People and Business: Surprise party - 30 years on

NICK BRIGSTOCKE, chairman of CSFB's broking side, has been with the same outfit for 30 years. It may originally have been called Phillips & Drew, and then BZW, but it has retained the same core of people through the years.

Mr Brigstocke took Monday off by relaxing at his home in Haslemere, near Guildford, after a busy weekend. His daughter had married on Saturday, with the reception held in a marquee at home. Mr Brigstocke decided he should do a spot of work, so he started phoning clients.

First call was to Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman of Pilkington and Williams. A secretary informed Mr Brigstocke: "I'm sorry, but Sir Nigel is out at a function." So he tried Roger Carr, chief executive of Williams and chairman of Thames Water. Again the same story. The man was out at a do.

So he tried Jim Laing, chief executive at Laporte. The same thing. Bob Quarta, chief executive of BBA; same again: "I'm terribly sorry..." Mr Brigstocke continued, but gave up when he was told: "He's at a CSFB do. Quite a lot of City people are going." Oh dear. Mr Brigstocke was now in a cold sweat. Was he supposed to be somewhere else?

It was at that point that he heard the first of many cars coming up the drive.

It was a surprise party to celebrate his 30 years at the same brokerage. His wife Carol had arranged the whole thing - and his daughter's marquee was still available to hold the 90-odd guests.