Pembroke: Capel man converts

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The Independent Online
James Capel seems to be losing staff by the fistful. Huw Leyshon, whose convertible stocks team came top in the recent Extel rankings, is decamping to Smith New Court and taking two colleagues with him. This follows the recent departure of Neil Blackley, the media analyst who also topped the Extel rankings, to Goldman Sachs. Two of Capel's European sales team, Jim Jackson and John Brewer, are leaving next month for Swiss Bank Corporation, where they will line up under Johan Ewerlos, formerly head of Nordic sales at Carnegie, who joins next Wednesday.

Meanwhile Swiss Bank is aggressively recruiting. As well as the sales staff, the investment house plans to beef up its analytical team. 'It's part of a two-year plan to turn ourselves into a senior player,' says Bruce Mee, the head of European equity sales.

When is a golden hello not a golden hello? When it's a loan, according to Thorn EMI. Study of the accounts ahead of today's annual meeting reveals that Thorn made an dollars 8m interest-free loan to Charles Koppelman, recently appointed chairman and chief executive of EMI Records in North America. In the music business up-front payments are quite normal. But Thorn refused to oblige. Instead, it promised shares in five years' time and gave Mr Koppelman a loan, roughly equivalent to the value of the shares, up front. Is that so different?

Good news for skiers. A Guildford-based company, which can create real snow indoors, has just signed a deal to build a large ski centre in Singapore and has planning permission for several centres in Britain.

Acer Consultants, part of Welsh Water, says it can create perfect snow using guns and a pressurised mixture of water and air. The atmosphere of the indoor centre is then heavily air-conditioned to prevent the snow melting.

'The centres will look the part with fir trees, alpine chalets and tobogganing,' says a spokesman. 'People will be able to ski all year round on real snow.'

The businesswomen cracking open the champagne at London Business School yesterday, having been voted Cosmopolitan's best entrepreneurs, were an interesting bunch. Pick of the crop for initiative was Rosalina Luis, 21, founder of the Business Travel Company, based in west London, which specialises in tours for heavy rock bands and pilgrimages for Catholic priests. Next month she is taking a group including Cardinal Hume to Denver for a conference.

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