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People and Business

A very humble Enterprise

ENTERPRISE AND Lasmo may have broken off merger talks, but that won't stop them playing football against each other.

Not surprising really, considering that the two independent oil exploration companies have been talking to each other about a possible link-up for years.

Just last month Enterprise beat Lasmo 4-1 in an enjoyable 11-a-side encounter at Enterprise's home ground at Battersea, London.

An Enterprise spokesman modestly said that the scoreline did not reflect the game. "There were plenty of good chances on both sides. Perhaps we were luckier in our finishing.

"We've been playing Lasmo off and on for some time. We play a variety of companies - people like Abbey Life, Shell, Texaco."

Will they continue playing Lasmo? "I do hope so," he says.

And who were the goal scorers for Enterprise? "No names - we wouldn't want to appear arrogant," he replies. Perish the thought.

O'Neill's slogans

SO MIKE O'NEILL is not coming to take over Barclays after all. In an eerie coincidence a famous American surfer called Jack O'Neill coined the slogan: "Go big or go home."

Jack O'Neill invented the wet suit in 1952 and went on to become one of the US's biggest sportswear magnates. Just so you know, the surfer's other slogans were: "Snow is only frozen water" and: "It is always summer on the inside," whatever they may mean.

Bank catches on

ALTHOUGH NEWS of Mike O'Neill's withdrawal from the Barclays job had been all over the TV and radio yesterday morning, it had not penetrated the portals of the Bank of England by lunchtime.

Bank staff were shocked when told the news at an otherwise jolly reception held to launch a learned tome, "Payment Systems in Global Perspective."

Eddie George, the Governor, hosted the bash in the magnificent first floor ante-room of the Bank. Impressively, the 80-a-day Governor was able to complete the session without once lighting a cigarette.

One of the book's co-authors, John Trundle, a former personal secretary to the Governor, explained: "It's because he's so excited about launching the book." A-ha.

Gartmore's loss

GARTMORE HAS dispensed with the services of Peter Pearson Lund, one of the doyens of the fund management industry, following a reorganisation.

Mr Pearson Lund, formerly a chairman of Gartmore Fund Managers and most recently a senior manager in Gartmore's retail division, will not be replaced. Mr Pearson Lund joined Gartmore in 1985 after a long spell with Henderson.

A spokesman for Gartmore, which was bought by NatWest three years ago, said: "All companies evolve and change. There was no longer a role senior enough for a man of his experience."

Freeserve ace

DIXONS YESTERDAY appointed John Pluthero as chief executive of Freeserve, the company's free Internet service, following its decision on Monday to explore a float of the division. Mr Pluthero launched and developed Freeserve.

E-mail: j.willcock@independent.co.uk