PEOPLE & BUSINESS

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
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
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

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower