Pembroke: Not even a tiny revolution

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The Independent Online
We learn that one of the many reforms Dieter Bock, the newish joint chief executive of Lonrho, is trying to introduce is proper press conferences at which the company announces its annual results.

Can it be, then, that we will soon see the 75-year-old 'Tiny' Rowland taking the podium to field questions about the origins of profits, the level of his salary and his pension? Apparently not.

The Chancellor's 'seven wise men' are to become six in January when Andrew Sentance leaves the CBI to join the London Business School. As exclusively revealed in the Independent on Sunday, Mr Sentance, currently the CBI's director of economic affairs, will leave to become deputy to Professor David Currie, another of the 'wise men', at the LBS's Centre of Economic Forecasting.

Apparently the Treasury is unlikely to allow two of the seven to come from one institution, so the book is open on his successor.

Potential replacements are Sudhir Junankar, Mr Sentance's deputy at the CBI, Roger Bootle, of Midland Bank, or possibly Ruth Lea, of Mitsubishi Bank. Then it would be the 'seven wise persons' or perhaps 'the group of seven', which would get very confusing.

Staff nipping out for a lunchtime fag at Norwich Union have caused the insurance giant to modify its policy on staff smoking.

Following the introduction of a total ban two years ago the company found that having clusters of staff puffing away outside the offices and stubbing out their leftovers on the doorstep was not giving a good impression.

Staff smokers will now have designated smoking zones with oversize ashtrays for a two-month trial period.

Garfield, the grimacing cat whose image is stuck to the back window of many a Ford Escort, has a contender for his position as number one feline.

At least, that is what James Driscoll, chairman of Storm Group, was saying yesterday when he snapped up the worldwide licensing rights to Heathcliff, another fat cat who appears on Channel 4 on Saturday mornings.

''We believe Heathcliff will be able to exceed Garfield's popularity,' purred Mr Driscoll.

NatWest Markets forged a link with the past yesterday when it launched its Angerstein Underwriting Trust, an investment trust aimed at attracting corporate money to Lloyd's of London.

The name derives from John Julius Angerstein, chairman of the insurance market from 1790 to 1796 and known as 'the father of Lloyd's'. Raised and educated in Russia, Angerstein was the prime achitect of the market's move to the Royal Exchange and is also credited with turning Lloyd's from a gambling den into a legitimate gambling den.

'The Angerstein trust started out just as our codename internally, then we got permission from Lloyd's to use it,' says John Sanders, managing director of the bank's corporate international banking arm.

What he would make of the current disarray in his beloved institution, heaven only knows.

(Photograph omitted)

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