Pembroke: A Disney dwarfed by events

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The Independent Online
THE CRISIS at the top of Walt Disney has forced a quick change of host tonight at a gala dinner to celebrate the video launch of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The posh function (black tie mandatory, big black ears optional) was due to be hosted by Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of Disney's film unit, until he resigned last week. It had been a bad summer for the poor man. In July, he was almost mauled by a lion while promoting The Lion King, Disney's new film.

So skipping on to the set at the Park Lane Hotel ballroom in London comes Roy Disney, vice-chairman of the board of directors and Walt Disney's nephew. Snow White and the Dwarfs will be on hand to lend support, though given the group's problems - Euro Disney etc - Grumpy might be the most prominent of the seven.

SAMANTHA PHILLIPS, the former Willis Corroon broker who won her wrongful dismissal 'bimbo' case last month, is cracking on with her speed-written novel. She started it a fortnight ago, expects to finish it within a month, and have it in the shops for Christmas.

The mixture of pinstripes and passion is Lloyd's-related (surprise, surprise) and features a female lead set in a male-dominated workplace. 'It's really therapeutic writing it - you can kill off all the baddies,' she says.

NEWS FROM the 'nice work if you can get it' department. We are grateful to CM Financial Analysis for a new index called TATT (Tough at the Top) which measures top directors' pay against the share performance of their companies.

One of the worst performers is Barclays Bank, which can blame the pounds 1.4m remuneration of BZW chief executive David Band for its dismal rating.

Outside the FT-SE is Robert Montague, the sun-kissed chief executive of Tiphook. Set against the company's share performance (grim), Mr Montague's pounds 1m package last year gives the company a distinctly tatty-looking TATT rating.

SALOMON BROTHERS is beefing up its European investment banking team under Rod Berens. David Karat moves to become head of UK corporate finance and Richard Boach is promoted to head of European fixed income capital markets.

Mr Karat is described by colleagues as 'a real smooth character' and 'not very tall'. But he is fit - I'm told the compact banker always does rather well in the firm's fun run in London's Battersea Park.

GINA LAZENBY, a former marketing executive, reckons she has just the thing for stressed-out businessmen. Later this month she opens the London Personal Development Centre, which will offer a range of holistic healing seminars. Courses include Shamianism by Drumming and Astral Sex, and Zen Tea Bags (a guide to New Age terminology).

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