CITY PUBLIC AFFAIRS LANDSCAPE DUE FOR A SHAKE-UP AS TIM BURT LEAVES BRUNSWICK

TIME for some fresh blood in City public affairs, it seems, with the founding of a brand new financial PR firm by Brunswick partner Tim Burt.

Burt is set to launch Stockwell Group along with the former chief executive of Maitland Philip Gawith and Financial Dynamics co-founder Julian Hanson-Smith, both of whom will be on the board.

And Gawith, Burt and former Grandfield’s chief executive Nick Boakes will be taking equal shares alongside a minority stake for Hanson-Smith’s Iceni Capital, the private equity house.

But Burt’s colleagues are still in the dark as to his rationale, admitting to being “shocked” at the bold move. After all, it’s not everyday that a senior Brunswick guy defects to found a rival firm.

Perhaps Burt was inspired by a similar move by former Brunswick partner Andrew Grant a decade ago, when he struck out to found Tulchan Communications. Tulchan isn’t doing too badly with the likes of M&S, Whitbread and ITV on its books.

Meanwhile, The Capitalist is happy to see that Gawith has found himself a new home after losing out on his CEO role at Maitland to Neil Bennett. Whenever the City closes a door, it opens a window…

EYES ON THE PRIZE

IT turns out Brits have some odd expectations of the next decade, according to MSN’s Pulse of the Nation study out yesterday. The survey quizzed 100,000 people on their vision of the UK ?in 2025 and it turned up some interesting – and depressing – results.

More than half of those asked said they think that celebrity culture will become a registered profession in 15 years, but there’s no rest for the wicked: an overwhelming 74 per cent of people said the retirement age could reach 70 by then.

On the brighter side, 22 per cent reckon humans will have reached Mars, with four per cent going so far as to envision a permanent base being set up. Let’s hope the grounds for the next space race aren’t quite as traumatic as the Cold War.

But at least humanity is also expected to advance in other ways. Brits seem to have their eyes on a, ahem, bigger prize than the red plant: 40 per cent think that penile implants and “man boob” surgery will be commonplace by 2025.
A brave nude world awaits.

GERMAN GHOSTS

EUROPE is amply aware that its biggest economy isn’t keen to become a cash cow for its bankrupt neighbours, but fears in Germany could be reaching fever pitch for an additional reason, according to Frankfurt University professor Wilhelm Hankel. “Germany cannot keep paying for bailouts without going bankrupt itself,” he said, adding that people remember losing their savings due to hyperinflation in the ’20s. “You cannot find a bank safe deposit box in Germany because every single one has already been taken and stuffed with gold and silver.”

Time to start clearing space under the mattress.

VINTAGE HEAVEN

City vintage car lovers have a lot of presents to look forward to this Christmas – £8m’s worth of gifts, to be precise. COYS auction house, which specialises in rare vehicles, will hold a sale which is expected to raise £8m next week in London, with a 1958 250 GT LWB Ferrari (pictured) expected to go for between £800,000-£1m and a 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Tourer on offer for £180,000 to £200,000.

“These are the ultimate Christmas presents,” says COYS MD?Chris Routledge. You don’t say.

STILL FIGHTING

Tragic timing for the Institute for Turnaround yesterday as it convened its annual awards to celebrate British businesses with a knack for survival in hard times.

Just as the institute was preparing to hand its private company turnaround of the year award to Bernard Matthews Ltd, the turkey producer, the firm’s founder Bernard Matthews passed away.

“Bernard Matthews fought off tough competition to win,” the institute announced regardless, five days after the announcement of Matthews’ death.
Whoops.