Business Diary: Did Steve Cohen see the future?

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The Independent Online

Hedge fund managers seem to instinctively know when to buy and sell assets – that's why they're good at the job. Take Steve Cohen, the fabled US fund manager. The Wall Street Journal reports that two weeks ago, he asked a high-end auctioneer to sell his Andy Warhol portrait of Elizabeth Taylor at a sale in May. The death of the fabled star of the silver screen last week has now seen its likely sale price soar.

Another royal wedding killjoy

Take your hat off to Jim Venables, the managing director of a firm called Like a number of other businesses' bosses he's told staff that they can't have the day off for the royal wedding – though it has been declared a bank holiday. But while most bosses are defensive about doing so, Venables is publicising his decision very proudly. "Why can't William and Kate get married on a Saturday like everyone else?" he complains. "We're not having it. We will be working like it's any other day, just getting on with it."

E&Y squashes the competition

Just as the Diary predicted, Ernst & Young trashed the competition in the corporate squash competition that has been held at Canary Wharf in recent weeks. It beat the investment bank Credit Suisse in a final that wasn't particularly hotly contested. But the accountancy really can't be too proud of itself – as the Diary has revealed, it employed the services of Peter Marshall. He's a bona fide staffer at the firm but also a former professional squash player who once topped the world rankings. Something of an unfair advantage you might say.

Royal touch to money campaign

The campaign to improve youngsters' awareness of money matters is a worthwhile one, but quite tough to sell sometimes. One can certainly see why the Personal Finance Education Group might want a bit of a celebrity endorsement for the launch of My Money Week 2011, which took place last week at the Brookside Primary School. Still, was the Duchess of Cornwall really the perfect celebrity for the launch? No snub to the former Camilla Parker Bowles is intended, but it is not as if she really has to watch the pennies these days.