Shell could be in for a lecture from Ms Roddick

CITY DIARY
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Shell may not be off the hook yet over the Ken Saro-Wiwa affair. The London Business School has announced that the first two lectures in its 1996 Stockton series will be given by the alarming combination of King Hussein of Jordan and Anita Roddick (in that order).

Both speakers will address the theme of "Resolving International Conflict: What role for business?''. The Jordanian monarch's thoughts on the subject are not yet widely known. But it will undoubtedly afford the redoubtable Body Shop chief executive the opportunity for some self-righteous table thumping as she warns of the evils of "transnational corporations'' (very much a 1996 buzzword, this) moving capital around the world in search of low wages.

Shell, which has ignored demands not to invest in Nigeria following the murder of the Ogoni dissident, can expect no mercy. As you might expect The Body Shop was very much on the Saro-Wiwa case. Ms Roddick's husband, Gordon, even went to South Africa to plead with Nelson Mandela.

For those of a more nervous disposition, there will be a glass of sherry before the lecture.

Yesterday's pounds 3.5m placing by KS Biomedix, pioneers of radical cancer treatments, reopens old wounds for Martin Myerscough. The prospectus published in October (when the company was floated on the Alternative Investment Market) shows the finance director to have been convicted of a road traffic offence.

Nothing too serious, you understand. It seems the former tax accountant at Arthur Andersen cycled through a set of red lights in 1992 on his way to work - only to be nicked by the nation's finest. The result was a pounds 10 fine.

But the conviction is a source of never-ending amusement to Dr Kim Sze Tan, the managing director, who likes to dine out on the fact that he has a criminal on his board.

Some advice for the Princess of Wales now that she has finally been given her marching orders. As luck would have it, Macmillan Publishers have sent an advance copy of The Finance of Divorce, which provides some useful tips for the People's Ambassador.

On the question of maintenance it seems Diana must strike quickly if she is to ensure an adequate income for herself. "When it comes to calculating the wife's needs, these will inevitably be determined by reference to her spending pattern during the period of seperation,'' notes Peter Vaines, the author. "Where the amounts at stake are significant ... it may not be in her interests to adopt a frugal lifestyle.''

Quite so. But what is good for the royal goose is good for the royal gander. The book points out that the husband too will need to establish a mean spending pattern and could suddenly take up "expensive hobbies such as flying and hunting''.

And finally. Our short series on great businessmen and their varied philosophies ends with the thoughts of Sir Simon Hornby, chairman of WH Smith. You will recall that Sir Simon is one of the captains of industry that have been persuaded to dispense pearls of wisdom to18-year-old school leavers.

"Have fun,'' advises the retailer. "Make work fun for you and your colleagues. Keep a diary [presumably a WH Smith diary] and never throw away theatre or opera tickets.'' Invaluable stuff and no mistake.

The customer research arm of Next offers the following data for your digestion. Christmas costs the average consumer between pounds 250 and pounds 499; it will take 40 per cent of the population up to two months to pay off their Christmas debts; it will take 3 per cent of the population up to seven months to clear the bills; it is a myth that the Scots are a thrifty race - they are more likely to overspend at Christmas than Londoners. Deck the halls ...

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