Silicon Valley Bank UK’s boss Phil Cox may hail from Cornwall rather than California, but he’s still keen for the bank’s British employees to celebrate the 4th of July in style. Employees at the Lothbury branch of the bank will be setting sail on a cruise along the Thames this evening for the outfit’s aptly-timed summer party. The Capitalist wonders if there’ll be an American-themed karaoke session as part of the night’s festivities – following on from the bank’s successful Christmas bash, which included a Silicon Valley Bank’s Got Talent competition. Get those stars and stripes out, guys. ■ Some businesses like to describe themselves as one big happy family but it nearly went too far for the Poundland bosses at their full year results meeting yesterday. Both chief Jim McCarthy and FD Nick Hately were talking through their 13.3 per cent sales rise when the pair (notoriously close pals) rushed to clarify one of McCarthy’s points. While describing customers’ love for all things organic, McCarthy said: “We live in Stratford-Upon-Avon… not together!” he quickly corrected, looking at Hately. “Not yet,” quipped Hately. “We are close.” he followed. “No, no, me and my wife and kids,” McCarthy said, putting the smiling crowd straight. Nice to see the successful IPO has left them in good spirits. ■ You'd imagine being a billionaire would mean never having to do something you really don’t want to do. But it seems Sir Richard Branson has had to capitulate on one of his life-rules this week: wearing ties. “I loathe ties, and encourage everyone to say bye to them at every opportunity,” he wrote in his blog yesterday. “Wimbledon is a place renowned for its traditions, and one of these is that ties must be worn in the Royal Box.” Sir Richard said he couldn’t decide who looked more unimpressed about wearing a tie, himself or Sir Alex Ferguson, sitting two seats away. “I’ll be watching the rest of the tournament (tie-free!) back on Necker,” he added. Well, at least no one can boss you around on your own damn island.