Pembroke: Donut we like this?

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MICHAEL Jackaman, chairman of Allied-Lyons, was given a thorough grilling by shareholders at yesterday's annual meeting. Main bone of contention was the proposed name change to Allied- Domecq, following the acquisition of the spirits group this year. Do we not like that?, was the general consensus.

Domecq-Lyons would be a better choice, opined one shareholder. Allied Lyons Domecq, said another. But one wag had other ideas. 'What about Donut Domecq?' he said, referring to the group's Dunkin' Donuts subsidiary. 'At least it gives people an idea what we do.'

TIM Parker, the curly haired head of Kenwood Appliances, was in feisty mood at the London Business School's summer congregation yesterday. After accepting the alumni award for special achievement, he delivered a speech saying that young MBAs shouldn't bother joining investment banks or management consultancies. Go out and borrow some money and get involved in a proper business, was his advice.

'I blame London dinner parties,' he said afterwards. 'People seem to think it is better to say, 'Oh, I work for Morgan Grenfell' than say they are a 30 per cent shareholder in International Widget plc.'

MARIN Sorrell, the well-remunerated head of the advertising group WPP, was also soaking up the sun at the London Business School, where he is on the board of governors. Not that he needs any more rays. The compact Harvard man is looking tanned to the point of being chargrilled. 'I've been to South Africa,' he says, mortar board in hand. 'Partly business, partly holiday.' His trip included a tour of Soweto, which he claims, less inquisitive colleagues tried to dissuade him from undertaking.

INTERESTING to see that Tom Farmer, the canny Scot who runs the car repair group Kwik-Fit, has joined the board of Airtours, purveyors of package holidays. Can it be that the multi-millionaire exhaust pipe king has been on one of Airtours' keenly-priced beach holidays? Indeed he has. And not to one of the more glamorous locations such as the Carribean or Florida. 'It was Majorca, actually,' he says chirpily. 'Nothing grand. But it was very nice.' COMPETITION is hotting up in the number-crunching world of credit rating. Duff & Phelps, whose stronghold is in the United States, is opening a London office. Paul Taylor, a former director at rival Standard & Poors has switched horses to head it. 'We believe there are a number of niches we can look at,' he says.

S&P, whose London office celebrated its 10th anniversary last month, does not seem bothered by someone else tramping on the patch they occupy with Moody's and IBCA. 'It's probably good news for ratings in Europe,' it says.

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