Business Diary: New money not welcome here?

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The Independent Online

Money can buy you many things, but not the welcoming embrace of polite New York society it would seem. Lisa Falcone, wife of the hedge fund mogul Philip Falcone, is less than impressed with the treatment her husband receives in the City.

She tells Vanity Fair magazine: "I'm the girl from Harlem and he's the boy from Chisholm, and now we've got all this stuff...is it that Philip and I are the Beverly Hillbillies?"

Some red faces at 'beige' John Lewis

John Lewis went into crisis mode yesterday, furiously rebutting suggestions its marketing director Craig Inglis has been telling people the department store group is thinking of dropping its famous "Never Knowingly Undersold" slogan. No denial yet, however, of reports that Inglis thinks John Lewis still has something of a "fuddy-duddy" image. Or that he told analysts: "We can be accused of being beige at times, so we're trying not to be."

Nationwide hires from wrong side

In the era of the big society, mutually owned organisations are well placed to whisper in the ears of sympathetic ministers – none more so than Nationwide Building Society, which has made a virtue out of being one of Britain's biggest mutuals for so long. Still, is the appointment of Gary Follis as its new head of public affairs the right one in this political climate? True, Follis knows his way round Whitehall, but that experience comes from a succession of jobs advising Labour ministers (he's also a former Labour councillor).

No payback for Sir Martin Broughton

So how does Sir Martin Broughton feel about missing out on the Tote, having won the backing of the entire racing industry? He might have been forgiven for expecting Conservative ministers to show him a little more kindness – after all, in his days as chairman of the Confederation of British Industry, he became an outspoken critic of Gordon Brown, and the business lobby then swung behind David Cameron at the last election. As it turns out, dealing with politicians has turned out to be an even trickier proposition than seeing off the American owners of Liverpool Football Club, where Sir Martin triumphed in a legal battle as the club chairman last year.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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