Business Diary: Merrill Lynch calls in Police

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The Independent Online

Call us childish, but we couldn't resist the headline above, for Merrill Lynch's Wealth Management division really has called in Police – one Amilcare Police, in fact, who the investment firm has just appointed as head of credit and banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The gentleman in question has an extensive CV full of relevant experience, most recently doing something similar at HSBC, though as far as we know, he's never worked in law enforcement.

Unison joins the posh crowd

More evidence that we are, after all, in this austerity business together. A reader calls from the hospitality tents at the Cheltenham Cricket Festival (in heavy use this week given the weather), where the biggest marquee apparently belongs not to a bank, as one might imagine, but to Unison, Britain's biggest trade union. And why shouldn't the union have a few days out? After all, in this climate of public sector industrial disputes, business is booming. Work has never been better, one might say.

Olympics stadium: building begins

The London Olympics may be less than a year away, but it turns out they are still handing out stadium contracts in East London. Don't panic though – the contract in question, an £8m deal for British engineering company Morgan Sindall, unveiled yesterday, is to build the Mayesbrook Park Sports Arena down the road from the Olympics site. It will boast the biggest sports hall in the UK and the plan is to have it built by next February, which is considerably quicker than many of the 2012 venues went up. So much so that despite it already being quite late in the day, the stadium will be used as a training facility for Games competitors next year.

Gambling with a conscience

Our compliments to WorldSpreads, the financial spread betting company, which has teamed up with Alpesh Patel, the author, to launch BATrustmarkets. The service, which was launched at the Oxford and Cambridge Club yesterday, sees 20 per cent of all revenues donated to The British Asian Trust, which will distribute the funds raised to charities working on projects based across South Asia.