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People and Business

Missing links Craic at the bar Sailing home EEF's Temple
JULIAN OGILVY THOMPSON, the patrician chairman and chief executive of Anglo-American, the mining giant switching its listing to London from Johannesburg, may have set an interesting hare running.

If only the gold producers would take a leaf out of the diamond miners' book and spend, say, $1 an ounce through the under-resourced World Gold Council on promoting gold's attractions as a jewellery medium, they would get more than a dollar an ounce back through lifting the price of gold, Mr Ogilvy Thompson mused yesterday.

He is not, of course, trying to set up a gold cartel - perish the thought - but he does think De Beers have done a fantastic job on diamonds.

THERE ARE many burning questions surrounding the Deutsche Telekom-Telecom Italia merger. What will they call the new company? Will Olivetti manage to break up the party before the deal gets past the competition police in Brussels?

But at least Franco Bernabe, the chief executive of Telecom Italia, was able to clear up one of the mysteries yesterday. How will he and his co- chief executive, Ron Sommer of Deutsche Telekom, divide up their role?

Easy, replied Mr Bernabe. "When he goes skiing I will do the work and when I go skiing he will do the work."

Molto bene. As for the vexed question of the name, the partners have decided it will contain neither the words "Deutsche" nor "Italia", but will include "Telecom" spelt with a "c". And the common language? "I am confident it will be English... or Austrian," quips Mr Bernabe. What can this all mean?

OVER 400 members of the legal profession attended the second annual dinner last night in aid of Co-operation Ireland, a charity working to create a brighter future for young people in Ireland. The bash at the Dorchester in London attracted everyone from the chairman of the bar, Dan Brennan, to culture minister Chris Smith, and from former EastEnders actress Michelle Collins to Andersen Consulting managing partner Terry Neill.

The event even had a song for peace written in its honour by singer Brian Kennedy. The dinner was sponsored by document management company Axxia, which sells to many Irish law firms. Other support was given by Bank of Ireland, Waxy O'Connors and Guinness.

There was a large contingent from Dublin, including lawyers from A&L Goodbody, McCann Fitzgerald and Arthur Cox. If the event keeps expanding at its present rate, said one of the organisers, they "may well have a use for the Millennium Dome in a couple of years' time".

TEARS FOR the failed attempt by Tracy Edwards' all-female crew to sail non-stop around the world in last year's Royal & SunAlliance Challenge have turned to joy for Robin Courage.

His sports sponsorship consultancy, Atkinson Courage, has won two "Oscars" for Best Corporate Sponsorship and Best International Sponsorship in the 1999 Hollis Awards for their participation in Ms Edwards' attempt. Mr Courage is a scion of the famed brewery family. But as a part of the celebrations by Beaufort Group - the business consultancy which owns his firm - he is more likely to be celebrating with drams of single malt, I am told.

THE ENGINEERING Employers' Federation (EEF) has named Martin Temple, formerly vice-president of Avesta Sheffield, as its director-general. The EEF used to be a power in the land, negotiating wage agreements with the trades unions, but it has become more of a lobby and education group.

The EEF tried to merge with the CBI three years ago, but the EEF's members voted the proposal down, fearing the CBI would asset-strip their valuable property portfolio. The CBI now seems to be cosying up to the British Chambers of Commerce with merger ideas, but that's another story...