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Staying in the City

CANARY WHARF is the best thing since sliced bread, according to the investment bankers who are advising on the Docklands property scheme's float.

Fair enough. The people from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter should know - they are one of the longest established tenants of the East End development. Co-advising Canary Wharf on the float are Cazenove, those blue-blooded British brokers. Cazenove still inhabit Tokenhouse Yard in the City, three miles to the west of Canary Wharf.

So at the Canary Wharf press conference yesterday I asked Richard Cotton of Cazenove the obvious question: "When are you moving to Canary Wharf?"

Mr Cotton looked somewhat startled and replied: "We have no present plans to move. Mind you, you can never say never."

At which, John Landman of Morgan Stanley, who was also at the briefing, chimed in somewhat gleefully: "They've resisted all persuasion so far."

C'mon Caz, show us you really believe in your client.

On location

THE PRESS conference referred to above was held near the Barbican in the City. Why not in Canary Wharf? After all the pathfinder prospectus published yesterday describes it as "a recognised and established location" with "easy access to the rest of London". What better way to advertise its charms than have its press launch there?

George Iacobescu, chairman of Canary Wharf, explained: "We're having an investors' roadshow here, with lunch and a series of one-hour slots. We'll be having a presentation in Canary Wharf on Tuesday."

Personally I think they were worried that a delay on the Docklands Light Railway might have provided unwelcome headlines.

Rage in church

STRIDING THROUGH the Square Mile yesterday I was struck by a poster outside the church of St Botolph's Aldersgate headed: "What about the workers?"

Far from signalling a new interest in proletarian revolution among the City's faithful, the poster listed a series of talks given by the resident vicar, the Reverend David Prior, starting on 4 February with: "Sweat and Pain". This was followed on February 11 with "Rage and Violence".

Obviously the vicar has City traders in mind. Four further talks were listed before we came to 18 March: "Confusion in the marketplace".

Finally on 25 March the Reverend Prior is set to reach the inescapable conclusion: "The time to get out".


A FIRM of City recruitment consultants has spotted a trend among candidates to spurn traditional "hobbies" when filling out their CVs.

According to Gillow Purdie Associates, sports, reading, theatre and the like have been replaced by "Shiatsu massage, Feng Shui, ballet, mentoring and photography". And that's just the men.

The female candidates in contrast show an increasing enthusiasm for "Formula 1 motor racing, football, fencing and skiing." Alison Gillow, director of the firm, is not sure whether such role reversal is due to women breaking the "glass ceiling" or to "hormones in the water supply".


EDDIE THE EAGLE, the erstwhile ski-jumper, gave the after-dinner speech for the City Ski Run last night in the Vintners hall. In two weeks time hordes of City types will descend on Courchevel in France for the annual ski run to raise money for disabled charities.

I hear that last year Rory Tapner, head of corporate finance at Warburg Dillon Read, got somewhat carried away during an after-dinner game.Photos of the larks were subsequently auctioned for pounds 500, but disappointingly found to feature nothing that would embarrass Mr Tapner. Let's hope for a better performance this year.