PEOPLE & BUSINESS

Its an ill wind, so they say. The turmoil in Asian financial markets and the collapse of the Peregine investment bank has British receivers licking their lips.

After all, the UK's liquidators have got sweet fanny adams to do over here at the moment, since company receiverships in the UK are at their lowest since the mid 1980s. In contrast, most observers expect Peregrine to be just the first of a rich crop of corporate casualties out East.

Big names in British bankruptcy that sprang to prominence in our last recession, and who have been spotted in various part of the Far East recently, include Colin Bird of Price Waterhouse, Stephen Adamson of Ersnt & Young, Murdoch McKillop of Arthur Andersen and Gordon Stewart of Allen & Overy.

It makes sense. They all have loads of experience of cross-border crashes, and the current Asian crisis has been sparked off by cross-border lending to places like Thailand and Indonesia.

Neil Cooper, a partner with Buchler Phillips in London, who has spent a long career specialising in multinational company collapses, said: "These days there's a wealth of [insolvency] talent in Hong Kong, which will be supplemented by shipping in more talent from London and Sydney."

"In the early 1980s it relied on immigrant labour, with people like me flying into Hong Kong to do the biggest jobs. I did three receiverships in Thailand once," Mr Cooper added, with a hint of nostalgia in his voice. Buchler Phillips is opening an office in Thailand via its associate Ferrier Hodgson specifically to deal with the expected avalanche of insolvency and restructuring work, Mr Cooper said.

It's an old saying that timing is everything. I've just received a report from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office on the six months after reunification with China, which starts: "1997 was a momentous year for Hong Kong. There were sceptics who thought that it would bring changes to Hong Kong that would fundamentally alter its nature. How wrong they were." Stick around. They might be right in 1998.

Just to put Hong Kong's problems into perspective, how about this sound bite yesterday from Japan's Ministry of Finance: "Japan's bank bad debts now total 76.7 trillion yen." Even in yen that's a lot of money.

A "totally bald" lawyer is to run a marathon in the Sahara this year for charity under the banner: "Fat cat turns desert rat."

The self-deprecating chap in question is Robin Spencer, a partner in the insolvency group at Lovell White Durrant. The barrister turned solicitor will run the145-mile Marathon des Sables this March, and aims to raise pounds 50,000 for the Variety Club Children's Hospital at King's College Hospital, London.

The run will take six days and will cross the sand dunes, river beds and palm groves of southern Morocco, where temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mr Spencer, 39, is anything but a health nut, having only taken up running seriously last April. Since then he has been running 30 to 50 miles a week, a routine which has already brought his weight down from 13.5 stone to 11 stone and his resting heart rate down from 70 to under 50. Makes you sick, doesn't it.

He is also the only bald participant in the race. Mr Spencer's baldness is caused by the condition alopecia totalis - Duncan Goodhew, the swimmer, has the same condition. Mr Spencer believes it will be a positive advantage in the Sahara: "There are no hair washing facilities in the desert. Hirsute competitors may find this uncomfortable, given the heat and dust, whereas I will be restored by a quick wipe from a damp cloth."

The new money market rate for the euro, which will replace Libor if we ever get round to monetary union, will be called "Euribor", according to Paribas yesterday. How very appropriate. I think we all know a few Euribors....

As the graduate recruitment season begins, the questions asked at interviews seem to be getting more and more bizarre.

The Diplomatic Service appear short of jokes, asking young hopefuls what makes them laugh. Management consultants are getting a particular reputation for mind-bending posers. According to Nicki Henrion, head of consultant recruitment at Boston Consulting Group, "Each person is asked how many petrol stations there are in south-east London."

Surprisingly, Ms Henrion claims interviewers know the answers to this type of question and they expect reasonably accurate answers, too. Sounds to me like taxi drivers have a bright future in consulting.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Austen Lloyd: Company Secretary

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: EAST ANGLIA - SENIOR SOLICITOR LEVEL ROLE** -...

Citifocus Ltd: German Speaking Client Specialist

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...

Citifocus Ltd: Performance & Risk Oversight

£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Director - SaaS (SME/Channel) - £140,000 OTE

£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game