People & Business

A huge gang of marauding regulators burst upon an unsuspecting Canary Wharf in London's Docklands yesterday to give their new head office the once-over.

The 30-plus party of sightseers from NewRo, the proposed body formed from seven investment regulators, was led by its leader elect, Howard Davies, who chose the new location. Which is pretty brave of Mr Davies, considering he lives in faraway Ealing, on the other side of London.

The visitors swarmed off the Docklands Light Railway sporting little name badges on their lapels - DTI, Bank of England, SIB and so on. Even the transport system got into the spirit of the occasion, flashing up "DLR welcomes NewRo" on its electronic notice board.

More than 2,100 bureaucrats will move to the building at 25 North Colonnade which contains more than 363,000 square feet of office space.

The capture of NewRo means that Canary Wharf, only half-let during the recession, is now more than 90 per cent full, although the top 11 floors of the tower are still available. There is also new building, so by next month Canary Wharf will have 1,635,000 square feet of office space under construction.

One regulator said the guided tours were in order to "win hearts and minds" for the location. "A lot of people never been there and have only read about it in the press." Yesterday's was just the first of a large number of visits planned.

The regulator source adds: "We're hoping the Jubilee Line underground extension to Canary Wharf will open on time next September - that's when we move in."

The drugs group Scotia is introducing an appetite suppressant for slimmers called "Ileal Brake", a naturally occurring drug which sends signals to your brain saying your tummy's full so you end up eating 30 per cent fewer calories per meal.

A Swedish company is already using it in yoghurts, as Scotia's chairman, Sir James McKinnon, found to his cost. He was in Stockholm to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of a Scotia subsidiary called LipidTeknik, and attended a sumptuous feast to that end. He tried one of the yoghurts, not knowing it contained the new drug, liked it and had another one. The result was he felt stuffed and couldn't manage a morsel of the feast. There's a moral in there somewhere.

The normally gritty Sir Lawrie Barratt, the grand old man of the house- building industry, was in an elegiac mood yesterday as he contemplated his retirement as chairman of Barratt Developments, the group he founded, for the second time.

Never one to hide his light under a bushel, he said his greatest achievement in 44 years in the business was "assisting the explosion of home ownership which has taken place. Assisting the growth from 4 million families to 12 million families [which own their own home]. I have consistently strived to make that possible and the industry has consistently followed."

Despite her famous refusal to live in a Barratt home in Dulwich, South- east London, he also still clearly holds a candle for Margaret Thatcher. He quite understood her desire to live closer in to London, he said, but deep down she was like all women. "Men want a new car, but 90 per cent of women want a new house."

Even so, he retains his customary disdain for those who dabble in politics. Archie Norman, Lord Simon, Martin Taylor and the like who are prepared to sup with the Labour Government get short shrift. "It will all unfold. It will all end in tears." As for himself and politics: "I wouldn't waste my time."

Instead he will keep an eye on his old business as life president and will keep his hands full running three homes and a yacht in the south of France.

Hardly the country gent, Sir Lawrie insists he is an organiser and you can see his point. Twenty-five acres in Northumberland might be enough for one person, but his 4,500-acre Farndale Estate in the Yorkshire dales sounds like a full-time job in itself. Famous for its annual display of daffodils, Farndale boasts 22 let farms, 150 acres of woodland and a shoot with pheasants, grouse, duck and partridge.

Sir Lawrie has no time for those who make their pile and quit the country to live in a tax haven. "I pay my taxes in this country and enjoy the British way of life." And long may it be so.

Thames Water has appointed its managing director, Bill Alexander, as chief executive from 1 October. The company's chairman, former United Biscuits boss Sir Robert Clarke, will continue until his retirement in the spring of 1999. Sir Robert said: "There will be a gradual handover of my executive responsibilities over the next 18 months. It is anticipated that my successor as chairman will be non-executive." The company added that its strategy director, Bill Harper, would leave at the end of the year.

Speaking of which, whatever happened to Mike Hoffman, Thames Water's chief executive until March 1996? Mr Hoffman disappeared into obscurity with his payoff after eight years leading an international diversification strategy for the utility, which it abruptly put into reverse last year.

The former head of Water Services Association of England and Wales left Thames Water with a payoff of around pounds 500,000, plus options worth another pounds 500,000 and Thames Water shares worth pounds 400,000.

It appears Mr Hoffman is still busy with three non-executive directorships. He picked up one at Hornby, the train sets maker, in January, and he is a non exec at PowerGen and Anite Group, which changed its name from Cray Electronics Holdings.

Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
Sport
Sergio Romero saves Wesley Sneijder's penalty
world cup 2014But after defeating the Dutch, Lionel Messi and Argentina will walk out at the Maracana on Sunday as underdogs against Germany
Sport
Scoreboard at the end of the semi-final World Cup match between Brazil and Germany at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte
Sport
'Saddest man in Brazil' takes defeat with good grace, handing replica trophy to German fans
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
peopleThe Game of Thrones author said speculation about his health and death was 'offensive'
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips
video
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
In his own words: Oscar Wilde in 1882
theatreNew play by the Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials - and what they reveal about the man
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m
filmWith US films earning record-breaking amounts at the Chinese box office, Hollywood is more than happy to take its lead from its new-found Asian audience
News
The garage was up for sale in Canning Place Mews for £500,000
newsGarage for sale for £500,000
Life and Style
tech
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

Associate CXL Consultant

£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...

Associate CXL Consultant

£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...

Financial Planning Manager, Qual Accountant, £380

£300 - £380 per day: Orgtel: Financial Planning Manager, Banking , London, £30...

Business Analyst - Financial Services, Trading Systems, Agile

£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading fina...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil