV is a new programme on CNBC. CNBC Meets... is the first in a series of interviews with "some of the world's most influential high-flyers" and is hosted by Tania Bryer. Those of you unfamiliar with Bryer's work should know she once replaced Ulrika Jonsson as TV-am's weather girl and has done loads of showbiz reporting for Sky. That doesn't quite square with CNBC vice-president John Casey's talk of "Tania's access to some extraordinary business people", but she has secured fellow former "it girl" Tamara Mellon for tonight – an interview conducted in the walk-in wardrobe of Mellon's New York apartment, no less.

Meet the heroes from hedge funds

Hedge-fund managers are not everyone's cup of tea, but hats off to a small community of them based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Several have just pitched up to an industry event hosted by Opalesque with hairy tales to tell about the recent earthquake – indeed, one is still living in a tent in the garden. Admire their fortitude, but also their skill – New Zealand hedge funds are currently some of the best-performing investments in the world.

The rising bill for tuition fees

Another spot of shooting-oneself-in-the-foot syndrome for the Coalition. Analysis conducted by Simon Ward, the Henderson economist, shows that higher tuition fees will add 0.2 percentage points to the CPI measure of inflation over the next three years. And as the CPI is the measure the Government uses to set annual rises in benefits, Ward thinks the fees will effectively add £2.2bn to that bill – two-fifths of the money the measure is supposed to raise.

Brough fights back on Punch

Andy Brough, the star man at fund manager Schroders, seems unfazed by the ongoingtravails at Punch Taverns, in which he holds a significant stake. Brough was invited onto the Today programme yesterday morning to discuss Punch's losses, but first had to listen to a long preamble from a presenter keen to list the company's woes in minute detail. Brough didn't blink. "Thank you for being so kind about my investment," he responded before mounting a robust defence of Punch's prospects.