Pembroke: Racing cert at IG Index

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Ron Pollard, king of tipsters, is taking on a new consultancy role at IG Index, the financial bookies, after resigning as a director of Ladbroke last September. Mr Pollard has been in the betting business one heck of a long time - '50 years come this 5 July.' He joined William Hill when only five people worked for the company, and says they were still using quill pens when he arrived at Ladbroke 30 years ago.

For 12 of those years at Ladbroke, his was the task of reading every book on the Booker Prize shortlist. He tipped six of the winners - no mean feat bearing in mind the often capricious nature of the judges. IG Index has not, hitherto, been known for gambling excursions outside the financial world, but Mr Pollard hopes this will change as he helps to build up the company. 'As a consultant, I'm only as good as the number of times I'm consulted,' he said yesterday. So will IG Index be offering odds on this year's Booker? 'You can bet on it,' he said involuntarily.

Tesco's new format Metro store in Covent Garden has proved such a hit with tourists, office workers and residents that Tesco is now planning to roll out the experiment in Oxford Street and in Bristol and Glasgow. It's not quite your ordinary grocery shop, as Terry Leahy, Tesco's marketing director, points out. 'We sell more ciabatta bread there than ordinary white sliced. I wouldn't expect that to be repeated in Glasgow,' he adds sagely.

The job advertisement may have run like this: 'Patrician City gent with slightly chequered history needed to join businessman with even more chequered history. Apply Heron International.'

The successful 'applicant' for the post of non-executive chairman at Heron, the troubled property company, turns out to be Lord Boardman, the septuagenarian former chairman of NatWest Bank, whose head was demanded on a plate after the Blue Arrow scandal in 1989. He will join Heron when its debt restructuring, which involves swapping pounds 400m of senior debt for equity,is complete.

Gerald Ronson, of course, served six months of a one-year jail sentence in the Ford Country Club in 1990, after being convicted of theft, false accounting and conspiracy in the first Guinness trial. He plans to appeal against the conviction.

Deals worth pounds 71m for trailer companies do not come past every day. But such a bid came in for TIP Europe from GE Capital, a big US company, and the deal was sealed at 2.30am yesterday. John Davis, TIP's chairman, was notably absent during this important day in the company's history, and the word was that he was already in the States. Spying out the land? Sussing out the bidder? Investigating US takeover legislation?

He was at a relative's wedding in sun-kissed Santa Barbara. But David Callear, chief executive, explained that they had been in constant telephone touch.

Comments