City Diary: Power tycoon funds divorce through ‘tax efficient’ Cayman company

City Diary: Power tycoon funds divorce through ‘tax efficient’ Cayman company


Backing for fracking

Food for thought for Cuadrilla Resources boss Allan Campbell as he plots his UK shale gas revolution.

Two Tory MPs who oppose fracking in their rural constituencies – Michael Ellis in Northampton North and James Wharton in Stockton South – have been handed £5,000 and £10,000 respectively by Alexander Temerko, the energy tycoon behind the windfarms business Offshore Group Newcastle, according to the latest Register of Members’ Financial Interests.

Like Campbell, whose human resources policy at Cuadrilla is “fit in or —- off”, Temerko is a colourful character.

In 2005, he avoided being extradited to Russia on fraud charges relating to his previous life at Yukos, the Russian oil giant, after a judge ruled the attempt was politically motivated.


Own brand, not on brand

Diary suspects Sainsbury’s could be regretting its decision to take part in The Choir, the BBC2 office singing contest fronted by Gareth Malone.

After a rather “own brand” interpretation of Schubert’s Ave Maria on Monday night, the grocer has been checked out of the competition before the semi-final – and, no, Sainsbury’s boss Justin King did not wish to comment.

This leaves the choir from Citigroup, where failure is not an option, in pole position among the final four. Diary hears the bankers are so determined to win, they have been practising in the lift between meetings.


From Ashes to cashiers

England’s humiliating defeat in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide hasn’t put City cricket fans off the game entirely. Diary can reveal that a corporate cricket jolly at Lord’s next May, which costs £10,000 per team to enter, has already almost sold out.

Clearly, those banks and fund managers that treated their clients to this year’s “ultimate corporate event”, as the six-a-side tournament followed by a black-tie dinner is billed, are keen for some more repeat business – sorry, sporting camaraderie.



Jeff bows out of the high life

To the Gherkin, the home of his eponymous Sky News business show, for presenter Jeff Randall’s farewell drinks as he prepares for a life of red wine, cigars and the beach from next summer.

Among the guests with a head for heights, as well as business, on the top floor of the City of London tower were Marcus Agius, the former Barclays chairman; Steve Holliday, on a break from running National Grid; and Rob Perrins, the MD of housebuilder Berkeley Group.


The gold slump may have wiped $ 400bn (£243bn) off central banks’ gold reserves over the last year – but that’s as bad as it’s going to get, says the commodities queen at one major fund manager.

In a sign the market has perhaps bottomed out, Diary’s gold-hawk this month decided that a gold sovereign, currently worth around £170, was such a good buy for a young relative, she bought four more coins for herself.

The rally starts here.


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