BE PREPARED – such an important quality. Especially when you are planning a large-scale sporting event that will bring widespread chaos – sorry, a million extra economy-boosting visitors – to the capital.
But panic not, because the organisers of the London Olympics have got it all under control with an £8.8m strategy to help the public avoid the transport meltdown when the Games hit London on 27 July.
Or have they? Things were going swimmingly at the launch of the Get Ahead of the Games campaign – London mayor Boris Johnson banging the drum for cyclists; transport secretary Justine “HS2” Greening claiming the government will “lead the way” – until TfL commissioner Peter Hendy took to the platform.
Hendy, armed with slides, was all set to talk the audience through his PowerPoint presentation on Olympic travel logistics – except the battery on his laptop was flat and no charger could be found, prompting comparisons from the audience with Twenty Twelve, the BBC’s spoof take on the bureaucracy of staging the event.
Time for some verbal tips for commuters caught in the crush, then. Instead of leaving the office at 5pm, why not go for a beer after work and start your journey at 6.30pm?, suggested Hendy. Why not indeed?
Because, as the Games website clearly states, hotspots such as Bank will be “exceptionally busy” until 8.30pm. Better make that five beers…
THANKS to David Banks, director of corporate broking at Seymour Pierce, who has spotted the amusing resemblance between Asil Nadir and the late actor Alastair Sim.
Sim played at being a villain in School for Scoundrels and Rogue Male (though was of course an upstanding citizen away from the silver screen). Nadir stands accused of 13 counts of theft from his firm Polly Peck at the Old Bailey. Which is, of course, directly opposite the Seymour Pierce offices.
SIMON Brocklebank-Fowler, the former CEO of Citigate who left to set up rival financial PR firm Cubitt Consulting, is in expansive mood.
Thanks to a string of new business wins, by June he plans to increase headcount in his London office from 20 to 25-30 by “hiring at all levels”, starting with Nicholas Nelson, who joins from Hansard to look after mining, energy and technology stocks.
“It has been a strong year,” says the chairman of the firm that provides “bespoke advice tailored to individual companies”. “There is an analogy with investment banking,” he says. “The smaller boutique investment banks are prospering, like Jefferies.”
The very same Jefferies, that is, that has Cubitt on a retainer for PR services in the US and as its agency of record in the UK.