Nice work if you can get it. Ollie Silverton, a sports graduate of Durham University, is flying out to Brazil tomorrow to spend a month “tweeting every day” from the World Cup.
Silverton secured this “best job in the world” by winning the competition run by bookmaker Titan Bet, as launched by Diary last month.
But his City pedigree won’t have hurt. Thanks to “personal connections” – that means a friend of his Dad Ashley Silverton, a director at wealth manager Brewin Dolphin – the young pundit will be transported from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo to watch the second-round matches via private jet.
Ultra high net worth clients permitting, Silverton senior hopes to make the flight too.
Simon Walker, the head of the Institute of Directors, is not sitting on the fence in today’s protest by London black cab drivers against the smartphone taxi apps increasingly stealing their fares.
Standing up for Uber, Hailo and friends, Walker told Diary: “The cab drivers will not be able to prevent technological innovation any more than the machine-breakers of the nineteenth century could stop the spread of the power loom.”
Strong stuff. Does Mr Walker perhaps have a financial interest in these marvellous new taxi technologies, Diary wondered? “I don’t think so,” says an aide. “It’s more about how this dispute relates to the broader issue of regulation not keeping up with digital innovation.”
William Rucker is a busy man. When he’s not running Lazard, the investment bank, or chairing housebuilders Crest Nicholson and Quintain, he notches up winners with his string of racehorses, notably Hennessy Gold Cup winner State of Play.
Now he has added yet another string to his bow.
Diary hears Rucker has joined the board of Cheltenham Racecourse, alongside Dido Harding, the Talk Talk boss and amateur jockey, and Rupert Sweeting, the Knight Frank director last heard of trying to find a buyer for the Cotswolds mansion previously owned by alleged fraudster Adrian Burford.
How do they find the time?
Project Offside, the legal dispute between ex-Leeds United director David Haigh and his former employer, Gulf Finance House Capital (GFHC), is proving to be a game of two halves.
Following Diary’s tale last Thursday that Haigh is denying GFHC’s claims that he embezzled around $5m (£3m) from the Dubai bank, Mr Haigh has announced he is preparing a counter-claim against GFHC for monies he claims they owe him.
Haigh remains in a Dubai jail, but his tactics are aggressive. His claims will be “in excess” of the potential $5m penalty against him, reveals a spokesman.
Boots the chemist may insist it is one of the biggest contributors to the Treasury, but detractors say major corporate surgery is needed.
Campaigners will this morning gather outside the chain’s flagship store on London’s Oxford Street to protest against the alleged £1.21bn tax avoidance by parent company Alliance Boots, as well as the “tax inversion” scheme allegedly eyed by US giant Walgreens, ahead of its full Alliance Boots takeover.
Not the easiest pill for Chancellor George Osborne to swallow, on the eve of tomorrow’s Mansion House speech to the banking fraternity.