People & Business : A labrador is retired man's best friend

David Redding, chief press spokesman at Oftel since 1984, retired from the telecoms regulator on Friday, and by all accounts his leaving bash was quite an occasion.

Guests included Bryan Carsberg, former Oftel head, as well as the present incumbent, Don Cruickshank.

Notably absent, however, was Mr Redding's leaving present. He had requested a golden labrador, no doubt fearing retirement would weigh heavily on his mind. A pooch would get him out of the house at the very least.

The good news is that Oftel is determined to buy such a dog for him, but hasn't quite got round to it yet. Mr Redding is on a three-week holiday, giving Oftel time to do so. So if you spot Mr Cruickshank hanging around Battersea Dogs' Home, you'll know why.

Albert Scardino, husband of Marjorie Scardino, Pearson's recently installed chief executive, had a worrying trip to Nottingham last week. The American- born Mr Scardino is leading one of the groups bidding for Nottingham Forest. He was mortified to discover, then, as he was driving back from a trip to Nottingham, that he had left his laptop computer and a pile of confidential documents on the pavement where he had parked his car.

When he got back to London he rang the police, who scooted around to the spot he described - to find the laptop, documents and all, just where he had left them on the pavement. These were returned to a mightily relieved Mr Scardino. But what does it say about the citizens of Nottingham? Scrupulously honest - or short of sight?

Eddie George, Governor of the Bank of England, is taking on the Office of National Statistics in a bare-knuckle fight for market share in the publishing business.

For years the ONS has published a monthly digest called Financial Statistics for economists, at a cost of pounds 21 each or pounds 255 a year, including postage and packing.

Now the Bank is launching its own Bank of England Monetary and Financial Statistics at a mere pounds 6 a copy.

Surely the European Commission should investigate such blatant predatory pricing by a State-owned body?

Charles Stonehill has been poached by BZW from Morgan Stanley to be head of investment banking, the second big defection from Morgan Stanley to the British bank in the past three weeks.

Bob Diamond, head of markets at BZW, brought in fellow American Neil Cummins from Morgan Stanley to become managing director last month. With Mr Stonehill's recruitment, the top slots in BZW's new three-part structure, equities, markets and investment banking, are filled, fulfilling chief executive Bill Harrison's vision of how the bank should be run.

The previous head of corporate finance, Graham Pimlott, is due to become director of planning, operations and technology for the whole Barclays Bank group later this month.

Mr Stonehill, 38, will have global responsibility for BZW's corporate finance and structured finance operations.

After reading History at Oxford Mr Stonehill joined JP Morgan in 1978 and spent six years in their oil and gas corporate finance team in London and New York. He moved to Morgan Stanley in 1984, where he rose to become head of European equities.

David Perry, the man who successfully defended Waddington against two hostile bids from Robert Maxwell, is retiring as chairman after nearly 20 years with the packaging and printing company. Mr Perry, 59, is being succeeded by Michael Orr, chairman of Molins, the Milton Keynes-based engineering group. Mr Orr is also a non-executive director of Granada, Lazards, and WH Smith.

Mr Perry joined as managing director of Waddington in 1978, when it still owned the Monopoly board game and manufactured playing cards.

Nowadays the company has given up cards in favour of producing mailshots for the building societies which are converting to bank status, as well as American fast food containers.

Mr Perry retains his links with the world of cards as he is still a member of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards.

Before joining Waddington Mr Perry worked for Mr Maxwell at British Printing. Nevertheless, he managed to repel a long, drawn-out bid battle with Mr Maxwell for Waddington in 1983, and a renewed attack one year later.

In 1988 Mr Perry became chief executive, and three years ago the company sold the rights to Monopoly. Chairman for just over two years, Mr Perry in his youth won 15 caps playing rugby for England.

Sadly he was unavailable for comment yesterday on England's demolition of Scotland on Saturday, since he is on a skiing holiday.

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