Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


People & Business : Pannell Kerr Forster survives being the butt of many a joke

Health and Efficiency, the magazine for naturists that has tastefully championed the naked form for over 90 years, has been sold by receivers to a new company after going bust last November.

Fred Satow and Mary Walsh of accountants Pannell Kerr Forster kept the mag going while new buyers were found. A specially formed company titled New Freedom Publishing, backed by Arthur Walker of Chronicle Publications, has bought the firm.

So did the receivers visit any nudist colonies while they were running the mag?

"No, we kept our clothes on at all times. We're chartered accountants," declared Richard Knight, a senior administrator on the PKF team, with impeccable logic.

Apparently the previous publishers, Peenhill, lost their shirts on a diversification into magazines about cats and dogs. Mr Walker is majority shareholder of the new company, with editor Helen Ludbrook also a shareholder.

That's naked capitalism for you.

Speaking of clothes, or rather lack of them, on Friday 14 March the organisers of Comic Relief want everyone in the City to join in with "Dress down for Red Nose Day".

Prepare yourselves for Bank of England Governor Eddie George in Bermuda shorts, Hugh Stephenson of Mercury Asset Management in ripped jeans and Gavin Casey of the London Stock Exchange in a body stocking.

All three institutions have promised to dress down. The escapade even has the Lord Mayor of London's approval, so presumably Roger Cork will be leaving the ermine at home for the day.

Each employee of participating companies will be asked to donate pounds 1 or more and the total raised will be matched by the company. Comic Relief celebrities will be in the City's Broadgate centre at lunchtime to personally receive the money.

Richard Royds of MAM is spearheading this part of the initiative. Models from top agencies will be at the main commuter stations to encourage dressing down, and there is a televised fun run sponsored by Reuters for the more athletic of you.

For an entry form for the latter, fax your name, address, company name and contact details to 0171-542 2151.

I hear David Arculus, who moved from Emap to be Lord Hollick's deputy at United News & Media this week, is still turning out to play league cricket at the age of 50. To be playing any form of representative cricket at half century is admirable. To combine it with his workload is something else.

Salomon Brothers are now asking everyone entering their offices at London's Victoria for "proof of identity".

A colleague of mine entered Salomons's reception for an appointment this week, and despite the fact the receptionists had his name, was asked to provide "id - a credit card - something like that".

On the other hand, this being an American investment bank, perhaps they just like checking peoples' credit worthiness before they come in.

Beware the 17-day fortnight in Libya, warns Jonathan Biles, chief executive of WorldCover Direct.

Mr Biles wants to "lift the lid on the bizarre world of travel insurance geography".

He says: "Some participants in this market have peculiar ideas about geography and time. For example, many people do not realise that Lunn Poly thinks the Gambia is in Europe - rather worrying for one of the UK's largest travel agents!"

He goes on to say: "It is not just travel agents who seem to be confused... buy two-weeks' travel insurance from one high street bank and they seem to think that means 17 days."

Mr Biles adds: "Trying to lure customers into buying Europe-only travel insurance products when Europe is defined so bizarrely can potentially be highly dangerous - most people, like me, wouldn't think that Libya was a European country...

"People buying travel insurance should be careful not to rely on the geography described in an atlas."

An American is taking the helm at Albright & Wilson, the international chemicals company floated off by the US conglomerate Tenneco some two years ago.

Paul Rocheleau, 43, currently president of the company's US operations, will be relocating to the UK when he replaces Dr Robin Paul as chief executive of Albright & Wilson in July. The Midlands-based group is famous for putting the "tang" into Pepsi and the foam in detergents.