PEMBROKE : Dewe gets into a PR stew

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The Independent Online
Dewe Rogerson, the blue-chip London public relations company, has been rocked by an insider trading scandal that has seen the departure of one of its largest clients and the resignation of a senior American executive.

Last September authorities at the American Stock Exchange, one of New York's three trading floors, were alarmed by heavy sales in Audiovox, one of the US's biggest suppliers of cellular telephones. The movement came just days before an announcement that second-quarter profits had fallen by 40 per cent sent shares tumbling.

Officials informed Dewe Rogerson's 40-man New York office that a leak had involved one of its senior employees, Joseph Jaffoni, an ambitious New Yorker with four years' experience at DR.

"Staff in America were devastated," said Nico Rogerson, chief executive.

So was the client, Audiovox, which promptly sacked Dewe Rogerson.

Why on earth has the fantastically rich Duke of Westminster taken a new job as a £20,000-a-year insurance worker at Sun Alliance?

Can it really be, as the company says, that he brings the company unrivalled knowledge of the property business? Is it because, as one of their largest policyholders, he has a strong link with the insurer?

Or is this departure into the public arena by the bashful philanthropist to compensate for his frustrated ambitions to become a media tycoon?

His Grace, whose Eaton Hall mansion is near Chester, became a director and shareholder of the local Marchers Radio ten years ago when steelworkers from the doomed Shotton steelworks approached him to support their new venture.

Since then the acquisitive media-minnow, which has a fine record of service to local community, has gained new franchises on the North-west coast and the Wirral and, a little bird tells me, is consulting advisers to apply for more."He encouraged us greatly when we faced daunting expansion prospects," said Godfrey Williams, the station head. Sadly, growth has not led to profit. Maybe insurance will prove more lucrative for the poor old Duke.

Any suggestion of impropriety between Prince Charles and Tiggy Legge-Bourke, the royal nanny, will go down badly at Kleinwort Benson, where her father, Bill Legge-Bourke, is the super-efficient compliance officer. A City worthy, Mr Legge-Bourke is a former partner at Grieveson Grant and a member of the Stock Exchange's disciplinary committee. During his spare time, however, neighbours say he is to be seen dressed in Scout's toggle and shorts. No scandal here, sadly. Bill is a leading member of the ScoutAssociation and works on their finance committee.

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