The man who has the best ticket to France '98

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The Independent Online
Martin Trees has left software group Sema, where he was group director, to join computer outsourcer EDS as director for marketing and strategy, and he will be taking his football role with him.

Mr Trees was responsible for the sponsorship of the IT systems for the Euro '96 football championships, and he will do the same job again for EDS in the next World Cup, France '98.

"We'll be delivering all the systems - ticketing, an Internet site where you can book your travel arrangements, the lot," Mr Trees said.

Sema got into football sponsorship, he said, because although it was one of the UK's leading computer systems companies, "nobody knew us". He is happy to report that Sema did not receive the same "unfortunate coverage that IBM got for their problems at Atlanta". Euro '96 was relatively glitch-free.

Mr Trees, 38, started out with a zoology degree from Nottingham University: "It means I'm good at dealing with animals." He had a spell at Burroughs before 10 years at IBM, which he describes as a "great company".

As a Leeds United supporter, Mr Trees described his decision to move from Sema to EDS thus: "If you're struggling with Southampton or Middlesborough, and you're invited to play for Manchester United, you'd be rather foolish to ignore it." So what's his tip for France '98? "I'll be delighted if England make it to the finals. I'll think there'll be an African upset as well."

Where is Simon Robertson off to, now he's resigned from the chairmanship of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson?

With typical sang-froid, Mr Robertson went skiing last week as the row with the German owners reached its peak. Mr Robertson wanted the bank run out of London - the Germans, not unnaturally, wanted it run out of Frankfurt. Auf Wiedersehen, Mr Robertson. Insiders put the odds of this City heavy-hitter's new home as follows: Barings 2-1, ABN Amro Hoare Govett 3-1, Goldman Sachs 5-1, Morgan Stanley 5-2, with Bear Stearns as the outsider.

Wherever he ends up, Kleinwort die-hards are worried that the bank's fabled in-house banqueting facilities may fall foul of Teutonic cost-cutting following his departure.

Even the bank's Fenchurch Street canteen is run by the Roux Brothers, and you can drink as much as you like. The new puritanism of the 1990s has so far passed Kleinwort by.

City myth has it that the Roux Brothers' contract was written into the acquisition of Grieveson Grant by Kleinwort in the 1980s Big Bang by the director, Sir Nicholas Redmayne.

But perhaps these fears are misplaced. I hear German bankers are rather fond of top grub. The company that bought the Roux Brothers, Compass, also has the contract to supply in-house eats to both Morgan Grenfell and their German masters, Deutsche Bank.

Maybe it's because of all that pickled cabbage our German cousins have to eat at home...

Our best wishes for a speedy recovery go to Ronnie Frost, chairman of Hays, the distribution and office services group. Mr Frost was not around for Hays' interims announcement yesterday as he was in hospital for a double hip replacement operation.

Apparently Mr Frost has had a gippy hip for years, a legacy of his previous career as a champion hurdler on the athletics track.

He's due to be out of hospital by the end of the week, when he will be able to return to his large farm near Guildford, Surrey, to recuperate, although he'll be confined to the Range Rover for the time being if he wants to survey his rolling acres.