Pembroke: The female ingredient at Cazenove

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The Independent Online
ANOTHER CITY bastion fell yesterday when Cazenove & Co, the blue-blooded stockbroking firm, appointed its first female partner. The groundbreaker of Tokenhouse Yard is Anne West, who along with six (male) colleagues will be elevated to the partnership in May.

Ms West, who is 43, joined the secretive firm five years ago from Standard Chartered, where she ran the bank's fund management subsidiary in Hong Kong. At Cazenove she heads the Asian investments side of the broker's unit trust management division. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she trilled. 'There are some fine women in the firm. I hope this encourages them.'

John Kemp-Welch, who retires as joint senior partner in April, was equally chipper, saying: 'We are very selective in this firm over who we have in the partnership and many ingredients have to be in place. Anne has all the qualities, as do all the others.'

Mr Kemp-Welch batted away questions over why it had taken so long for the firm to welcome a female into its highest ranks. 'We're not anti-women. We're not anti-anything,' he protested.

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SOME BIG-HITTING suits from Lloyd's of London, the august insurance market, found their luncheons somewhat abbreviated yesterday when the City Flogger, one of the market's favourite watering holes, closed abruptly at 2pm.

The reason given was 'a technicality in the licence'. For technicality read mistake. 'It was a clerical error,' explained a spokesman. 'We had to close at the insistence of the police, who have come down rather hard. I think they have made an example of us.'

The mistake could prove rather expensive. The City Flogger will not be able to reopen until Wednesday. Davys of London, the group's owners, are hoping thirsty regulars can be directed to The Habit, another branch in Crutched Friars where I am reliably informed the licence is in working order.

IT'S BEEN A good 12 months for David Morris, chairman of Northern Electric. His salary increased from pounds 170,000 to pounds 190,000. In December he announced bumper profits up 28 per cent (the figures were so good they had one MP demanding an inquiry) and yesterday he banked a scarcely necessary pounds 136,000 by courtesy of a rather nice share option sale.

Why the sale? A new Bentley Turbo, perhaps? 'I'm sure there was a better reason that that,' sniffed a spokesman.

TWO DECADES of loyalty paid off yesterday when Paddy Wright finally made it to the board of Jefferson Smurfit, the Irish cardboard box manufacturer run by Michael Smurfit, one of Ireland's richest men.

Mr Wright joined the company as Dr Smurfit's personal assistant in 1974 when the business was far from the international powerhouse it is today. He sits on the board of Aer Lingus and Smurfit Paribas bank and is chief executive of Smurfit Ireland.

His boss, it is alleged, has the reputation of drinking finer wines at table than those served to his guests. Pehaps he could make an exception today for an old timer.

THE UBIQUITOUS Richard Branson was indulging in another publicity stunt at the weekend when he partnered Britt Ekland to a Mardi Gras celebration in London. The somewhat unlikely pairing dressed up as a King and Queen to welcome 700 guests at a west London film studio transformed into a Mississippi riverboat casino.

I understand Mr Branson looked very fetching in his green and silver outfit and was so overcome with emotion that he offered two upper class seats to any Virgin destination as part of the raffle.

A COLLEAGUE was alarmed recently when she saw the name BCCI on her Access statement. What did this mean? Some sort of Abu Dhabi link-up?

Nothing so worrisome. Apparently the Christmas card charity Card Aid took up residence in an old branch of BCCI in Regent Street, London, and payments were recorded with the name of the outlet from which the cards were purchased. Even so, I'm sure a few hearts fluttered.