PEOPLE & BUSINESS

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TONY DYE, boss of UBS fund management arm PDFM, flew out to Geneva recently to have a pow-wow with his opposite number Gary Brinson, Chicago- based boss of SBC Brinson, who has been anointed head of all institutional asset management in the newly merged investment bank.

After they'd had their little chat over "Kaffee und Kuchen", Mr Brinson offered his new underling a lift back. Mr Dye, of course, expected "a lift back" to mean a trip to Geneva airport in Mr Brinson's hire car. In the event the duo were wafted to Luton airport in Mr Brinson's private jet. They do things so much better in Chicago....

Lord Fanshawe is retiring from the board of Sedgwick after 50 years with the insurance broker. He joined the board in 1984 and served as chairman from 1993 to 1997. He certainly lasted longer than 90 other Sedgwick employees who are to lose their jobs this year.

The redundancy announcement came yesterday as Sax Riley, the current chairman of Sedgwick, revealed the group's 1997 figures. As Mr Riley addressed the analysts' meeting yesterday morning, he said that he hoped the good figures from the group "would be a good omen for events in Trinidad this afternoon", referring, of course, to the last day of England's Test match against the West Indies.

The gathered analysts, however, could only recall how England's cricketers have managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory so many times before. You could practically hear a pin drop.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has appointed Colin Perry as chairman of its Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Council to replace Tony Bonner.

Mr Bonner will return to Merseyside to run his own business, Contracts Chemicals. Mr Perry is chief executive of LTE Scientific, a manufacturer of microbiological laboratory equipment with sales of pounds 3m based near Oldham. In the past Mr Perry has worked for Reed International and has been chairman and chief executive of the Birmingham Mint Group.

Incidentally, did you know that Adair Turner, head of the CBI, is a second cousin of Anthea Turner, the television presenter?

Speaking of Titans of Industry, Sir John Harvey-Jones has hit the headlines with his announcement that he now devotes 20 minutes a day to Transcendental Meditation (TM).

Sir John, the former chairman of ICI, The Economist and Grand Metropolitan, is still one of the country's best-known industrialists. As such he will visit a head-hunting firm, The Devonshire Group, tomorrow as it moves to new offices in the City. Part of the visit will involve Sir John in taking a psychometric test.

Such tests are used by companies to try to attract employees with the right character for the job, although how answering daft questions - such as, "Would you rather be a novelist or a clockmaker?" - helps in the process beats me.

A Californian-based drugs company has hired its second heavyweight Russian politican in a month. ICN Pharmaceuticals has recruited Sergei Gryzunov, Russia's former minister of press and information between 1994 and 1996, as vice president of public relations and communications for Europe.

Mr Gryzunov was also deputy editor-in-chief of the Novosti Russian News Agency, spending eight years in Yugoslavia as its chief correspondent. This follows the appointment of Andrei Kozyrev, former minister of foreign affairs, to ICN's board.

Milan Panic, chairman and chief executive officer of ICN, says the company is engaged on this hiring spree in order to become "the leading pharmaceutical company in Russia and Eastern Europe". It looks like it's well on the way, as it already employs more than 13,300 people in Eastern and Central Europe. Who next? Mikhail Gorbachev?

ALL is not well at the top of the Guardian Media Group. Rumour reaches me that Bob Phillis, newly appointed chief executive, has already locked horns with the extraordinary-looking Bob Gavron, founder of the St Ives printing group and GMG's chairman, or "Minister without Portfolio", as he has been dubbed by those who are at a loss to work out precisely what he does round there. Apparently, the chilled atmosphere is in part due to GMG's proposed link-up with the Dutch television production giant Endemol Entertainment. The two sides are setting up a television joint venture, chaired by Mr Phillis, that would take control of GMG's Broadcast Communications. But Mr Gavron is less than impressed by the deal, and has told Mr Phillis so. No doubt we will read about it all in The Guardian's media pages.

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