Business Diary: IRS picks right men for the job

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The Independent Online

We are looking forward to the Investors Relations Society's annual conference next month. Speakers include Sir Roger Carr, the chairman-elect of the CBI, and Andrew Shilston, the finance director at Rolls-Royce.

Topics for discussion include "what to do when it all goes wrong". Both men should have interesting insights: Sir Roger was chairman at Cadbury during its unsuccessful battle to fight off Kraft's takeover bid, while Shilston spend months last year with Rolls-Royce shares taking a beating after one of the company's engines blew up while an Airbus was in-flight.

The gamblers of Milton Keynes

Spreadex, the spread betting company, has used Google analysis to work out in which parts of the country spreadbetting is most popular. The capital comes out top, but what is it about the gamblers ofMilton Keynes, who spend longer on spread bettingwebsites than anyone else? The analysis suggests they average 17 minutes per visit.

Gupta on a charitable mission

There's a virtuous article running just now on Livemint, the online edition of Indian newspaper Mint. A long treatise on why businessmen and others ought to do more for charity begins: "Philanthropy, literally translated, means love of mankind". All very worthy but it is the author's name that catches the eye. The piece is by Rajat Gupta, who is billed as the co-founder of the Indian School of Business. So he is, of course, but he no longer sits on its board. He felt obliged to step down after the US's Securities and Exchange Commission named him as a co-conspirator in the insider trading scandal for which Galleon's Raj Rajaratnam is currently standing trial.

KPMG only has eyes for one star

KPMG's Golf Advisory Practice (nice work if you can get it) has signed up several guest speakers for its forthcoming Gulf Business Forum in Dubai. But will speakers such as Graeme Maxton, the economist, be feeling just a little cheesed off about how far down the promotional bill they appear? KPMG is very proud to have secured an appearance from the victorious Ryder Cup coach Colin Montgomerie – so much so that everyone else speaking at the event seem like afterthoughts.