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NO SIGN OF A TRUCE IN BATTLE OF BROKERS

THE long-standing tustle between inter-dealer broker Tullett Prebon and BGC Partners looks set to rumble on well into the autumn.<br /><br />Tullett is currently leading a High Court battle to stop its rival pinching any more of its staff. The pair have been at loggerheads since last year, when former Tullett chief operating officer Tony Verrier announced he was leaving. The first of Verrier&rsquo;s gaffes was to be snapped lurking behind comedian Russell Brand while &ldquo;recuperating&rdquo; on sick leave from Tullett, in the luxurious surroundings of the Four Seasons hotel in Langkawi, Malaysia. Tullett boss and City stalwart Terry Smith naturally hit the roof, suspending Verrier from the firm. <br /><br />The plot then thickened, with Verrier &ndash; newly ensconced at BGC &ndash; trying, so it is said, to hire various former colleagues to join him at his new workplace, culminating in a number of them failing to renew their contracts. More may apparently still be waiting to do the same when their own time is up. Anyway, Verrier and BGC plead their innocence in all this and after months of tussling in the High Court, The Capitalist hears the legal proceedings have abruptly been adjourned until October &ndash; with no explanation forthcoming from either party. Weary of their spat or sitting on explosive new evidence? Only time will tell. <br /><br /><strong>CELEBRATION TIME</strong><br />To Balls Brothers in Minster Court yesterday lunchtime to celebrate the stunning victory of England&rsquo;s cricketers at Lord&rsquo;s on Monday.<br /><br />City cricket enthusiasts gathered in their droves to hear a speech from Glenn McGrath and raise funds for breast cancer, as well &ndash; of course &ndash; as drinking plenty of celebratory vino. What&rsquo;s more, I hear the doom and gloom of the credit crunch didn&rsquo;t even get a look in.<br /><br />&ldquo;We tried not to worry about what&rsquo;s going on outside these four walls,&rdquo; manager Mark Bowen tells me. &ldquo;We just stuck to celebrating the cricket and having fun.&rdquo;<br /><br />That&rsquo;s the spirit.<br /><br /><strong>RACING HONOURS</strong><br />Fancy a warm-up this weekend ahead of next week&rsquo;s Glorious Goodwood, one of the hottest festivals in the horseracing calendar? Ascot racecourse will host the &ldquo;Betfair Weekend&rdquo; this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, sponsored by Betfair &ndash; co-founded by keen racegoer Andrew Black. <br /><br />Avid bookworms will remember from Colin Cameron&rsquo;s recent tome, &ldquo;You Bet &ndash; The Betfair Story: How two men changed the world of gambling&rdquo;, that Black is currently in the process of turning his 300 acre Surrey home into a racing stud. <br /><br />Incidentally, The Capitalist hears one of Black&rsquo;s most recent horsey purchases, a frisky two-year-old colt, has been named after Betfair&rsquo;s current chief financial officer Steve Morana. Now there&rsquo;s a vote of confidence if ever there was one. &ldquo;Morana&rdquo;, the worthy steed, is now thought to be in the running for a place at Goodwood, so watch this space.<br /><br /><strong>AHOY THERE</strong><br />A touch of the old me&rsquo;hearties yesterday as the bigwigs at commercial property firm DTZ took calls to explain the company&rsquo;s worst ever set of full-year results.<br /><br />Not that it stopped chief executive Paul Idzik and chief operating officer Bob Rickert putting a pirate-like brave face on the proceedings, mind &ndash; navigating choppy waters, trimming the cloth of the sails, a water tight ship and having all hands on deck all featured heavily in their language.<br />The Capitalist cannot but admire the cut of their jocular jib.