XAVIER Rolet is certainly freshening things up over at the London Stock Exchange. <br /><br />The exchange’s new boss has been busy over the past few weeks, having shaken up the LSE’s marketing team, struck a deal to replace its IT provider and got rid of its trusted PR adviser Finsbury (the super-spinner and its arch-rival Brunswick were beaten to the new account by Citigate Dewe Rogerson managing director Patrick Donovan).<br /><br />And now, to further his quest to turn the LSE into a £10bn business, it seems Rolet is holding auditions for a new chief banking adviser.<br /><br />I hear the banking luminaries have been virtually queuing up to come in and get on the good side of the suave Frenchman – including Merrill Lynch’s Matthew Greenburgh, who counts among his clients Eric Daniels, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group.<br /><br />Incidentally, Greenburgh might be interested to learn of a potential future schmoozing opportunity. He recently took Daniels along on a dove-shooting jaunt to Argentina, which is also where Rolet spent time earlier in the year when competing behind the wheel in the Dakar rally.<br /><br />As long as Rolet plans to return to the country’s dusty rally tracks next year for round two, there’s definitely some scope for killing two birds with one stone.<br /><br /><strong>LADY LOVIN’</strong><br />There’s nothing like a bit of feminist activism to stir up emotions in the business world.<br /><br />Campaign group The Fawcett Society was on the rampage yesterday after launching a new report into women’s equality at work, supported by BT and women’s minister Harriet Harman.<br /><br />Apparently, a lady’s chance in the workplace is being damaged by over-exposure to pornography at work and a trend of entertaining clients and staff in London’s seedy lap dancing clubs – 86 per cent of which told the group they were willing to provide “discreet receipts” for claiming the entertainment back on expenses.<br /><br />Evidently the scaling-back of such activities on the part of banks and other businesses in the recession has been rather less enthusiastic than the campaigners might have hoped.<br /><br /><strong>FOOD FOR THOUGHT</strong><br />Dr Madsen Pirie, the well-known boffin who presides over policy think-tank the Adam Smith Institute, has published a new book.<br /><br />The tome – entitled “101 Great Philosophers” – is a concise account of the musings of 101 of the world’s greatest thinkers, each summed up into 400-word essays and packaged neatly into a paperback.<br /><br />“I wrote the book specifically with aspirational City guys and girls in mind,” Pirie tells me. “I’m sure there are lots of City workers who are often invited to swanky dinner parties and hear names like Plato, Descartes and Machiavelli, and end up wishing they knew what their fellow guests are talking about. I want to reach out to those who are busy putting the world to rights financially and don’t have the time to explore these ideas.” Fans of the “dip-in-and-have-a-go” approach to philosophy should form an orderly queue.<br /><br /><strong>BRACED FOR SUCCESS</strong><br />Seven Investment Management’s Justin Urquhart Stewart was in his element earlier this week as he took the podium at the Honourable Artillery Company to present an award to three aspiring stars of the City.<br /><br />Manchester Metropolitan Uni’s Dale Morgan, Anna Novitskaya and Stephanie Taylor came up trumps in the firm’s University Financial Planning Team Challenge Cup, having impressed the judges with their mock-up client proposals. I’m told they themselves were equally taken with Urquhart Stewart’s trademark bright braces… <br /><br /><strong>NEW HEIGHTS</strong><br />Congratulations to all who successfully completed last week’s CARE Three Peaks Challenge, sponsored by City A.M. <br /><br />Bank of America and accountancy firm Baker Tilly and Deloitte were among the City firms who battled up and down the three highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales – Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon – in under 24 hours, raising a much-needed £96,000 for the international poverty charity. Our heartfelt thanks to all involved for their grit, determination and money-making skills.<br /><br /><strong>BRING IN THE BACON</strong><br />Kingfisher boss Ian Cheshire appears to have reinvented himself as a friend of the animals as well as a friend of the earth.<br /><br />Cheshire, who was recently part of a high-profile attempt by businessmen to lobby the government into dropping plans for a third runway at Heathrow, was at a press conference yesterday for Kingfisher’s first-half results.<br /><br />But when pressed by The Capitalist’s mole to disclose future developments at DIY chain B&Q, he was only interested in one product in the pipeline – namely, a “pig ark”, which will soon be introduced into stores as the perfect solution for housing pet swine. <br /><br />It’s certainly a novel idea to liven up shopping for light fittings.