Pembroke: Lalvani opens the coffers for student digs

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The Independent Online
I HEAR THAT Gulu Lalvani, the mega- rich head of the Binatone consumer electronics empire, has whipped out his wad again. He has just bought 21 Eaton Square for his son's 21st birthday next month. The previous owner was Lloyd's name Sir Richard Fitch, who killed himself earlier this month. Sir Richard had lost about pounds 200,000 in a loss- making Gooda Walker syndicate.

Dino Lalvani is a final-year business studies student in Boston who plans to return to Britain after completing the course.

'He could well join the family business but if he wanted to do something else for a while I wouldn't stand in his way,' Mr Lalvani said.

Mr Lalvani senior is no stranger to large property transactions. In July he sold his penthouse apartment in Hong Kong for pounds 2.6m.

IT WASN'T exactly Torvill and Dean, or even Tonya Harding, but City skaters turned out in force yesterday to raise money for charity. The ice rink at the Broadgate centre was packed all day with workers who had swapped suits for skates to do laps in aid of Sense, the charity for the deaf and blind.

City firms including Cazenove, Hambros Bank and the sponsors Slaughter and May entered teams, most braving the cold in beachwear to try to match last year's total of pounds 20,000.

Triple toe loops were thin on the ground but incident was not. One of the James Capel team had to be carted off in an ambulance after a tumble (no damage done) and there were groans of sympathy as a tentative Slaughter and May skater crashed to the ice on his final lap. The cissies from Ludgate Communications complained of the cold and had to be persuaded by a charity officer to strip down to their grass skirts.

Minor accidents aside, the day went a lot better than last year, when the ice melted two days before the event. It had to be hastily rearranged as a roller-skating extravaganza at Paternoster Square.

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THE BOW-TIED and pony-tailed world of advertising was abuzz with gossip yesterday that D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles was guilty of failing to practise what it preaches. DMB&B, which has been planning to move offices for some time, has been associated with several campaigns promoting London's Docklands. Yesterday the word was that the agency had decided on its new home, the Ark, the boat-shaped building in Hammersmith, about as far west from Docklands as you can get and still be in London.

The agency was busy denying that it had made an announcement to staff. 'We've got a short-list of three buildings and I can assure you that the Ark is not on it,' Lance Smith, director of operations, said. The list apparently includes Centre West, Stephen Street and one other he declined to name.

'Docklands is still a possibility,' Mr Smith said. 'I anticipate making a decision in June.'

THE TREASURY clearly believes in appointing boffins able to bat back the most incisive of questions from the financial press. The new number two at the Treasury press office is one Andrew Kilpatrick. He sports a first- class economics degree from Cambridge, bags of economics experience in Government and the City and has notably advised the Treasury on the presentation of its new monetary policy after the old one was blown apart on Black Wednesday.