The proposed merger between accountancy behemoths Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse is bound to prompt the usual scrambling for top jobs in the new body. The juiciest plums in the US have already been divvied up, but the line-up in the UK, which will be a separate couple organisation, is wide open.

The smart money is on Peter Smith, the top man at Coopers, with his opposite number, Ian Brindle of Price Waterhouse, limping along on the rails.

Further fuel was added to this view on Sunday when Coopers ran out finalists of the annual Reuters City Sevens at Richmond Athletic Ground, west London. Although the Coopers team were beaten 43- nil in the final by Lloyd's of London, they did better than the Price Waterhouse sevens team, which was knocked out in the quarter finals, also by Lloyd's of London, 12- 10.

Coopers may have done better in the final, but looked puffed after close victories over the London Stock Exchange and ING Barings.

The event has been organised every September for the past 25 years by Keith Sheppard, a former employee of Hoare & Co. Cliff Morgan, the affable former Welsh international, presented the Cup to the winners from Lime Street, while the event raised pounds 12,000 for Sparks, the sport aiding medical research for children.

I hear that Guy Hands of Nomura, who controls a huge number of pubs, trains and army houses, was a good friend of William Hague, the leader of the Conservative Party, when the duo were up at Oxford.

The 36-year-old financial wunderkind, who has just ruffled City feathers with his hostile bid for the William Hill betting chain, spent so much time on his business dealings that he got a Third, quite an achievement at Oxford.

The head of Nomura's principle finance group was also a university contemporary of Ian Hislop, the editor of Private Eye. But it's the Hague connection that interests me most. Perhaps Mr Hands could give his old chum a few tips on presentational style.

Hard on the heels of suggestions that the Government is planning an early entry to EMU, here comes another blow for continental integration: Chris Ide, managing director of Swiss Life (UK), will be the first Englishman to be head of the company's European division and a member of the executive board.

Mr Ide is only the second non-Swiss to join the executive board in the Swiss Gnomes' 140-year history.

He joined the company a quarter of a century ago and became managing director in 1989. Since then Swiss Life's premium income has tripled from pounds 64m to pounds 190m. Sounds like Tony Blair should sign him up.

Until this week Barry Leggetter was chief executive of Fleischman Hillard, a PR company bought by Omnium, a giant international advertising conglomerate. Mr Leggetter went into work yesterday morning to find out he no longer had a job.

Tough, since he was due to take over as chairman of the Institute of Public Relations next year. Still, I am sure Mr Leggetter's well-honed talents will enable him to put a gloss on the week's events.

Intrum Justitia, Europe's biggest firm of debt collectors, has got a new UK boss. James Burton, who began his career as a bank clerk with the Co-operative Bank in 1975, has been appointed managing director of Intrum Justitia's UK arm. He joins from General Electric's capital consumer finance business, where he was director of global operations.

Good to see that the Enid Blyton industry continues to thrive. The Blyton Company has sold Granada pounds 3m worth of film and TV rights, including the Secret Seven and the Barney Mysteries. Granada is planning at least 26 episodes of the Blyton Mystery and Adventure programmes. The Blyton Company has also signed a deal to make a modern TV series of Malory Towers.

It all sounds like spiffing stuff and I'm sure there have been lashings of ginger beer all round.

I've just been faxed 11 identical copies of a four-page press release from the Institute of Management titled "Labour is working, say Business Leaders." Maybe so. The institute's automatic fax machine isn't.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent