Sharp-tongued Chisholm aims a blow at Panmure; City Diary:The Investment Column

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The Independent Online
Sam Chisholm, chief executive of BSkyB, put a good-natured boot into Anthony de Larrinaga of Panmure Gordon at the analyst's meeting yesterday.

Mr de Larrinaga has been advising clients to sell BSkyB for months, even as the share has charged ahead to 535p. He thinks the shares in Rupert Murdoch's money machine are worth, at most, 450p.

As the meeting proceeded, Mr Chisholm swatted the doubting de Larrinaga: "You go ahead and continue to make your clients poorer."

John Greenhalgh and his colleagues at PR outfit City of London will be celebrating with a bottle or three of Pinot Noir 1982 from the Coldstream vineyard in Victoria, Australia today.

The firm is due to receive a cheque for pounds 100,000, thanks to an investment in the Coldstream vineyard two-years ago which has come spectacularly right.

But it did not go quite as planned, admits Mr Greenhalgh. "We invested pounds 160,000 two years ago in order to use Coldstream to build a financial services arm in Australia. The asset value of the shares covered the price. But now Southcorp (a big Australian wine maker) has bought Coldstream, and the investment has been a winner."

Other shareholders in Coldstream include members of the Coldstream Guards, Mr Greenhalgh adds. City of London, which gained promotion from the USM to a full listing this month, has another pounds 5m invested in various situations, including a chunk of Signet it bought three years ago. At this rate, Mr Greenhalgh will be trading spin doctoring for investment trust status.

Get fit with the Lord Mayor of London. Sir John Chalstrey is calling on everyone in the City to support the Corporation's "Good health to the City and the Nation" day on Saturday 7 September.

Sadly, this does not mean that the Lord Mayor will be shedding his ermine and stepping into Mr Motivator-style lycra. However, a spokeswoman says: "He's a keen swimmer. He's a very keen walker, and he's gone to Scotland for his holidays."

The battle of the Barings books is hotting up. The allegedly definitive version of the merchant bank's collapse by John Gapper and Nick Denton, due out on 23 September, is being pre-empted by two paperbacks.

In what Mr Gapper, the Financial Times's urbane banking editor, suspects is "a spoiler", Stephen Fay's hardback The Collapse of Barings, published last February, is being put out again as a paperback in a fortnight's time.

Not to be outdone, Nick Leeson's own tome, Rogue Trader, ghost-written by Edward Whitley and also published last February, is due to appear as a paperback.

Mr Gapper is unflustered about the fate of his All that Glitters; The Fall of Barings. "Wait till the 23rd. You'll get the real thing," he purrs.

Chris Ring, formerly head of private client stockbrokers Wise Speke, has had a nervous start as head of NatWest Stockbrokers, the bank's retail arm. The business side is fine, but he had a hard time dealing with a hot air balloon ascent which the bank staged as part of a "meet the press" stunt.

"I don't particularly like heights," he admits. "You take your life in your hands when you join NatWest."

Keith Bradshaw, chairman of Takare, the nursing home group, is justly proud of the success of his company. But Mr Bradshaw, son of a Birmingham machinist, is also a director of a chain of motor dealers in the Midlands, and of BLT Industries. The latter business is beloved of heavy metal "musicians" - such as the grungy fictional combo Spinal Tap (above) - as it makes amps, speakers and keyboards for HM bands, with exports to Germany and Japan.

Mr Bradshaw declared: "It's the one I get a real kick out of. Selling imported cars or a service business like this [Takare] is all very well, but Brum was founded on making things."

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