People & Business: And now, here's a business text that we prepared earlier

We all know that Valerie Singleton has a way with youth and, of course, with sticky-back plastic. Now the veteran broadcaster is turning her Blue Peter experience to good effect by teaming up with another Beeb stalwart, Peter Hobday, for a series of "talking books" by the "top business guru" Ron Holland, designed to encourage more young people to start their own businesses. Mr Hobday will be reading such texts as the best-selling Talk and Grow Rich, Turbo Success and Debt Free with Financial Kung-Fu, while Singleton will take part in presentations with the author. "We are focusing on young people who are looking to start their own business. These young people are the future of Britain and need all the help they can get," explains Singleton. All together - "here's a business plan I prepared earlier..."

Meanwhile, whoever said that business school students were all financial control freaks without an ounce of imagination had better eat their hat. Just ask Peter Casey, chairman of the Casey construction group. Faced with finding a "green" use for 2 million tons of peat that his company was going to dig out of the ground during the building of the M66 at Ashton Moss, he went to Manchester Business School, which runs an annual creative thinking challenge among its MBA students.

Thanks to the lateral thinking encouraged by creativity professor, Tudor Rickards, the peat looks to be heading to a golf course in the Middle East. But in the competition, sponsored by accountants Arthur Andersen; their associated law firm, Garretts; insurance brokers and risk management consultants J&H Marsh & McLennan and Manchester Airport, the students also came up with other ideas, such as processing the peat for cat litter and using it as a sound barrier at the edge of a motorway.

Nikko Europe's new managing director and joint head of research, Simon Briscoe, launched into his new role with an admirable display of dedication yesterday. For although they only got spliced at the weekend, Mr Briscoe and his bride, Marie-Laure Duhot, were both back at their desks yesterday morning. He has been promoted from his previous position as UK economist and head of fixed income research. He will head a new integrated research division alongside Larry Prager.

Meanwhile, Ms Duhot, formerly a high-flier at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, has started at the capital markets division of Lehman Brothers. The honeymoon had to take place before the wedding, such are the pressures on dual-career couples in the City.

Given the pre-election takeover mania from the US for British regional electricity companies it was only a matter of time before a senior UK executive went west, literally, with his new masters. Norman Askew, chief executive of East Midlands Electricity, had already been appointed an executive vice president of Dominion Resources, which recently paid pounds 1.3bn for the Nottingham-based group in an agreed deal.

Now Mr Askew, who is 54, is to be the next president and chief executive of Virginia Power, Dominion's main subsidiary and a genuine first in the privatised power industry. East Midland's finance director, Robert Davies, 48, is taking over as chief executive. Mr Askew is reputed to have hit it off from the start of negotiations with Thomas Capps, Dominion's larger- than-life chairman.

Yesterday's announcement ominously noted that Mr Askew, who has run East Midlands for three years, is "familiar with American customs and cultures," having worked in the US for three years. Perhaps he is getting out at the right time. One thing he won't have to cope with is the dreaded windfall tax, hanging over every regional power company as judgment day approaches in the Gordon Brown's Budget.

High-profile biotechnology analyst Nick Woolf has been poached from Japanese broking house Nomura by US investment bank, Robertson Stephens. Mr Woolf will become Robertson's first biotechnology analyst in Europe. Robertson, a private bank based in New York and San Fransisco, focuses on high technology and biotechnology companies in the US, but is eager to extend its coverage to the fast-expanding European biotechnology sector.

Mr Woolf's appointment is a further pointer to growing investment opportunities in the biotechnology market in Europe. An increasing number of companies across the Continent are seeking to raise money on the London or new pan-European Easdaq stock markets.

He will initially be advising Robertson's US clients on investing in Europe, but the bank wants to build a European client-list offering investment opportunities in US and European equities.

Referring to last week's share price falls after UK group Celltech said that its leading drug had failed clinical trials, Mr Woolf said that when European share prices were weak, Robertson could provide companies a ready alternative route to market via Nasdaq, the US's technology exchange.

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
News
i100
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

Day In a Page

Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?