CITY DIARY: New Deutsche Bank boss’s cost cutting drive continues – no more first-class train tickets for staff
New Deutsche Bank chief executive Christian Sewing’s cost-cutting drive continues. After the cash-strapped bank recently stopped providing fruit around the office, a move akin to shuffling the deckchairs on the Titanic, a fatwa has been issued on unnecessary travel expenses.
First-class train tickets are prohibited and staff are asked to think twice before booking flights. To think barely five years ago Sewing’s Prada-wearing predecessor, Ashu Jain, 55, whizzed around the globe in a £6,000 an-hour private jet.
Cuts: The cash-strapped bank recently stopped providing fruit around the office
Hare-in-the-headlights trade minister and ex-Financial Times chief executive Lady Fairhead, 56, interviewed by the BBC’s Justin Webb yesterday, repeatedly called him ‘Justin’ as though they were old friends. In the space of a few minutes she did this no fewer than nine times. Media coaches advise this will make their interrogators like them. For listeners it’s highly irritating.
Feared hedge funder Paul Singer’s ruthless boardroom tactics are laid bare in this week’s New Yorker. Singer’s fund Elliott is accused by several ousted chief executives of intimidatory behaviour down the years, all hotly denied by Elliott, of course. Recently departed Athenahealth boss Jonathan Bush, 49, says discovering that Singer had built up a 9pc stake in the firm last year was like ‘Googling this thing on your arm and it says you’re going to die’.
Newcastle United fans have a new way of irritating their hated owner Mike Ashley. They pile on to Sports Direct’s website and fill their baskets up with thousands of pounds worth of merchandise. The result? Hundreds of lines which genuine customers are trying to buy are then shown to be out of stock. Are they a little time rich on Tyneside?
Boots’s incoming chief executive, dishevelled old Etonian Sebastian James, marked his first day in the job this week by tweeting a picture of his new staff badge (marked ‘Seb’) with the comment: ‘Proud to wear this badge.’ Pass the sickbag! Boots’s staff were more preoccupied by Hollywood star Will Smith’s appearance at its Westfield branch the day before to even notice.