Pembroke: A new source of capital

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The Independent Online
Is that a phoenix we see rising over Capital Publishing, the magazine group that sank into receivership last month? Capital, which published journals such as Capital Account, the official publication of the London Society of Chartered Accountants, went down with debts of over pounds 600,000. Unlucky creditors included the London Society, which is owed pounds 12,800 it won't see again.

Now Hilary West, Capital's managing director, hopes to buy the company back from the receivers. This will not please creditors who will get nothing after Capital's debts are balanced against its negligible assets. There is, presumably, enough to pay the fees of Capital's receivers, the splendidly named B Mistry & Co.

Sift through a history of Lloyd's of London and the name Poole crops up quite a bit. It will feature even more now that David Poole is joining David Coleridge's underwriting group Sturge Holdings as chief executive.

David, or Lord Poole to give him his title, who was on secondment from James Capel to the Prime Minister's policy unit at Number 10, will join Sturge in September. The move might please a family with Lloyd's links going back to the 18th century.

'He'll be very useful to us,' says former Lloyd's chairman David Coleridge who steps down as Sturge chairman in February. 'He understands the world of corporate capital and that's what it's all about these days.'

Lord Poole, whose first wife, Fiona, is married to former Tory party chairman Sir Norman Fowler, is taking a rest before his new job. He is sailing off Greece.

It seems family connections do not count for much, even if you are David Coleridge. When the Old Etonian retires from Sturge Holdings after 37 years on the pay roll, filial assistance might not be forthcoming.

Asked whether he might earn a few post-retirement pounds writing articles for his son Nicholas, who runs Vogue and Tatler publisher Conde Nast, he replied that such an arrangement was unlikely: 'I'd quite like to, actually. But I'm not sure he'd pay me.'

John Simmonds, the retired Lloyds Bank man who took over the running of Harrods Bank earlier this month, is gearing up for an advertising campaign. His target market are young aspirants who are tired of shoddy treatment by the clearers and keen on trading up.

Trouble is, he can't decide where to place the adverts. He wondered whether GQ, the men's magazine, might suit. But when he flicked through the current issue (content: virtual-reality rape plus a scantily clad Brigitte Bardot) he had second thoughts. 'Perhaps I'm getting a bit prudish,' he says.

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