Pembroke: Gone to ground

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The Independent Online
Where has Bob Emmott gone? The joint managing director of William Morrison, the food retailer, resigned yesterday to pursue other interests - and he seems to have disappeared.

The City is abuzz with speculation about where the highly respected Emmott might surface. If he has been tempted away by a rival it would have to be a top level position, as Emmott had been with Morrison since the 1960s and Morrison was recently voted by the Institute of Directors as the UK's fastest-growing company.

Tesco and Asda have both denied he is joining them. His former employers are suggesting Gateway and Netto, the Danish cut-price food retailer.

British Rail yesterday unveiled its new wine list, which it will be happy to spill on you on its 'upmarket' InterCity services.

Australian bottles seem to be the mood of the moment, according to wine writer Oz Clarke, who put the list together. 'We want wines that people can wallop down and then say, 'That's a great taste,' ' he says.

Mr Clarke's choices include a 1991 Cabernet Sauvignon described as tasting of plums, blackcurrant and spice and a Chardonnay tasting of apricots and clove. Yuk.

David Sainsbury, the charitable, worthy and incredibly rich chairman of Sainsbury's, whose idea of a good time is to pop into one of his stores on the way home to check the lettuce, is humble to the point of accepting a lower salary than some of his underlings.

While Tom Vyner, deputy chairman and joint managing director, is paid pounds 330,000 and David Quarmby, the other joint managing director, receives pounds 285,000, Mr Sainsbury, 51, makes do on pounds 250,000. He also has no service contract while his colleagues get two-year deals.

Of course, when you and your family are worth pounds 3bn-plus and your dividend cheque totals millions each year, you can afford to pass on the minor parts of your package.

The trusty phrase of the small businessman - '50 quid for cash, guv, wink, wink, know what I mean?' - may be a risky strategy to pursue, and not just on tax grounds.

Barclays Bank intercepted pounds 1.7m of fraudulent notes last year, mostly tens and twenties. 'If a small business accepts a forged note they would end up out of pocket, even if they had accepted the note in total innocence,' says David Lavarack, head of Barclays' small business services. 'The law insists that such notes are confiscated and handed to police.'

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