Pembroke: Jet-setting guru sets his sights on City

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The Independent Online
ROGER NIGHTINGALE, the stock market guru who spent 20 years with Hoare Govett before setting up on his own account, is returning to the institutional fold.

After four years as a solo research specialist, he is joining Carr Indo Suez as a strategist and economist. 'It has been hard work but I am looking forward to a new challenge,' he says.

An attractive package is thought to be involved. Mr Nightingale, 48, will continue his trips to far- flung corners of the globe in pursuit of equities research. 'I've been going four times a year to America, Asia and Latin America,' he says. 'I'm very big in Air Miles.'

ONE OF Blackburn's self-made entrepreneurs has taken the Jack Walker path to millions.

Brian Mercer, who founded Netlon, a plastic mesh company back in 1959, sold the business to a 3i-backed management buyout yesterday for an undisclosed fee.

Dr Mercer is an interesting chap. He developed his first netting prototype in his kitchen, using mashed potato to test it. The netting went on to be used to strengthen everything from the Melbourne Cricket ground surface to the Port Stanley runway.

A friend of the late surrealist painter Salvador Dali, he had his portrait painted by the great dauber. The likeness now forms part of a collection of modern art Dr Mercer hopes to develop.

Dr Mercer, who is 66, is already living it up. He has moved to Bermuda, from where his wife hails, and plans to spend a lot of time on his boat. A Walker-style football investment is discounted. 'He is a devoted Blackburn supporter but that's as far as it goes,' says chief executive Roger Duckworth.

A SQUABBLE has broken out in Otley in Yorkshire over whether the Conservative Club should be allowed to watch Sky TV.

The Conservative Club in Otley wants to hoist a satellite dish on to the walls of its three-storey listed building, presumably so it can watch the re-runs of Knots Landing and Dynasty. But the town council, on which the Tories are heavily outnumbered, are having none of it.

Councillor Dave Egan says: 'It's not a political decision. It's about conservation. Norman Hindle (Con) is fuming, accusing the council of 'conservation-itis'.'

The final planning decision will be made by Leeds City Council.

CITY ANALYSTS are getting steamed up over the latest appointment at Ofwat, the water regulator. The watchdog has taken on Angela Whelan, former water analyst at broker BZW, as an adviser during the review of water price controls on 'a number of issues pertinent to City institutions'.

The problem, they say, is that as the appointment is temporary and Ms Whelan will later take up a new position as water analyst at Credit Lyonnais, rivals believe she will be privy to all sorts of interesting information. Stroppy letters are in the post, I hear.