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PADDED BRA MAGNATE IS TOP WOMAN IN BUSINESS

PLENTY of lists of the most powerful women in business are published each year now that we ladies have (almost) succeeded in cracking that glass ceiling, so The Capitalist was somewhat surprised by the novel value of the latest addition to the pack.

A sneak peek at ladies’ magazine Glamour’s upcoming list of the five most powerful businesswomen and female lawyers, you see, makes rather interesting reading. Not for this rag the serious Helen Alexanders and Katherine Garrett-Coxes of the finance world; rather, in true glossy style, they’ve picked a bevy of business beauties with a difference.

In at number five is graceful Lottery boss Dianne Thompson; number four is prolific dealmaker, former model and ex-Royal squeeze Amanda Staveley; Paul McCartney’s solicitor Fiona Shackleton comes in at number three; and Baroness Hale, the most senior female judge in British history, takes the silver medal.

All of which makes the magazine’s choice of most powerful businesswoman – Ultimo lingerie founder Michelle Mone – seem even more bizarre. For one, The Capitalist can’t see Staveley, the toast of the Middle Eastern investment community who’s worth an estimated £100m, being too happy about playing fourth fiddle to a padded bra entrepreneur, however successful and talented. Though come to think of it, perhaps it would be folly to underestimate the power of a gel bra to bring joy to the masses.

FESTIVE FATTIES
Speaking of, ahem, more superficial charms, word on the street is that BeautifulPeople.com, the dating website strictly for candidate who are easier on the eye, has thrown out over 5,000 of its members over Christmas for pigging out.

Yes, you did read that right – the firm, which appears supremely unconcerned about such trivial things as customer loyalty, is adamant that it doesn’t want “festive fatties” roaming its forums (it’s their phrase, not mine, before ultra-PC readers decide to shoot the messenger…)

Needless to say, the country with most members banned from the hallowed cyber halls was the US, which lost 1,520 roly-poly users.

POLE POSITION
Here’s a City chap who makes the extra-curricular activities enjoyed by the rest of us look like pure child’s play. David Cornell, 41, is a busy bee at the moment, having just joined India Investment Partners as a fund manager, but it’s nothing compared to the challenge he undertook this time last year.

Cornell is the great-grandson on Jameson Boyd Adams – one of the courageous men who accompanied explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton on his failed expedition to the South Pole in 1909 (above). So, one hundred years later, he decided to lead his own expedition to complete the 97-mile trek across the Antarctic in Adams’ place, calling it “unfinished family business”.

BIG CHILL
Finally, while we’re on the subject of wintry escapades, an email arrives from a City chum who was astounded to get into his car yesterday morning and read the temperature –9°C on the dial. Ironically, waiting for him at work was an advertising email for an upmarket ski resort in France, where temperatures are currently a balmy –8°C…