Business diary

Nice one, Money Mensch

By Candice Krieger, June 25, 2009

JC money Mensch Martin Lewis’s Moneysavingexpert.com has been voted the most trustworthy website by OnePoll’s survey of non-news or banking sites. It beat Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, which, incidentally, was voted the least trustworthy. We understand the MPs’ expenses website was not included in the poll.

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‘Israel can thrive in crunch’

By Candice Krieger, June 25, 2009

The global economic crisis could not have happened at a better time from Israel’s point of view, says Vered Dar, chief economist at the country’s largest investment house, Psagot Ofek.

Ms Dar, the former deputy director of macroeconomics for Israel’s Ministry of Finance, believes Israeli businesses in the UK can thrive despite the recession. Speaking at a round table discussion hosted by Mishcon de Reya and Bank Leumi, she added: “Israel remained in a good position as conditions deteriorated abroad, with economic growth continuing.

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It’s a good time to be caring

By Candice Krieger, June 18, 2009

Oh to be Richard Caring. Not only is the restaurant entrepreneur planning a huge expansion of his already sizeable empire, he has someone else doing the legwork. His chief executive Des McDonald told the Evening Standard he was working to expand the £200m annual turnover of Mr Caring’s high-profile portfolio, which includes The Ivy, Scott’s and Annabel’s, by around 20 per cent a year, suggesting it could become a half-a-billion business within five years. Mr Caring believes the recession provides buying opportunities.

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New status for israel

By Candice Krieger, June 18, 2009

Israel has been updated from an ‘emerging’ market to a ‘developed’ one by index compiler MSCI Barra. As of May 2010, the MSCI Israel Index will beincluded in the MSCI World Index, which includes most developed markets.

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Pears school partnership

By Candice Krieger, June 11, 2009

The Pears Foundation has teamed up with the UK’s top business schools to promote philanthropy among the business leaders of the future through a series of lectures by leading business figures. The schools involved are Cranfield School of Management; Saïd Business School, Oxford; and the London Business School. Trevor Pears, executive chair of The Pears Foundation, said: “We are pleased to be working with such dedicated colleges in pursuit of our shared aim to grow the culture of philanthropy.”

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Hedge fund managers in giving mood

By Candice Krieger, June 11, 2009

Hedge managers and city financiers are not all evil, it seems. More than 800 of the professionals dug deep into their pockets last week to raise more than £15 million for the Ark annual charity dinner. Ark, which stands for Absolute Return for Kids, was founded by Arpad Busson, the French financier and partner of actress Uma Thurman.

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Bankers turn to israel

By Candice Krieger, June 11, 2009

Hundreds of financial regulators were in Israel this week for the International Organisation of Securities Commissions conference.

Leading the delegation from the UK was Shmuel Ben-Tovim, economics minister at London’s Israeli Embassy.

He said: “Choosing Tel Aviv as the venue for the conference is a tribute to the regulatory sysem in Israel, which was able to keep our banking industry away from global turbulences. The Israeli taxpayer has not been required to spend a single penny in bailout of banks.”

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Topland are top of the props

By Candice Krieger, June 4, 2009

It’s been quite a week for Sol Zakay, the property entrepreneur who runs the Topland Group together with his brother, Eddie. Their company was named Most Promising Newcomer of the Year at the annual Variety Club Property Awards, aka the Props. They beat RBS boss Stephen Hester and Philip Lewis — former senior director of both Hines and Heron. But the award is not enough to keep Sol Zakay in the UK, it seems.

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It pays off to be Frank... PR

By Candice Krieger, June 4, 2009

Mazeltov to Frank PR. The Jewish-run agency, which counts Sir Alan Sugar among its clients, has landed another award — Best European Marketing Campaign of the Year for the launch of KitKat Senses which featured Girls Aloud — at the Sabre European PR awards.

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'Opportunity' fund on cards

By Candice Krieger, May 21, 2009

Property veteran Leo Noe is seeking investors for a £300m “new opportunity” fund. Mr Noe will manage the Devonshire UK Opportunities Fund, which is being started by F&C Reit Asset Management, the outcome of the merger between Mr Noe’s Reit Asset Management and F&C’s property division last year.

Devonshire UK Opportunities plans to take advantage of the current property market, snapping up bargains. JP Morgan is acting as broker to the fund.

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