IRENE Rosenfeld hasn’t exactly offered herself readily to the cameras during her ultimately successful five-month pursuit of chocolatier Cadbury, though The Capitalist hears there was at least one photograph of herself that the Kraft boss would have liked as a memento to her victory.
As the two companies’ representatives filed out of the offices of blue-chip investment bank Lazard recently after the final meeting to decide the terms of Kraft’s takeover, a sidekick to Rosenfeld popped up to ask a favour of Cadbury chairman Roger Carr and one of his advisers, Goldman Sachs’ Karen Cook.
Carr was asked – repeatedly, so we are given to understand – if he would pose with his opposite number for a sugary picture of the two former combatants cuddling up to each other, “united” by the 100p-a-share sweetener that Carr extracted from his US rival.
Alas, Carr, who had oft attacked his rival’s growth record and unsuitability to be Cadbury’s new owner before the raised offer encouraged him to raise the white flag, was unwilling to play the game.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Kraft, having failed to woo Carr, yesterday tried to get on the right side of an even more influential party, showering City hacks with an own-branded bag containing numerous samples from its swollen chocolate empire.
POETRY IN MOTION
We’ve had Penelope Trunk tweeting about having a miscarriage in a board meeting, and hot on her heels comes the first use of Twitter to publish the resignation of a big company boss.
Jonathan Schwartz, ex-chief executive of Sun Microsystems, on Wednesday night used Twitter to inform the world of his departure, after Larry Ellison’s Oracle completed its acquisition of his firm last week.
“Today’s my last day at Sun. I’ll miss it. Seems only fitting to end on a haiku,” Schwartz told his followers.
“Financial crisis / Stalled too many customers / CEO no more.”
It was a happy reunion yesterday lunchtime for many a City veteran, as Paul Aynsley – a former managing director of European equity sales at Deutsche Bank – popped back for a visit from his latest gig in the States.
Aynsley gathered together his old friends for a boozy curry lunch, including former Teathers chief Ken Ford, Panmure’s corporate broking guru Adam Pollock, Capita Financial Group’s chief investment officer John Reynolds and Deutsche Bank managing director Geof Collyer.
Aynsley’s visit was ostensibly under the guise of a “business trip” for his last employer Oppenheimer Funds, where he is an investment director, though I understand the real reason may have had more to do with the fact that the Six Nations kicks-off tomorrow…
While we’re on the subject of said booze-up, The Capitalist is reminded by the aforementioned Geof Collyer of the importance of dressing to impress in the City. Collyer is famed within Deutsche Bank and beyond for his
impressive collection of Duchamp ties, in varying shades of shocking pink, yellow and purple.
“I’ve never thrown away a tie – I must have well over 50 of them,” he says. “In fact, I’ve been advised to insure them for a decent amount.”
If only The Capitalist’s own collection of high heels were extensive enough to warrant similar treatment.
On the scale of hair-brained sporting adventures, this has to feature pretty high. Hugh Williams-Preece – a director of City events group Dragon Live – tells me he’s planning to run 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days over the months of March and April, covering the 1,310 miles from Lisbon to London.
Our intrepid runner has had a pretty tough time of it while training for his feat, from daily ice baths to having to host a conference call with Rothschilds in the middle of a snowy field, 20 miles into one of his “practice” marathons.
He begins on 3 March and plans to run his last marathon in London on 21 April – and is hoping to get as many people as possible to join him for the final fling. Interested parties – or those wanting to donate to Marie Curie Cancer Care – should visit his website, www.50in50.co.uk.
City workers may in the future be able to spread their own local honey on their morning toast, after the City of London Festival decided to pioneer a £25,000 project to introduce a million honey bees to the Square Mile.
Around 20 hives are due to be installed in various banks, schools and local buildings around the City under the plans, which will also include having trained beekeepers visit participating firms to teach staff the art of looking after the bees. Protective gear at the ready…