This year's blockbuster - a steamy tale of corporate governance; People & Business

Neville Bain, the departing Coats Viyella chief executive, is looking forward to a busy time in his new incarnation. He hopes to combine a series of non-executive roles (he is open to offers) with his burgeoning career as an author.

Mr Bain has reached the last five for the Management Consultancy Association's book of the year for the second year running. The winner of the pounds 5,000 prize will be announced next week. Mr Bain's first tome went under the boddice-ripping title of Successful Management.

This year's steamy tale is entitled Winning Ways Through Corporate Governance, written with Professor David Band. Also up for the prize is The Fish Rots From the Head: the Crisis in Our Boardrooms by Bob Garratt, who could certainly give Mr Bain a few tips on titles.

As a demonstration of his confidence in picking up the prize, the Coats Viyella man is planning to be in Mexico next week.

Still on Coats Viyella, profits took a hit in Brazil for a bizarre reason last year - poor sales of kite string. Finance director Kirk Stephenson says that low cloud and damp conditions affected demand. Flying kites is apparently a popular pastime in Brazil and competitions are keenly contested. The latest thing is weaving glass into the string so that contestants can saw through the threads of rivals.

Richard Koch, the company doctor who helped rescue Filofax after its post-Eighties meltdown, is hoping for great things from his new book. He is one of three authors responsible for a potential business best-seller entitled, Breakup! When Large Companies are Worth More Dead than Alive. It concentrates on a topical subject - whether or not large companies would be better off splitting themselves up into smaller units a la Hanson, British Gas, Thorn-EMI and Courtaulds.

Authors Andrew Campbell, David Sadtler of the Ashridge Strategic Management Centre and Mr Koch argue that almost all multi-businesses destroy value and that synergy is a myth. They say demerger is not a fad but an unstoppable trend that could release $1,000bn in additional value.

Interestingly the publishers have sent a copy to Sir Gerald Elliott, the former Christian Salvesen chairman who is opposed to the planned break- up of the distribution and power hire company.

Christopher Haskins, the chairman of Northern Foods, was in feisty mood at a conference on "Democracy and the Economy" yesterday. Speaking at London Business School, his targets included two-tier boards ("not an appropriate alternative for this country") and deregulation ("It's come to a gory head in the BSE issue").

He also had it in for the Government on its treatment of abattoirs in the BSE issue. "The Government is quite happy to have named league tables in schools. It is also prepared to have league tables of abattoirs but is not prepared to name them because of commercial confidentiality. There is another scandal here which I hope will come out before very long."

The City is preparing for fun and frolics for Red Nose Day today. The Bank of England is staging an hour-and-a-half "aerobathon" for charity as well as a dress-down day. Sadly, Governor Eddie George will not be taking part in either, as he has conveniently arranged for a day off.

There have been reports that the Bank was due to stage a knobbly knees competition. A fine idea but the big-wigs of Threadneedle Street denied any knowledge of it.

Elsewhere, the Stock Exchange, Price Waterhouse and City lawyers Linklaters & Paines are taking apart in the City Red Nose Run. Some 2,000 participants from 124 companies will join TV personality Dani Behr in the race from St Paul's Walk near Southwark Bridge to the London Television Centre on the South Bank. All contestants will be wearing red noses and carrying lollipops.

Price Waterhouse has been receiving some criticism for only agreeing to a "limited dress-down" day.

This means no shorts or loud shirts but respectable chinos and polo shirts instead. "Some of our people might just have to meet clients, you know," retorted a spokesman.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksNow available in paperback
Life and Style
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Direct Marketing Manager - B2C, Financial Services - Slough

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas