CLSA less than communicative over communications change
We see, belatedly, there has been a change in the communications personnel at stockbrokers CLSA. Anna Tehan, who had been head of communications for just over two years, left at the end of last month. She has been replaced by her predecessor, Simone Wheeler, who is no stranger to CLSA having worked there for almost six years before leaving to pursue various personal projects. Now she's back. This appears to have happened very quickly. Neither of the women have even had time to change their LinkedIn profiles. We are told that Tehan resigned and is to join a non-brokerage organisation in a similar capacity. But we can't confirm any of this since both women, normally so assiduous in returning calls and emails, are being less than communicative on this one.
Patten on Pilling
Hong Kong-based Financial Times Asia Editor, David Pilling, had the distinction recently of having his new book reviewed by former Hong Kong governor, Chris Patten, albeit in the FT. Patten is fulsome in his praise, describing it as "hugely enjoyable and perceptive. We were intrigued by Patten's last paragraph where he observes that Japan is doing a great job in showing us all how "a rich country can combine low growth and low energy use with low crime and social harmony". But he goes on to say that it could do a lot better if it were to accept Pilling's contention that its "most neglected resource" is its women - a point many Japanese, including the governor of the Bank of Japan and impresario of Abenomics, Haruhiko Kuroda, would readily accept. We know many Japanese women's names end in "-ko", but that surely doesn't make Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda a woman, or a feminist.
Trebles all round
Diageo, the premium drinks company, has come up with a nifty wheeze to boost its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. It is sponsoring the first Women's Empowerment Journalism Awards for the Asia-Pacific region. Su-Mei Thompson, CEO of The Women's Foundation in Hong Kong said in a press statement that TWF was "proud to support" the initiative. Indeed she is one of the judges along with Hu Shuli, editor-in-chief of Caixin Media, and John Wood, founder of Room to Read. Entrants have to be above their respective county's legal drinking age - ho ho - Diageo's little joke no doubt. Alcohol probably serves women less well than it does men. We wonder how the judges will receive submissions on alcohol and women's health.
UBS - what a player
It seems every financial conference or forum worth their salt has to have one these days. So it was that UBS with some pride was able yesterday to wheel out as its guest celebrity Yao Ming, on the opening day of the 14th annual UBS Greater China Conference (GCC) in Shanghai. "We are delighted to have an athlete of Yao Ming's standing with us today," enthused UBS group CEO Sergio Ermotti in front of the 1,700 delegates attending the forum. "Yao," he continued "is, of course, well known throughout his career for his pursuit of excellence as well as being someone who is unflinching in the face of challenge." These qualities Ermotti would have us believe "are values that lie central to the ethos at UBS." Well perhaps the "new" UBS ethos. Fortunately those days of smuggling diamonds out of the US in a toothpaste tube are a thing of the past.
We see that Financial Secretary John Tsang reverted to a familiar rhetorical device in his speech to the Asian Financial Forum yesterday evening. He noted it was 50 years to the day that Bob Dylan released his hit song The Times They Are a-Changin', and observed that while it was true then, it equally relates to the "global economic transformation since the 2007 financial crisis which we are told has supposedly seen economic power move from West to East." The last time he used a musical analogy in a speech was two years ago when he reflected on the harmony and balance found in Glen Miller's music, which gave his band its distinctive sound. The analogy we were supposed to make was between Miller's music and Tsang's budget. We're wondering what song will be appropriate for this year's budget. Perhaps Where did it all go wrong? by Oasis.
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