Superwoman passes on secrets of her success

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Nicola Horlick, the City high-flyer who left her pounds 1m-a-year investment banking job after a spectacular public row with her bosses, last night advised the superwomen of the future on how to get ahead.

Mrs Horlick, a former pensions fund manager with Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and mother of five children, was scheduled to offer a gathering of head girls tips on balancing careers and motherhood.

However, her audience - all pupils at private schools belonging to the Girls' Day School Trust - may know her best not for her ability to juggle infants and investments but for her skill in making a media drama out of a crisis.

Mrs Horlick, pictured, already well known in the City for her banking track record and earning power, burst on to the public stage last January after being suspended from her post. She had tried, her employers claimed, to poach senior colleagues to join a rival bank in London. Incensed at claims of greed and disloyalty, Mrs Horlick resigned, hired a top-drawer lawyer and a spin doctor and embarked on an extraordinary campaign to clear her name.

Pursued by reporters and vowing: "I will be heard", she confronted her bosses at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and demanded a meeting with the parent bank's management committee.

Her loyalty, she claimed, had been shown in her willingness to return early to work, new-born baby on her arm as she rushed between meetings, during an earlier crisis at the bank.

Eight months on, however, the bank and Mrs Horlick have not been reunited, and the fund manager known in the City as "superwoman" is building up new business interests. Lucy Ward