Pembroke: No more Credit for high-flying Swiss banker

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The Independent Online
AN ERA ended yesterday when Hans-Jorg Rudloff, the man who built Credit Suisse First Boston into a power in the bond markets, announced his resignation. Mr Rudloff, who is regarded as a demi-god by many in the field, has stepped down from Credit Suisse's parent company CS Holdings, to pursue personal and family business interests.

At 53, this is an early retirement and appears to complete a process by which the high-flying banker has been edged out of the firm he did so much to build. It follows a board re-shuffle last year when Mr Rudloff was replaced as chairman by David Mulford, the former under-secretary of the US treasury. 'You can never pre-judge a board in Switzerland,' Mr Rudloff said enigmatically at the time.

Last year there was speculation that the move was a result of long- standing tension between Mr Rudloff and senior executives.

The comment made by a senior London banker last year about Mr Rudloff's move upstairs now looks prescient. 'It's not a full-time job, it's an assignment.'

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AN INVITATION flutters on to Pembroke's desk inviting me to the second gathering of the Carnivores Club. Held next month at Butchers Hall, appropriately enough, the evening promises to be a thoroughly blood-lusting occasion. The scheme has been dreamt up by Chez Gerard, a Soho steak restaurant, and the fare will celebrate what one guest describes as 'the bloody good things in life.'

The menu is enough to turn a vegetarian the colour of spinach soup. 'Offally-type' canapes, game soup and Baron of Beef will be washed down with a robust claret and some sturdy port.

'It's a case of the carnivore strikes back,' says one of the organisers. 'We were worried we were heading towards meat-eating sections in restaurants and being treated like a sub-sect.'

The carnivores do not take themselves too seriously. Proudly ideologically unsound, guests will quaff real ale and smoke their lungs full with fags and cigars. A singer will also be on hand to beef up various well-known hits, including the Tammy Wynette ballad 'Stand by Your Ham.'

IF PETER WATSON of the corporate stockbroking desk of NatWest Markets is looking a little grey these days, he has a good excuse. Yesterday, bang in the middle of his work on the flotation of Graham, the builder's merchant, his wife gave birth to a bouncing 9lb boy.

Clearly not one for paternity leave, he will be at this desk again today when the flotation price for Graham is announced.

Mr Watson is not one to confuse his work with his home life. He assures me that he will not be naming the wee mite Graham.

DAVID ROWLAND, chairman of the hapless insurance market, Lloyd's of London, may be beset by problems but at least his house is worth a pretty penny. Or around pounds 1.3m to be precise. We know this, thanks to an estate agents' circular, which shows that the house of one of Mr Rowland's neighbours in Mountfort Crescent in Islington, north London, has been put up for sale.

'It must be one of the most expensive houses in Islington,' one agency said.

None of this will be news to Mr Rowland. The sale is being handled by his wife, the glamorous New Zealander, Diane Matthews, who is a partner in Holden Matthews, a local estate agent.

CHARLES LAWRIE, managing director of the Argyll food subsidiaries, Lo-Cost and Presto, plans to get right away from it all. Having drifted past the company retirement age of 60, he is shooting up to Aberdeen where, I hear, he plans to immerse himself in church life and his newly created charitable trust. Mr Lawrie, who has been with Argyll for 20 years, seems to be winding down already. He is catching winter sun in the Canary Islands.

COATS VIYELLA, the textiles group, was no doubt feeling very pleased with itself when it picked up the gong for best annual report in the Stock Exchange awards last week.

The design involved some ingenuity, I understand. Anxious to show off the new computer-aided design system which speeds up the production of samples, designers Merchant Corporate Design decided to use a computer mouse sitting on some fabric. Then the arty types decided to be really clever and use a real one.

Realising that creative people should never work with children and animals, the designers decided they would never get a real mouse to sit still on a bit of Jaegar jacket and decided to use a stuffed mouse instead. A call to Get Stuffed, the north London agency, did the trick.

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