Pembroke: Accountants find surreal link in cubist art

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The Independent Online
Undeterred by Pembroke's chiding last month, Ernst & Young is persevering with its overblown comparison between its own worthy band of number-crunchers and Pablo Picasso, perhaps the greatest artist of the 20th century.

The accountants' sponsorship of the new Picasso exhibition, which opens today at the Tate Gallery, has encouraged Elwyn Eilledge, the firm's senior partner, to enter the realms of absurdity.

'Picasso's vision and originality find many echoes in the philosophy of Ernst & Young,' he writes in the catalogue to the exhibition.

Mr Eilledge warms to his theme: 'He gained his reputation by breaking down barriers and setting new standards for others to follow. Internationally he was a leader and a visionary. At Ernst & Young we pursue the same principles of leadership, vision and originality of thought for the benefit of our clients. Like Picasso, we aim to be always at the leading edge.'

The thing about Picasso's work, of course, is that much of it is difficult to understand and some of it just isn't very good. Let us hope that clients do not find these 'echoes' in the firm's work.

In times gone by, when we still called a yuppie a yuppie, Killik & Co eschewed the City of London to seek out the young high-earners who could afford to dabble in the stock market. The friendly stockbrokers opened offices in outlandish places like Chelsea and Hampstead.

Now the firm is planning its fifth office - in the City of all places. It has found a bijou shop in Threadneedle Street, hard by the Stock Exchange and Royal Exchange, surrounded by little luxury shops. Killik plans to deck it out in its trademark domestic style - complete with frilly Austrian blinds - for the spring opening.

Watch out for an exodus from Baring Securities.

Christopher Heath, once Britain's highest-paid man when he ran the firm, has got over being ousted from Barings and is planning his own investment operation specialising in emerging markets.

According to one well-placed City source large numbers of Baring Securities people are treading water, waiting for the call from Mr Heath before decamping en masse to the new firm.

For all those who believe the Americans produce a lot of rubbish, there is comforting proof from the European Union's statistics office.

Americans generate twice as much garbage as the 12 members of the EU and they recycle less. Eurostat estimates Americans throw out 1,584lbs of rubbish a year, compared with 770lbs discarded by Europeans.

Obviously keen to present an easy target to Euro-sceptics, Eurostat's findings are part of a document called 'What a lot of rubbish'.

National Westminster Bank is pitching up against Banque Paribas, Swiss Bank Corporation and others in a golf tournament to raise pounds 8,000 for the Spastics Society. The Bankers Golf Tournament will take place at the Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club, Richmond upon Thames on 11 March.

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