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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before