Pembroke: Family clash averted

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The Independent Online
It will be best bib and tucker in the City this evening for the launch party of the London Capital Club, a new members- only institution on the site of the old Gresham Club on Abchurch Street. But could there be an embarrassing meeting of the feuding Palumbos on this otherwise happy occasion? Both Lord Palumbo and his son James, who are embroiled in a battle over management of the family trust, are on the guest list.

Well, no. I understand that Lord Palumbo, who is an honorary patron of the club, has declined due to a prior engagement and James has yet to reply.

Word reaches me from the Mail on Sunday that Clive Wolman, the paper's hard-driving city editor, is spending so much time in the office that he has bought a sleeping bag so he need not go home at all. Mr Wolman has been working flat-out on the paper's new 40-page business section, Financial Mail, which is launched this weekend.

'One day I could see I was going to be in the office until the early hours of the morning so I sent my secretary out to get a sleeping bag,' he explains.

The new purchase (a cheap one by all accounts) is a snazzy burgundy number with fetching gold lining. 'I've only used it once, but it was so uncomfortable that I doubt I'll do it again,' the industrious Mail man says. Apparently he kept rolling off the cushions in his office and strange noises disturbed his slumber.

The executive accessory has not been thrown away, however. It remains in the office ready for Mr Wolman to snatch 40 winks should the need arise.

Whoever arranged the paintings at the Singer & Friedlander watercolour exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London has a sense of humour. A view of the Royal Exchange and Bank of England from Threadneedle Street (sale price: pounds 1,600) is wedged between one work called Shambles and another titled Gone for Lunch.

To Painters Hall for the annual meeting of Williamson & Magor, a tea company with a history stretching back a couple of centuries. Usual story: sales up, profits up, murder and skulduggery still hampering operations on Assam tea plantations. This is serious stuff. In the past three years, the company has had one manager murdered and another kidnapped. 'The security situation remains tense,' director Phillip Magor says.

'The tea industry has formed a security force but for some, threatening tea companies remains an easier option than an honest day's work.'

Credit Suisse Asset Management has signed Patricia Maxwell-Arnot as director of equity investment. She joins from Lazard Brothers, where she was head of the European desk, managing funds of pounds 700m.

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