Pembroke: Partner on wrong tack

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The Independent Online
Cowes Week hasn't been much of a success so far for Colin Sharman, the yachting- mad senior partner at the accountants KPMG Peat Marwick. Mr Sharman, who is grappling with the prospect of his firm's incorporation, has taken a week's holiday to catch the breeze at Cowes. Only the breeze hasn't been too helpful.

Ringing in from his Isle of Wight home, he moans: 'We got disqualified on Monday for going the wrong side of a buoy.' Other races have proved more successful, though he has not caught a whiff of the prizes. 'I only race a few times a year so you can't expect too much.'

Also having a rough week is Sainsbury's. First it surrendered to Tesco in the battle for William Low. Now a survey has found that consumers prefer fruit and vegetables from farm shops to produce available in supermarkets.

This is doubly embarrassing for Sainsbury, as it sponsored the research. The paper comes from the Sainsbury chair of agribusiness and food marketing, based at Wye College at the University of London. Questions may be asked.

The family connection at Charles Letts, the diary publisher, continues to weaken. Last December a refinancing saw the Letts cede majority control. Now the only remaining family member on the board has stepped down from the chair. Anthony Letts, a direct descendant of Charles Letts, who founded the business in 1796, will remain as a non-executive director, but Alan Mills will take over as chairman.

Martin Letts, Anthony's 29- year-old nephew, is the only other family member working in the business, which bravely subjected itself to the Troubleshooter treatment from Sir John Harvey-Jones a couple of years ago. 'I am the last in the line and am happy to represent the family in whatever way I can.'

Catto Animation, the north London gallery that specialises in cartoon art, is having a busy time. The gallery, run by Gillian Catto, is hoping to raise pounds 500,000 through the Enterprise Investment Scheme, and a Flintstones exhibition has had the tills ringing.

'Jean Vander Pyl, who did the voice of Wilma in the original Flintstones cartoons, came over and we sold pounds 40,000 of Flintstones art in a month,' the gallery says.

An Israeli businessman has pointed his pitching wedge in the direction of economic recovery by buying Quietwaters, one of the best-known golfing casualties of the recession. Abraham Bejerano has paid an undisclosed sum for the Essex golf and country club, which has been run by accountants from Touche Ross since sinking into the bunker of receivership in 1992.

Touche Ross denies that joint receivers Nick Lyle (22 handicap) and David Morgan (16) have spent the past two years shaving vital strokes off their handicaps. 'They've only played the course once,' sniffs a colleague.

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