The Business Diary: Pressman's gang of business cameos queue up for Wall Street sequel

The City Snitch: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of the Square Mile
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Ed Pressman is the Hollywood producer responsible for a string of business-inspired films, including Thank You for Smoking, American Psycho and, of course, Wall Street.

The producer is currently working on Money Never Sleeps, a sequel to the 1987 classic, in which he again teams up with director Oliver Stone and actor Michael Douglas, who returns in the anti-hero role of Gordon Gekko.

The film also stars Shia LaBeouf, Charlie Sheen and Josh Brolin, but who else is on the bill?

Pressman tells me that Stone is working on his first cut and has shot a number of cameos. They include walk-on parts for businessman-peer Viscount Astor (stepfather to David Cameron's wife, Samantha); my old friend Donald Trump; Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia; Wall Street veteran and private-equity investor Don Marron; photographer Kelly Klein; Vogue's Hamish Bowles and Joan Juliet Buck; Italian newsman Mario Calvo-Platero; and a bevy of beautiful American journalists including CNBC's Maria "Money Honey" Bartiromo (left) and NBC's Natalie Morales.

Sadly, not all of these cameos will make the film.

"It will be interesting to see who might be left on the cutting-room floor," says my Hollywood mole, mischievously. Personally, I'm praying it'll be Trump.

Money-men must be careful what they wish for

Much amusement at Barclays, where bankers appear to have devised their own game of Fantasy Chief Executive – a battle that pitches their boss, John Varley, against Eric Daniels, his embattled counterpart at Lloyds Banking Group.

The Barclays corner is enjoying pointing out that their bank has generated about twice the pre-tax profit of Lloyds, if you measure performance from Daniels's first full year as the bank's boss in 2004. Coincidentally, over the same period, both men have received almost identical pay packets of £10.3m.

A quick look at the numbers confirms the calculation's accuracy, but does Barclays really want to crow about the statistic?

We're constantly told that if bankers' God-like performances are not properly rewarded, they quickly defect to a higher-paying competitor. So what is Varley waiting for?

Tut, tut. Slade's Guildhall speech hits a duff note

To the Guildhall for Monday night's St David's Day in London dinner, with guest speaker Mike Slade, the boss of property group Helical Bar.

Slade is actually a Cornishman, but warmed up the audience with a line about how he adored the Welsh because he'd made so much money out of them.

If that one went down badly (tutting was audible) it was a triumph of comedy compared with the rest of Slade's speech, the culmination of which was a rather risqué description of fellow speaker Lord Elystan-Morgan as a "man with no reason to feel embarrassed in the shower".

According to The Sunday Times: "Slade has a formidable reputation for calling every crash since the 1970s." But not Monday's.

Anstee leads Zuma out on the City pitch

More from Guildhall, where the Lord Mayor, Nick Anstee, has been entertaining South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma. The President, a Liverpool fan, predicts that his nation will perform well in this summer's football World Cup, and Anstee, after hearing that Zuma had slotted home a penalty on his trip to Wembley, suggested that he might even lead his national side on the field. It may sound like a toadying suggestion, but I doubt it would affect the tournament's outcome much. Despite having home advantage, South Africa is rated the world's 81st best team.

West Register goes round the houses

Peculiar goings on at West Register – the group created by Royal Bank of Scotland in which it dumps its distressed assets. Industry sources reckon the bank and its off-shoots are impossible to reach. Still, while the builders get snubbed, there are some rumblings of activity.

West Register (Investments) and West Register (Property Investments) have both been quietly changing directors over the past few weeks, with a Rory Cullinan appointed to both boards last month, while one Laura Barlow joined the company on the same day. She replaced Martin Nicholls, who was followed out of the door by David Cartledge and Thomas Kennedy. Oddly, virtually all the directors seem to be based in south-east England, despite West Register being located in Royal Bank's buildings in Edinburgh. Developing ...

Cullum brings a touch of déjà vu to business

The business empire of Peter Cullum, the chairman of insurance group Towergate and a former Ernst & Young UK Entrepreneur of the Year, includes a website for landlords called Smartlandlord.co.uk. That venture now has a competitor, called LetAssured.com which provides services such as rental protection insurance.

The new venture can't supply insurance by itself, so who is its underwriter? Er, Towergate.

Bankers wish for a fast lane to the Far East

A JP Morgan banker, overheard in the City, talking about public transport: "It's not so much that we need Crossrail to go to Canary Wharf. We need it to go to Hong Kong."

Supporters of that view may now include those running HSBC Private Bank. I read that its boss, Chris Meares, is on the verge of moving his office to join group chief executive Michael Geoghegan in Hong Kong. Are any more changes afoot?

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