Pembroke: Sir Ian one jump ahead

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The Independent Online
Sir Ian MacGregor, the bulldog figure who ran British Coal for Margaret Thatcher during the miners' strike, has struck one of his many jobs from his CV. He has resigned his dollars 50,000 chairmanship of Holmes Protection, the American security company that has a British stock market listing.

Sir Ian, who at 81 might start thinking about taking it easy, faced boardroom dissention at Holmes. Some impertinent directors were planning to vote against the old warhorse extending his run in the chair. He resigned rather than give them the satisfaction. Sadly (for him) he will get no compensation - something of a rare event in the era of the golden parachute.

Will he be missed? Not much, if yesterday's comment by chief executive Richard Hickson is anything to go by: 'I'm not sure how I feel about him going. That sounds a bit pathetic, doesn't it?'

It's not the most fragrant marketing idea, but a US brewery is going ahead anyway - scratch-and-sniff advertisements with a whiff of lager.

The Boston brewer of Sam Adams beer is planning full-page adverts in publications such as Rolling Stone and Newsweek next month. When scratched they give off the distinctive bouquet of hops.

We've had the widget in a can and the widget in a bottle. Now step forward the widget (sort of) in the glass. Thanks to Whitbread, the age-old problem of the disappearing head on your pint could be a thing of the past.

The brewer has been testing what it describes as a nucleation process, which will maintain the head of froth right down to the bottom. It works by treating the bottom of the glass with tiny glass particles, which enable a continuous flow of carbon monoxide through the beer. The new-fangled glasses are being tested in 100 pubs to see if anyone can tell the difference.

Shareholders do like a free gift, and those who attended yesterday's British Airways annual meeting did not go away empty-handed. Each was given a little slice of cake to celebrate the airline's 75 years of not quite blemish-free operation.

But some people are never satisfied. Why, inquired one shareholder of Sir Colin Marshall, did BA only give a discount of 10 per cent on one flight a year? 'If I shop around in the travel agent I can get 5 per cent,' he grumbled.

About 6,000 runners will be hoping for cooler weather this evening for the Chemical Bank corporate challenge. The race is a 3.5-mile sprint in Battersea Park in which teams from Goldman Sachs, Cazenove and Lazards compete.

Look out for Herb Aspbury, the senior director of Chemical Bank's Europe division. He'll be the one in the fetching cerise shorts. 'I seem to have left my proper running shorts in America,' he says.

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