Business Diary: Men only at the top of the IMF?

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The Independent Online

If Christine Lagarde does get the top job at the International Monetary Fund, as so many people now expect her to, she might want to cast her eyes over the by-laws of the authority, which aren't exactly what one would call inclusive – indeed, they appear to discount any chance of the French Finance Minister being appointed.

The section defining the rights and responsibilities of the IMF'smanaging director is remarkably male – it's all "him", "he" and "his". They clearly never expected to have to even consider a woman for the post.

Their chance to sell themselves

Their members may get on folk's nerves, but the Direct Selling Association points out that its industry employs 400,000 people and contributes £2bn to the economy each year (who knew there was so much money in flogging windows and cleaning products?). It is launching a lobbying campaign amid concern that new rules from Europe are to put its members at a competitive disadvantage. How about a few cold calls to policymakers to really sell the argument? Payment only on results, obviously.

Tarsus returns to its roots in Turkey

Tarsus, the exhibitions and conferences company, came full circle yesterday with the purchase of IFO, a Turkish specialist in the exhibitions trade. The business, set up two decades ago was named after the Turkish cityTarsus, which, as the company explains, "has long been an important stop for traders, a focal point of many civilisations including the Roman Empire and was the scene of the first meeting between Mark Antony and Cleopatra, and the birthplace of Saint Paul". Now it's coming home.

A good place to bury bad news

The most amazing thing about the story of how Munich Re's subsidiary Ergo rewarded staff with a party where prostitutes were hired for the sales executives' pleasure is that it has taken four years for it to become public in Germany. There was certainly not a scintilla of embarrassment about the affair at Ergo itself, where the bash even got a write-up in the in-house magazine. "Killer fun" was its take on the event. Looks like no one at Munich Re bothered to read the freesheet.