Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cityspy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cityspy

Article excerpt

email: cityspy standard.co.uk

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i GOVERNMENT plans to extend the powers of bailiffs to break into your house to collect for that unpaid parking ticket must be music to the ears of private-equity outfit Gresham, headed by Paul Marson-Smith. Part of its portfolio includes Drakes, the "professional enforcement" agency that featured heavily in the BBC TV undercover documentary, Whistleblower. The programme showed bailiffs lying about their powers, threatening jail terms to people who didn't pay up and referring to themselves as "legal thieves". One bailiff went with the reporter to a house and, instead of knocking on the front door, took a ladder from his van and entered through an open window.

Gresham was horrified the time. Now it's having the final laugh: such behaviour will soon be allowed.

ui A YEAR ago, veteran investor Jack Petchey had stakes in 16 quoted companies. Today, he is down to seven. If canny Petchey is baling out, it time to man the lifeboats?

ui MEANWHILE, in Management Today, son Sir Rocco announces his intention to compete in year's triathlon world championships in Hamburg in August, and "really do well". To qualify, he explains "that would mean doing about six or seven triathlons before that".

Rocco Forte is 62.

ui HOW fitting that the closure of the Savoy, including the Grill, for 16 months for a long-overdue major refurbishment is revealed in the same week the Forte clan gathers to bid farewell to Lord Forte, who went to his grave denied the chance of owning the hotel he so craved- ui UNLIKE their investment banking cousins with their Oxbridge, post-grad and MBAloaded CVs, the incumbents of Lloyd's have never been renowned for their academic, philosophical or intellectual prowess. That hasn't stopped the insurance boys enthusiastically embracing the "Poet in the City" initiative. Although as one market veteran, located in the Corney & Barrow wine bar in Leadenhall Place beneath the Lloyd's building said: "The only poetry that we have anything to do with is Poet's day, aka Friday, as in Piss Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday. …

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