Pembroke: Southern comfort

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The Independent Online
Charles Brady, the fund manager from Atlanta, Georgia, who recently replaced Lord Stevens as chairman of Invesco MIM, brought some useful Southern charm to the company's often chilly annual meeting yesterday.

One lady of a certain age who had difficulty understanding Mr Brady's accent demanded that 'when you're in this country you must speak more slowly'. Mr Brady's reply - 'I can't change my accent at this late stage in my life' - brought the house down (release of nervous tension, we imagine).

When the vote came on dropping from the Invesco company name the 'MIM' bit - Lord Stevens' old company, which has been catching the flak from Imro - one shareholder demanded: 'How much is this going to cost us?' Without missing a beat Mr Brady observed: 'Less than maintaining the present name.'

City advisers working on the flotation of Field Group - whose name smacks of ruddy- cheeked outdoor pursuits but which actually provides packaging for such blue chip names as Marks & Spencer, Chanel and Philip Morris - have coined an acronym for the incentive scheme for employees.

The company is offering to match any investment made by staff members (but not including directors) up to around pounds 500 and the snappy phrase in question is 'Bog-off', or: 'Buy one, get one free.' (Or even ffree.)

The nickname of Forbes magazine - Capitalist Tool - was also the name coined by a bikers' gang patronised by the late millionaire publisher Malcolm Forbes in the days when he ripped around on a Harley Davidson.

Still tearing round the world to exotic locations is his Boeing 727 private jet. This green and white flying machine, and belligerent declaration of capitalism, is also christened Capitalist Tool, as the huge letters emblazoned down its fuselage bear witness.

The aircraft grabbed world attention when Mikhail Gorbachev thumbed his nose at years of adherence to the Communist Way and hitched a ride to California with his wife Raisa. Significantly, our most recent sighting comes from a colleague who saw it parked ostentatiously on the tarmac at St Petersburg airport. Sadly, he was not able to spot which party apparatchik was waiting, boarding pass in hand.

Rupert Murdoch has lost another senior studio executive to the brave new world of interactive multimedia, or IM as it's now known in Hollywood. Following in the footsteps of former Fox chairman Barry Diller, who took a big stake in a cable-shopping network last autumn, Fox Film president Strauss Zelnick is joining the flight to Silicon Valley, where he will head Crystal Dynamics, a start-up software company whose principal business is video games.

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