KATIE Small, the managing director of Mercury West Associates, thought the “Tough Guy Challenge” would be a good way to bond her team of insurance brokers.

Unfortunately, the nine-mile assault course was billed as “the safest most dangerous event in the world” – which may have had something to do with Small falling ill with tonsillitis just days before the event and missing it completely. Convenient.

“Very convenient,” agreed her colleague Colin McKenna, a director at MWA, who navigated seven-foot stinging nettles and walked over burning coals as the St John Ambulance crew looked on. “I have never put my body through something like that in my life,” he added, clearly still traumatised by crawling through watery tunnels containing electric shock wires.

The experience did bring the eight high net worth specialists closer together though – if only to “help each other get through it”. “Everyone came out of the ordeal knowing everyone else a lot better than when they went into it, put it that way,” said McKenna. Although Small may have some explaining to do when she returns from sick leave…

YOU couldn’t make it up. Lord Young, David Cameron’s former enterprise adviser who had to stand down after some “unfortunate utterances to the press”, has revealed his next career move: chairman of KashFlow, an online accounting business founded by former convicted ecstasy trafficker Duane Jackson.

You’ve “never had it so good”, the gaffe-prone Young (pictured right) famously informed Britons in the depths of the recession. No doubt he is repeating the mantra to his new ex-con mentee, who is benefiting from the investment of both time and money by the generous former peer…

ANOTHER day, another story on fallen hotels tycoon Andrew Davis.
Today’s update is that Davis, who is in the process of selling his £2.5m penthouse at the top of Battersea’s Hotel Verta, has just bought the South of France bolthole previously owned by a scion of the Barratt family, the multimillionaire dynasty behind Barratt Homes.

“That’s the first and the only time Davis will buy a Barratt Home,” said The Capitalist’s man on the Riviera.

KERCHING! It’s a win-win situation for Racing UK and its ambassador Hayley Turner, after the 28-year-old face of the broadcaster’s flat racing season rode her 500th winner in the UK on Monday night at Windsor, sweeping past the post with the Racing UK branding in full view.

Looks like her sponsorship deal is a shoo-in to be renewed next April, then – although Racing UK is resigned to the fact that Turner will be “keen to negotiate new terms”. “We seem to work well together,” said Turner, modestly refusing to tell The Capitalist exactly how much the lucrative partnership is worth.

DON’T yet have a plan for tonight? If you like equestrian art – and who doesn’t? – come along to the opening night of The Society of Equestrian Artists International Open Exhibition at the Mall Galleries from 6pm – £20 on the door to benefit the Household

Alternatively, you can hear City A.M.’s Zoe Strimpel talk about “love and lust in literature” as host of The Barts Hendrick’s Book Club from 7pm at Barts in the Chelsea Cloisters on Sloane Avenue. The choice is yours.