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People & Business: Hard hats on a windy day

THE RECEIVERS were in at the London Metropole Hotel yesterday. The former Stakis flagship hotel, now part of the Hilton group, is in good financial shape, I am happy to add. The receivers were there to sign up as the first customers for the conference facilities within a new pounds 100m extension to the central London hotel.

In July 2001, Insol International (the International Association of Insolvency Professionals) is holding its four-yearly conference at the Metropole, hosting 1,500 delegates from around the world.

Neil Cooper, recently installed President of Insol, and his deputy Stephen Adamson, donned their hard hats and signed the contract on the roof of the hotel, overlooking the extension work.

At least they say they did. I found them in the hotel bar on the ground floor. It was "quite windy" up top, they explained.

The duo have just returned from an Insol conference in Bermuda, where the star speaker was Henry Kissinger.

The former American Secretary of State is still a sharp performer at the age of 78, according to Mr Cooper, and gave the current administration's policy towards Yugoslavia a thorough tongue-lashing.