Pembroke: It never rains but it pours ..

Roger Allard, the former managing director of Owners Abroad, who stood down from the troubled tour operator last Thursday, will today be mourning more than the loss of his job. He will be nursing a severe financial headache.

Mr Allard held 5 million shares in Owners, the largest director's holding. You may remember that in March Owners turned down an offer from rival Airtours of 150p per share, which valued his stake at pounds 7.5m. At close on Friday, after Thursday's profits warning and resignations, the shares had sunk to 721 2 p. Mr Allard's stake had therefore almost halved in value, to pounds 3.6m. 'Oh, je ne regrette rien. . .'

Owners Abroad may be finding it tough selling its package tours. But it does have one loyal supporter. Ross Jobber, the company's broker at Phillips & Drew, left these shores at the weekend.

We learn from the US that Red Adair, the Texan oil well firefighter, no longer has the risky business to himself. According to the latest issue of Forbes magazine, Adair, who used to work out his fees just by thinking of a number, now faces competition from more than a dozen private and government-sponsored blow-out specialists.

The bulk of the young upstarts got going after the Gulf war, when Saddam Hussein's troops retreated leaving 700 oil wells ablaze. Adair, now 78, has even resorted to advertising in trade magazines. Still, the old warhorse seems unimpressed by his rivals. 'They couldn't find their ass with radar,' he spits.

Westminster Communications, City PR adviser to British Rail and Littlewoods Pools, seems intent on building the biggest group of non-executive directors in Britain. It appointed another four last week, bringing the total to 14.

New on board are three parliamentarians, Menzies Campbell (Lib Dem), Baroness Hooper (Con) and Ann Taylor (Lab). Also picked for the team is Bobby Charlton, the former Manchester United footballer, who is now a director of the club. With five executive directors the agency now has a sizeable squad. 'We're trying to build a full team and a team of reserves,' joked Westminster's Geoffrey Bowden.

A group of Britain's biggest companies got together in London last week to discuss a persistent problem - bullying at work. The workshop, organised by Personal Performance Consultants, said that bullying is a big contributor to stress, low morale and inefficiency in the workplace.

Andrea Adams, a writer and broadcaster who led the discussion, says that in Sweden up to 400 suicides a year are attributed to macho tactics at work.

Britain is not exempt. Last October, it emerged that at one large Scottish company, over 100 people had complained of bullying by the chief executive. One woman was so distraught that, after yet another barracking, she threatened to throw herself down the stairs and had to be restrained by a colleague. In spite of repeated complaints to the company's medical officer the bullying is still going on. 'The problem is that if it goes on, it tends to cascade down the organisation and become almost normal practice,' says Ms Adams.

'Bullies are often insecure people, who cannot cope with stress,' Ms Adams says. Her advice to the bullied is to keep all correspondence and make notes recording verbal attacks. 'The problem is that in this country we tend to believe authority.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander in the leaked trailer for Zoolander 2
film
Sport
footballArsenal take the Community Shield thanks to a sensational strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Arts and Entertainment
Gemma Chan as synth Anita in Humans
film
News
Keeping it friendly: Tom Cruise on ‘The Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ensemble cast: Jamie McCartney with ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’
artBritish artist Jamie McCartney explains a work that is designed to put women's minds at rest
News
Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump
people
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Administrator

£13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about custom...

Recruitment Genius: Dialler Administrator

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Main purpose: Under the directi...

Ashdown Group: Contracts Manager - City of London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Contracts Manager - City...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen