Business week in review

Saturday 23 June 2012 13:30

In profit...

The Sorrell clan hasn't had much cheer recently – poor old patriarch Sir Martin saw his £12.9m mega-pay package voted down by furious WPP shareholders this month.

Much better news for his high-flying son, Jonathan Sorrell, who was promoted to finance director at hedge-fund giant Man Group on Monday. The 34-year-old former Goldman Sachs banker becomes one of the youngest senior execs at a major company in the FTSE 250, where Man now resides having been dumped out of the index of 100 blue-chip stocks last week. Sorrell jnr's got a job on his hands, as investors fume over a 40 per cent loss in the value of their stock this year. Probably best not to ask dad for advice on how best to placate them.

Alliance Boots chairman Stefano Pessina defied the high street gloom on Tuesday, as he unveiled plans to sell the chemist to US peer Walgreens in a deal that values the group at an eye-watering $16bn (£10bn).

On Wednesday, former Scottish Widows boss Archie Kane was named governor of Bank of Ireland. a loss

Allen Stanford's former chief investment officer Laura Pendergest-Holt reached a plea deal on Tuesday over her alleged involvement in Stanford's $7bn (£4.5bn) Ponzi-style fraud.

Later in the week, she pleaded guilty to one obstruction of justice charge, having been indicted in 2009 on several others, including conspiracy related to her allegedly false testimony to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. According to reports she'll get three years in jail: former billionaire Stanford received 110 years.

Kesa Electricals, which sold Comet to OpCapita in February for two quid, owned up to a dire last financial year on Wednesday. Chief executive Thierry Falque-Pierrotin said "markets throughout Europe were exceptionally difficult", but restructuring costs related to the sale of the Comet chain dragged the group £250m into the red.

On Wednesday, Bob McDonald, the boss of Procter & Gamble, the world's biggest consumer goods group, said sales growth next year should be 2-3 percentage points down on forecasts of 5 per cent.

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