The City Diary: A mole at Her Majesty's broker? Surely not

Slackbelly exposes the good, the bad and the ugly of the square mile

Malcolm Calvert, the former Cazenove partner who was convicted of insider dealing earlier this month, supposedly had a mole inside Her Majesty's broker. Contrary to reports, the investment bank has compiled a list of its employees who had knowledge of the six suspicious Calvert deals, many of whom are senior staffers and include those on the bank's Commitments Committee, which monitors all its transactions.

Cazenove won't reveal identities or numbers, and points out that the Calvert case concerned an individual who left in 2000, while no charges were ever brought against the bank. "We co-operated fully with the Financial Services Authority throughout their investigation," says a spokesman, "and will continue to support them in their efforts to ensure that the UK's financial markets are free from abuse."

Still, in a wider context, there is concern in the City that news of takeovers can leak prematurely (whichever firm is advising or being advised) and Caz has certainly worked on deals where outside investors have made some lucky punts.

On Manitowoc's offer for Enodis, the target had to make an unplanned announcement about its share price move, while Wimpey's shares ticked up before its merger with Taylor Woodrow.

Elsewhere, Alliance Boots rushed out a statement about the approach from KKR after traders suddenly started buying and the price of Corus stock rose in the weeks before it received an approach from Tata.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing in any of these cases, but it is humbling to learn that even the Queen's broker must be as vigilant as the rest of the City.



Fly BA? Not likely. Anstee goes Virgin

Here's a high-profile customer deserting British Airways because of strike fears. Nicholas Anstee, the City of London's Lord Mayor, is visiting South Africa this week and has switched to Virgin Atlantic for the trip. Will he turn again?



Watch your step on Lord Mayor's rug

On the first floor of Mansion House, Anstee's residence while he's Lord Mayor, is a long red carpet that runs between sets of pillars. It cost hundreds of thousands of pounds (£500 per square metre) but is supposed to last for 200 years. Visitors, of which there are 43,000 per annum, are complaining, however, that it keeps sliding around and doesn't line up with the floorboards. You'd think they might have something better to do, but, I wonder, has Mansion House tried Gripper Rod? "Thanks for the tip," sighs a spokesman.

'Ta very much' – Tata bags another honorary gong

Cambridge University has nominated Ratan Tata for an honorary degree, a pointless bauble for the vain from those touting for cash. Tata will add this award to the honorary certificates he's scooped from Ohio State University, the Asian Institute of Technology, the University of Warwick, and the London School of Economics. At least for the Harvard and Cornell University degrees he actually had to pass exams. What an exhibitionist.



Football manager issues a Goodfella's warning to Ryanair

A letter on the wall of Ryanair's Dublin HQ from the Football Association of Ireland takes the company to task about its habit of using images of unsuspecting celebrities to promote itself. The last two sentences read: "As they say in The Sopranos, doneventhinkaboudit. Capisci?" It's signed by the Ireland manager, Giovanni Trapattoni.



Time to hang up the stirrups, Sam

You'll recall Sam Waley-Cohen, the amateur jockey-cum-commodity trader-cum-entrepreneur who promised to retire from racing after finishing fifth on Liberthine in the 2007 Grand National. At last week's Cheltenham Festival he had five rides – yet failed to record a winner. Time to revert to Plan A?



postmaster@slackbelly.com

Rosebud reborn: Cinemas still await the story of Maxwell, in the mould of Citizen Kane

Lies Have Been Told: An Evening with Robert Maxwell is the play written by Rob Beacham which tells the story of the flamboyant life, crooked career and mysterious death of the bouncing Czech.

Beacham has been working with screenwriter Aleksandar Manic on a film version of the play (which I've never seen, but which apparently sails quite close to the wind). Now I hear that the first draft of their script has just been delivered to film producer Ed Pressman, the man behind films such as Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps, Thank You For Smoking, Hoffa and American Psycho.

Pressman – whose producing partner is Dale Djerassi, the husband of the old pension fraudster's daughter, Isabel Maxwell – reckons: "The script reads like a mystery, the way Citizen Kane was a mystery and explores different time periods of Maxwell's life".

One of the biggest mysteries about this film is: what's taking so long? It's been several years since Pressman announced the feature film version of Beacham's creation.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballStriker in talks over £17m move from Manchester United
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
boksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Technical Software Consultant (Excel, VBA, SQL, JAVA, Oracle)

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...

SQL DBA/Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Data Warehousi...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor