Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

City Spy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

City Spy

Article excerpt

FUND manager Patrick Evershed is frustrated by the failure of Conservative Party chairman Lord Saatchi to get the message across. So he has started to place his own advertisements attacking the Government. He began this week with a front-page ad in The Daily Telegraph contesting claims that Gordon Brown is a prudent Chancellor. He pointed to rising personal and Government debt, high retail sales combined with a decline in manufacturing investment, inadequate pension provision, rising student debt and "hidden Government borrowing by Private Finance Initiative schemes".

Evershed, the AAA-rated manager of New Star Select Opportunities unit trust, Tory supporter and redoubtable campaigner for shareholders' rights, promises this is just the start. "I'm not yet sure what I will do at the next election," he says.

"New laws have created problems over what can be done during elections, which I think is an infringement of personal liberty. But I will be able to place advertisements in various publications before the campaign gets under way. A lot of people are living in a fool's paradise about the economy. I want them to face up to the realities."

IF you were bidding [pounds sterling]8 billion for a company, what codenames would you use? Banco Santander Central Hispano is doing just that, splashing out big time on Abbey, and the secret codeword for the project is...wait for it..."Jack". And Santander's name for itself is "Pine" while poor old Abbey is "Oak".

Bankers from Santander and its army of helpers from JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Deloitte, Clifford Chance, Finsbury and Maitland are busy emailing each other about "Jack" and his trees. Sweet.

Presumably, pine relates to Spanish pine and oak to the once-mighty (but not any more, in Abbey's case) English oak. But who's Jack? …

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