The City Diary: Forging ahead, slowly, at FundSmith

A disappointing start for FundSmith, the new fund management business of punchy City celebrity and interdealer boss Terry Smith.

The project was supposed to provide a long-overdue redefinition of the fund-management industry, but when I check Morningstar (the financial services website, not the socialist daily) I notice that the fund's performance is ranked 297 out of 329, when measured between its November inception and the end of January. "Terry just doesn't get involved in this type of debate," dodges his spinner. "It is not about a snapshot. This is a long-term investment". Still, FundSmith is showing profits of 2.8 per cent since launch. When Smith quit as chief executive of Collins Stewart last year, he offloaded his 8.9m shares in the broker at 80p a pop. Since then, they've risen by, er, 11 per cent.

Batbold follows Blair fils

Should we be surprised to find Morgan Stanley has hired fresh-faced Battushig Batbold, son of Mongolia's PM, Sukhbaatar Batbold, to pitch for Mongolian natural-resource deals? The US investment bank has form, having offered a desk to Euan Blair, son of our former glorious leader. That saw the progeny of one of London's more opportunistic money-making couples hit the headlines after using the bank's email to hawk England rugby tickets. Who'd have thought it?

The first time I worked here...

How cheering that Nigel Kennedy – the PR luvvie, not the funky-haired violinist – is heading home to The Communication Group after a 17-year absence. Kennedy is one of the few people who'll be able to recall the past of Maureen Smith, the chairman of his new employer, which spins for the likes of blue-blooded bank Coutts and private investment club Pi Capital. Back in 1985, as MD of stock market-quoted Good Relations, Smith landed herself in trouble after selling her holding in the company over drinks at Annabel's to controversial underwriter Christopher Moran. Forgetfully, she failed to notify her board. This did not go down well with other GR shareholders, and a Stock Exchange report eventually found that "Miss Smith's actions were not those that investors should expect from the director of a public company". Good on Kennedy for letting the sleeping dog lie.

Laing recalibrates workers

Laing O'Rourke has sacked 12 employees after they were caught forwarding emails containing "inappropriate" images. We'll have to take the bosses' word on that, as nobody at the construction group seems to want to expand on the content, but if you work for the company you'll be well aware that you need to watch your conduct. In 2006, 1,500 employees were subjected to random drug testing – which resulted in 124 getting whacked for using cannabis, 41 for cocaine and 28 for both (although the hit rate has fallen since). It's one way of managing headcount, I proffer. "We take these things really genuinely and seriously," explains a spokesman, soberly.

postmaster@slackbelly.com

Sport
Romelu Lukaku
sportChelsea striker sends second teasing tweet of the day
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Sport
Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura sprays a line after calling for a free kick for Brazil
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

BA/PM,EMIR/Dodd-Frank,London,£450-650P/D

£450 - £650 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Senior Analyst - ALM Data - Banking - Halifax

£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Analyst, ALM Data, Halifax, ...

Java developer - Banking - London - Up to £600/day

£500 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Java developer - Banking - London - Up to £600/d...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz