Pembroke: First PR firm past the post

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The Independent Online
A FLURRY of activity yesterday in the financial public relations market when Ludgate Group acquired Richard Pollen & Co. Mr Pollen, you may recall, was one-half of Vallin Pollen, the PR firm that went bust in 1991, although Mr Pollen had left two years earlier.

The merger is happy news for Mr Pollen and Ludgate chairman Tim Trotter, as they share a love of equestrian matters, particularly three-day eventing. Mr Trotter can't wait to have a crack at a course Mr Pollen has in the back garden of his West Sussex home, which makes you wonder just how large his garden is and how much PR top brass pay themselves. 'It's a farm, actually,' he says. 'And when you have seven children, you need the space.'

THE SAVOY is a little coy in the latest issue of its in- house newsletter. Though the 20 pages are packed to bursting with gripping yarns about the new-look Claridge's and a feature on learning how to swim at the Savoy, there is not a single mention of a far more important event, the departure of managing director Giles Shepard. 'We never put departures in the newsletter,' a Savoy spokeswoman sniffs.

THE GREY suits are going into hiding at City lawyers Allen & Overy after the firm's decision to enter an Alice in Wonderland float in the Lord Mayor's Show next month. Partner Christopher Walford has been elected Lord Mayor. The firm has asked for volunteers to dress up as Alice, the Mad Hatter and Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Senior partner BillTudor-John has already made it clear they can count him out.

MICHAEL Preston, one of the founders of Sterling Publishing, whose list includes the toff's bible Debrett's Peerage, sold his remaining holding yesterday for a not-to-be- sneezed-at pounds 600,000. Cash perhaps for his newish telecoms venture in the US, Long Distance Direct?

YOU'D expect a housing market guru to have the savvy to buy his own house at the right time. But Rob Thomas, the new UBS housing man who took over from John Wriglesworth last week, has had mixed fortunes. Last year he bought a smart house in Surrey Quays in London for half the price it fetched in the boom. However, he bought his previous house at the height of the property boom in 1989. That one didn't do at all well.

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