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DICK FULD LIVES UP TO KING KONG REPUTATION

BOY, when all those ex-Lehmanites said Dick Fuld used to rule the roost with an iron fist, they really weren&rsquo;t kidding.<br /><br />Nicknamed &ldquo;the Gorilla&rdquo; for his aggressive manner, the Lehman Brothers boss was always renowned for taking a hard line when it came to business. But according to an article on the collapsed bank in the September issue of Tatler magazine, out on Thursday, Fuld kept an even more watchful eye on other aspects of his staff&rsquo;s behaviour.<br /><br />One former bigwig tells of how many an employee lost tens of thousands when the firm went under because selling stock had been frowned upon (&ldquo;You were liable to have a phone call from Fuld the next day asking if you were entirely happy in your job,&rdquo; he quips). <br /><br />What&rsquo;s more, sartorial style was apparently the boss&rsquo;s favourite bugbear. Fuld did not approve of the beard worn by his head of corporate communications, former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers, and also had a strict rule that men should wear a dark suit and white shirt at all times &ndash; apart from in Europe, where he permitted gentlemen the luxury of a pinstripe. Good heavens.<br /><strong><br /></strong><strong>SALTY SEADOG</strong><br />To the Isle of Wight for the opening weekend of the annual Cowes Week regatta, beloved of many a City seadog.<br /><br />One of the saltiest of them all, Carphone Warehouse tycoon Charles Dunstone (right), has been doing rather well over the first two days &ndash; he won his class at both Saturday&rsquo;s Queen&rsquo;s Cup and yesterday&rsquo;s Glazebrook Challenge Trophy with his yacht Rio. But far from celebrating in extravagant, champagne-soaked style last night, I hear it was off home early for a carbohydrate boost and bed for Dunstone, who&rsquo;s obviously keen to secure more wins later in the week. <br /><br />There&rsquo;s dedication for you.<br /><br /><strong>WINO TERRITORY<br /></strong>An update in The Capitalist&rsquo;s ongoing saga on alternative investments, courtesy of Premier Cru Fine Wine Investments.<br /><br />Vino investment guru Stacey Golding tells me the firm&rsquo;s hottest tip of the moment is for wines from the Chateau Lafite Rothschild estate in France &ndash; owned, of course, by the banking family of the same auspicious name.<br /><br />The 2000 vintage opened at a price of &pound;2,000 a case and has now rocketed to &pound;11,000 a case, while the 2008 opened at &pound;1,600 and is already worth well over double that amount at &pound;3,700 a case. In a rather more intriguing twist, it is also predicted to rise to &pound;6,000 a case within the next year. Of course, much has been made in the current turbulent times of fine wine being a safe investment haven because of its reliable rate of return. But then again, even if the worst came to the worst, would it really be the end of the world if discerning investors had to resort to quaffing the stuff?<br /><br /><strong>IRON WILL<br /></strong>The Square Mile&rsquo;s resident sportsmen and women took to the streets yesterday for the Mazda London Triathlon &ndash; a gruelling endurance test featuring a 1,500m swim in the Thames, followed by a 40 km bike ride as well as a 10km run. Among those who completed the course was lawyer Payam Beheshti, from Canary Wharf-based Clifford Chance, who posted a time of 2 hours and 35 minutes, just 5 minutes off the elite group timings. &ldquo;Next year I can hopefully compete properly rather than just gadding about,&rdquo; he jokes.<br /><br />His participation was in aid of Street Child of Sierra Leone (www.street-child.co.uk), a pioneering new charity run by City headhunter Tom Dannatt which seeks to improve the lives of the children of post-conflict Sierra Leone. &ldquo;Next stop, the Iron Man challenge...,&rdquo; says Beheshti. And they make it sound so simple...