Business Diary: Nomura ignores a nasty precedent

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The Independent Online

Was Nomura, the investment bank, tempting fate by asking George Osborne to open its new European headquarters in the heart of the City yesterday? After all, the last high-profile headquarters opening of this type by a chancellor saw Gordon Brown cut the ribbons of Lehman Brothers' new building. Nomura knows better than anyone how that all turned out – in 2008, it bought up the European operations of Lehman after the US bank imploded so spectacularly.

Zen and the art of good meetings

Research from the Kyoto Convention Bureau in Japan claims that if staff meditate for just 10 minutes before a meeting, its productivity should see gains of 12.5 per cent. "It is a simple principle: if your tea cup is already filled, there is no point in pouring more tea in it," explains Zen Buddhist priest Reverend Matsuyama. "People who come to attend meetings are often under pressure and tired either because of long journeys or work-based stress. If they are to take on board new information and be at their most productive, they must first make room in their minds."

Lloyd's policy goes round world

Best of luck to Sarah Outen, the adventurer who has just set off on a two-and-a-half year mission to kayak, cycle and row round the world. She's leaving nothing to chance – Lloyd's of London reports that arranging an insurance policy for Outen, worth around £1.25m, was one of the most complicated tasks it has ever faced. "One of the many elements of risk I have had to consider is whether the muscle wasting that will happen while she is cycling will leave her able to row those oceans safely," says underwriter Jonathan Thomas.

Longer wait for new world order

Bad news from Policy Exchange, the cerebral think-tank, which has been organising what looked to be a stimulating event. George Magnus and Gideon Rachman, two leading commentators on the post-credit crunch global economy, had been poised to debate on the theme of "A new world order?" Sadly, an email from Policy Exchange arrives to say that the event has been postponed – no news on what that means for a new world order though.