PEOPLE & BUSINESS

SIR Rhodes Boyson, the bewhiskered former headmaster and Tory politician, has joined his chum Desmond Bloom on the board of Manx & Overseas, an AIM-listed electrical retailer on the Isle of Man which Mr Bloom plans to turn into a property trading business.

Sir Rhodes, now retired after 23 years as a Member of Parliament, has always had two non-executive directorships ever since he left politics.

"I'm an economist, although most people think of me as an educationalist," he says. He has sat on the board of Blacks Leisure since 1987, when his friend, chief executive Simon Bentley, asked him to join. "I like these things where you look forward to turning up," he says.

"I've known Des Bloom for upwards of 20 years. He wanted me to come on this (Manx).. The City is an interesting place. This will broaden my interest," he says.

The former acolyte of Margaret Thatcher adds: "I ran a dining club when I was in politics, of which Des was a member. I'm not coming to this cold."

He does admit, however, that commercial property trading is new to him. He isn't looking for any other directorships, he says. "I don't collect them like medals."

Sir Rhodes is also embroiled in writing a book about the contemporary political scene, which takes between two and six hours of his day. He concludes: "I need some discipline. That's a good thing for a headmaster to say."

ROYAL and SunAlliance has ended up dealing with the insurance claim for Tracy Edwards' de-masted round-the-world yacht - the very yacht that the insurance company has been sponsoring.

In fact, Royal & SunAlliance owns the yacht - called, appropriately enough, Royal & SunAlliance.

Understandably, the company is chary about discussing the cost of the attempted circumnavigation of the globe. The original budget for Tracy and her 10-strong crew in their attempt to capture the Trophee Jules Verne was a cool pounds 4.25m.

Now the crew has returned to Britain after the mast broke in heavy seas. The yacht is in Chile awaiting a new mast, which will have to be made in the UK or France.

So has the project bust its budget? A spokesman for the company says: "We haven't done the sums. It's turned into an insurance claim, and we are the lead insurers."

It will be fascinating to see how strict they will be with themselves.

FOUR DIRECTORS at Flying Flowers have sold shares in the company worth around pounds 3m, just days after they bought Stanley Gibbons in an all-paper bid.

The airborne florists' chief executive Tim Dunningham sold 400,000 ordinary shares in the company at a price of 550p each, trousering a cool pounds 2,200,000.

Walter Goldsmith, the company's chairman, sold pounds 165,000-worth. Mr Goldsmith is a highly active entrepreneur, being a director of Betterware, Fitness First and Self Sealing Systems International. He is also a former director- general of the Institute of Directors and a director of more companies than you could shake a stick at.

Bringing up the rear, Flying Flowers' directors David Nightingale and Tom Walker sold pounds 550,000 and pounds 174,185-worth of shares respectively.

You can hardly blame the directors, though. Flying Flowers floated at 155p two years ago and the share price has taken flight since then. They eased 3p pence yesterday to close at 557.5p.

I HEAR CSFB has issued an edict to their new ex-BZW staff along the lines that all front line troops must be in work by 6.30am in the morning and lunchbreaks are not to be spent outside the building. It's a hard life being an investment banker these days.

ANY TAKERS for 3.20 German marks to the pound? According to Morgan Stanley, sterling fails the "Martian" test. Ravi Bulchandani writes: "It would be hard to prove to a Martian that sterling is obviously overvalued at current levels."

Mr Bulchandani names the obvious factors such as the balance of payments, buoyant demand and high level of manufacturing activity. Then he goes on: "The general `buzz' associated with New Labour, the fact that UK economic policy-making stands out for its quality - particularly in a euro-obsessed European context - and substantial improvements such as the independence of the central bank, all add up to a suggest a very favourable macro-economic backdrop for investment in UK PLC."

All very well, but surely a Martian would just zap the lot of us?

BATH Press's former non-executive chairman, Tony Fisher, has retired from the board, the company said yesterday. Mr Fisher agreed to remain as a non-executive director for the past year following the appointment of Sir James Hann as non-executive chairman.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links