People & Business: Son of God's PR triumph

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The Independent Online
CORPORATE CHRIST by Andrew Finan must be one of the oddest books I have ever been sent for review. It is a serious attempt to write a business book based on "how Jesus managed to propagate his message to the world without the aid of mass communication".

Mr Finan, a business consultant, urges the reader to look at Jesus "not through the intellectual lenses of the theologian, but through the practical spectacles of the business community".

Thus Jesus's entry into Jerusalem "was in essence a PR campaign - perhaps the most significant PR campaign of all time". His attacks on the Sadducees are seen by Mr Finan as "classic knocking copy" - and so on.

The reaction of the established churches to the book has been muted, according to Mr Finan's spokeswoman. "The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church have declined to comment, while the religious book wholesalers refuse to stock the book," she says.

The cover of the book depicts a number of Mr Finan's business colleagues in a biblical pose, including in the middle Danny King, "a chess Grandmaster who deserves a special mention for playing the role of `Chairman'." All very rum.

MOST INVESTMENT banks may be throwing around P45s like confetti at the moment, but CSFB is still hiring. It is close to choosing a head of PR in London from a shortlist of three - for a salary of a cool $300,000 a year.

The bank was reluctant to comment yesterday. However, it confirmed that its ambitious growth plans continue at its headquarters at Canary Wharf in London Docklands, where Luke Terry is in charge of moving staff into a huge new extension.

Mr Terry used to be in the US Army, as did Allan Wheat, the New York- based global head of CSFB who recruited Mr Terry to be head of corporate services. The Swiss staff in London have nicknamed Mr Terry "Rambo", while the more sniffy Brits refer to him as "chief janitor", which seems a bit mean.

BOB MENDELSOHN, the American-born group chief executive of Royal & SunAlliance, said yesterday that there had been three floods in the UK since he had arrived from the US at the beginning of the year. "I don't think the events are connected," he added hurriedly.

THE SENIOR partners at KPMG seem more keen to talk about their activities in rugby, farming, shooting and racing than Gordon Brown's pre-Budget statement speech.

Take John Eggleston, head of UK Owner Managed Businesses, who is based in Leicester. As such he has a close relationship with Leicester Tigers, currently heading rugby union's Premiership One, and who host second-placed Bath this Saturday.

At a post-Budget meeting with journalists this week, Mr Eggleston observed that the firm's former senior partner, Colin Sharman, is a fully paid- up Bath supporter. So, indeed, was the senior partner before him, Jim Butler, who had actually played at hooker for Bath's second team.

Other KPMG partners prefer farming, such as Tim Hayward, the recently retired head of corporate recovery, who bought a large farm "consisting of most of West Sussex" four years ago to indulge his passion for pheasant shooting.

And Bob Wareing, head of sales at KPMG, has a farm in Worcestershire where he keeps a number of race horses.

"I'm a part-time jockey myself - steeplechase - so I have to keep my weight down," Mr Wareing said mournfully, refusing yet another tray of tasty canapes.