People & Business

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The Independent Online
Just what is Nigel Wray up to? The property guru who made his fortune out of the Fleet Street Letter, and chairs both Burford Holdings and Trocadero, has made almost pounds 4m from the sale of most of his shares in financial group Singer & Friedlander and in Grantchester, the warehouse developer. His stake in Nottingham Forest is going to worth pounds 7m-pounds 8m when the footie club floats next month, but those deals suggest he is raising a sizeable amount of cash for yet another venture.

It's hard to believe that the well-groomed entrepreneur had the time to pose for a double-page spread in the current issue of Tatler, where he vies for space with the likes of Christie Brinkley and a feature entitled "Is your sofa letting you down?" Wray is pictured looking spectacularly glum in a rugby shirt (he owns Saracens too) but we do get a little insight into the his lifestyle.

Yes, there is the large mansion in Totteridge in north London complete with swimming pool and Porsche and Land Rover in the drive. But, we are told, Wray is "modest man". Following the birth of his son Joseph, the magazine says, Wray would turn up for meetings with sick on his suit and marks where he had been licked by one of the family's alsations.

John Fallon, one time political adviser to Labour's bruiser-in-chief John Prescott, is continuing his journey through the business establishment. He is leaving his posting at PowerGen at the end of October to become Majorie Scardino's right-hand man and PR guru at Pearson, publisher among other things of the Pink 'Un.

Most people carry papers or the odd bit of cash in their briefcases. Not Ronnie Frost, the cuddly chairman of logistics group Hays. Mr Frost carries a shiny, new artificial hip in his. Not that it will be there for long. Mr Frost, who underwent a double hip replacement operation in February, apparently plans to fit the three-inch metal joint to the front of his Range Rover car.

Strange behaviour? Well Mr Frost, who is keen on a spot of grouse and pheasant shooting, is eager to convince his buckshot buddies that he is now fighting fit and can scramble over ditches and under hedges with the best of them. "I used to be a lot of trouble, holding everyone back. When they see this on my car, they'll know I'm back on my feet," he chuckles.

In true Hays style, Mr Frost who originally only wanted his right hip joint replaced, agreed to a double operation when his surgeon said fitting two would be cheaper than one. "I couldn't turn that kind of deal down," he says. Apparently. the third hip joint got thrown in for free. "It came in the post the next day," says Mr Frost.

More revolving doors in the City's equity departments with BZW's top- ranked telecoms research team deciding three weeks of schlepping out to the bank's sumptuous new home at Canary Wharf was more than enough commuting thank you very much.

Jonathan Lewis, 29, and Jane Bidmead, 24, have been snapped up by Dresdner Kleinwort Benson to join its now nine-strong global telecoms team. No noses out of joint, soothes new head research honcho Jamie Stevenson - James Dodd remains global guru advising on primary offers like the France Telecom sell-off, leaving the UK secondary market to the new recruits.

Colin Parsons, Taylor Woodrow's jovial chairman, is probably reluctant to dabble in arts sponsorship again, after the construction group's experience with its famous logo of four naked men heaving on a rope.

One of the more enduring industrial symbols, the four men were dreamed up in 1956 by a humble storeman at Taylor Woodrow's then plant company, who received pounds 15 for his pains after winning a design competition. But it was the monolithic granite sculpture of the four by the British artist David Wynne outside the Taylor Woodrow Construction HQ in Southall, west London, which caused more than a few red faces a few years ago.

During a rag week, some local students decided to redecorate certain small but perfectly formed parts of the anatomically correct sculpture with scarlet paint. This had an electrifying effect on the female members of staff and Mr Parsons had to hastily round up a "task force" of cleaners to restore some decorum.