PEOPLE & BUSINESS

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Encouragement for armchair investors everywhere - even captains of industry can call it wrong when it comes to their private investments. Step forward Sir Denys Henderson, former chairman of ICI and now in the chair at Dalgety, the petfood group turned dogs breakfast.

Sir Denys was man enough to admit yesterday that prior to joining the Dalgety board he had bought a few shares in a private capacity.

He first bought in at 316p and then subscribed to the 1995 rights issue at 335p. And the current share price? 274.5p, a nice little loss-maker all round.

"I'll get my money back, don't you worry about that," he said yesterday.

He also bought a few shares at 270p when he joined the board last year. So at least one part of his investment is showing a profit, however modest.

Even by the standards of its profession, a management consultancy's attempt to draw a link between its international ambitions and the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert looks a little tenuous.

But the consultancy - Roland Berger & Partner - is German, and last night it played host to the denizens of the expatriate German business community at London's Victoria and Albert Museum to celebrate "the strong business relationship between Britain and Germany today", and to mark its own 30th birthday.

If you have not heard of an operation that employs 700 consultants around the world, producing fees last year of more than pounds 150m, do not be dismayed.

Still run by Roland Berger, himself in his 60th year, it has just 55 professionals in the UK.

But since the London arm is now headed by the remarkably youthful-looking Tim Simpson, former UK managing director of Arthur D Little, and Ian Hay Davison, who helped make Arthur Andersen the force it is today before chairing a whole range of things from Storehouse and the publisher of this very newspaper to the Hong Kong Securities Review Committee, the chances are things are going to get a little livelier.

Some bankers never throw in the towel, unfortunately. Rodger McArthur, chief of the Sainsbury Bank venture set up by the supermarket giant and his own Bank of Scotland, was never going to give up after being invited by the NCR group to address its banking conference in Bali.

Unable to attend in person, he agreed to deliver his address via satellite.

Because of the time difference, that meant he had to perform live - garbed in a grocer's white coat and pork pie hat and standing in front of a display of breakfast cereals - from a Sainsbury branch in Glasgow at the ungodly hour of 4am.

But while the pictures got through, the sound didn't. Never one to give up, Mr McArthur borrowed the cameraman's mobile phone and gave his speech. That phone, however, packed up and he hastily had to borrow another mobile from the sound engineer.

Unfortunately for the Asian audience, Mr McArthur's persistence meant they had to endure his favourite banking joke: "What's the difference between a banker and a supermarket trolley?"

"You can get more alcohol in a banker ..."

Whatever else you do Mr McArthur, don't give up the day job.

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