Pembroke: Sassenach stockbroker responds to a tall order

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TONY VINE-LOTT, the managing director of Barclays Stockbrokers, may have set a few sporrans aquiver on New Year's Eve when he became the first Englishman to deliver the Hogmanay speech in the 150-year history of the Scottish stock exchange.

A Sassenach among Scots, he toughed it out on the floor of the Glasgow dealing room, praising the volume of business. Not that anyone would have dared raise their voice; Mr Vine-Lott stands at six feet five inches. His height was heightened by a lectern that, in the words of one financier, 'looked like it had come out of a Lego set'.

Mr Vine-Lott's attire was a little more staid than at a recent public engagement, when he dressed as a sailor to help launch the new ProShare investment clubs. He chose a suit for the Hogmanay speech. 'He hasn't got any Scottish blood in him so I don't think a kilt would have gone down too well,' said a Barclays spokesman.

MICHAEL GORE, SG Warburg's vice-chairman, saw in 1994 in style. He cashed in pounds 846,000 of share options and bonus shares on New Year's Eve, enough to make any party go with a swing. Warburg would not be drawn on Mr Gore's plans for the loot. 'That's rather a matter for him, don't you think?', said a spokesman. Not that the London office will be able to keep an eye on his spending; he has been working in Tokyo since April as chairman of SG Warburg Asia-Pacific.

EDWIN OWEN, a former delivery driver at Ford's plant in Halewood, Merseyside, has obviously been reading all those self- help guides. The 56-year-old animal lover provides cabs for pets.

All Pets Taxi Service transports moggies and doggies in a converted transit van to vets and boarding kennels. Mr Owen is now saving up for a trailer to cope with larger animals such as horses.

Don't laugh. Patsy Bloom's Pet Plan insurance company won her the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year award in '93.

WORKERS at the Mirror Group headquarters can expect a few calls from the actor John Savident now the former policeman has landed the role of Robert Maxwell in the forthcoming show Maxwell: the Musical Review.

Commenting on his part, he said: 'I want to know his personality so well that if the audience join in, I can retort in character with a witty rejoinder.'