PEOPLE & BUSINESS

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The Independent Online
NICOLA HORLICK and Keith Percy are together again. Societe Generale Asset Management, where the dynamic mother of five is co-head of the UK unit, has hired Mr Percy as a consultant on the development of its global asset management business.

Ms Horlick adored Mr Percy when he was her boss at Morgan Grenfell Asset Management, before he and then she were booted out by the forces of darkness.

Mr Percy resigned from Morgan Grenfell in October 1986 amid an investigation of the bank by regulators over the inadequate supervision of fund manager Peter Young. Mr Young broke investment rules by buying a raft of unlisted Scandinavian securities for his funds.

Ms Horlick gave full rein to her admiration for her erstwhile boss in her autobiography, published this year, Can you have it all? In the book, which covered her spectacular departure from Morgan Grenfell, she wrote: "At first I thought it was inconceivable that Keith's job would be at risk, but as time went on, I began to get vibes that it might be.

"I was horrified at the prospect of him being removed. He was a very meticulous man and totally honourable."

Now they're reunited, perhaps SocGen should coin a new slogan for its fund management advertising: "One big happy family."

A FREELANCE spin doctor and old pal of mine, Tom Cornwall, has just declared himself as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the local council elections next month for Lambeth in south London.

His candidacy was drawn to my attention by his free-sheet, "Focus", a copy of which was thrust under the front door of a colleague who lives down there.

Mr Cornwall, whom I last encountered doing work for accountants KPMG, manages to appear in no less than four of the five photographs featured on the one-page news-sheet. Still, if you're writing and publishing it yourself, why not?

Some of the photo captions could do with a little polishing, I thought: "Tom Cornwall inspecting wheelie bins in Robson Road" isn't exactly calculated to get the electoral pulses racing.

CONGRATULATIONS to Tony Schofield, who is retiring as managing director of retail banking at Royal Bank of Scotland after over 40 years with the same institution.

Following Mr Schofield's departure, RBS is reducing its three UK operating divisions to one, and putting Iain Robertson, its current head of corporate and institutional banking, in charge of them. Together with the heads of Direct Line and RBS's US operations, Mr Robertson will report to George Mathewson, RBS's laugh-a-minute chief executive.

Mr Schofield is one of a large number of expatriate Mancunians at RBS. He joined Williams Deacon's Bank in 1957 in Manchester, which later merged with Glyn Mills in 1969 to form Williams & Glyn's Bank. Both had been owned by RBS since 1930, but were only merged with RBS's corporate identity in 1985.

Not that Mr Schofield has to worry about whether he's a United or City supporter. He has been a lifelong follower of Bury, and will have more time to devote to them now he is marching back south from Edinburgh.

ACCORDING to the March issue of Nasdaq magazine, Dr Craig Barrett doesn't expect his boss "Andy Grove to disappear any time soon" as chief executive officer of Intel, the world's most profitable silicon chip-maker.

Dr Barrett is of course Intel's chief operating officer. Until last week, that is, when he was appointed to succeed the seemingly immortal Andy Grove as CEO.

I suppose it would be churlish to worry at Dr Barrett's lack of foresight concerning his own company. Anyway, the same article mentions Moore's Law, coined by Intel's co-founder Gordon Moore in the 1960s. This stated that the number of transistors able to be combined in integrated circuits doubles every 24 months or so.

This is true to this day and explains plummeting PC prices. The Nasdaq magazine notes that a Harvard University professor recently applied Moore's Law to the aircraft and car industries. The Prof reckoned that if they had developed at the same rate as semi-conductors over the past 30 years, a Boeing 767 would cost $500 and circle the globe in 20 minutes on five gallons of petrol; and a Rolls-Royce would cost $2.75 and get three million miles to the gallon.

Now that's a target for BMW to work on.

UBS SECURITIES employees have taken to the internet to whinge about the investment bank's lop-sided "merger" with its rival SBC Warburg Dillon Read.

"UBSsucks.com" vents the frustration of employees in Union Bank of Switzerland's securities unit. A sample joke: "What does UBS stand for? Unemployed Before Summer."

SBC had no comment to make yesterday. You can sample the website's delights yourself at http://members.aol.com/ubssucks.

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