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A shaw thing

Sam Shaw is a reporter on Money Marketing
And so the day has finally come when I bid you all adieu in my last entry as distribution hack at MM Towers. My final week started with an early farewell dinner with David Ferguson, chief executive of Nucleus,. A stunning dinner at Cocoon, just off Regent Street was a welcome environment to discuss the latest develop-ments at Nucleus and long distance relationships.

Cut to drinks with Falcon’s Allan Rosengren and Steve Gazard on Wednesday, over at Dion in St Pauls. The pair of naughty schoolboys somehow managed to ply me with at least one rather bigger glass of wine than they themselves enjoyed and insisted that while in Monte Carlo for our recent Retirement Summit, they warned MM editor John Lappin that I would leave eventually. I’m sure they’ll cope.

As for Thursday, well, my leaving drinks at Nordic swiftly collapsed into a drunken haze, despite my power nap, after which we continued on a tour of Soho. A little bird tells me that were cross words between a mortgage trade editor and a rather Godfather-like presence in the mortgage market but I was too busy making sure Edeus’ MD Alan Cleary got his briefcase back from behind the bar, having earlier confessed he has a tendency to leave a trail of belongings on a night out. But then, don’t we all.

Annie Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
“Old journalists never die,” goes the saying. “They just get de-pressed.” But there was nothing depressing about a meeting of indisputably antiquated personal finance journalists in the City last week. In fact, in the internet age, you could say, at the risk of making them sound like a piece of furniture, old journalists simply get rewebbed. The convivial wine bar gathering was the monthly financial agony aunts’ fest hosted by the Sunday Times’ Diana Wright. Guests of honour were Bill Kay – like Diana, a former PF editor of that august title – and Bill’s wife Lynne Bateson. The couple were just off the plane from their new home in California, whence they continue to contribute to the British press and, confided Bill, keep in touch with the London PF scene by perusing this column, which they consider to be essential reading. Also present were the Observer’s Maggie Dibben, the Times’s Helen Pridham, the Telegraph’s Liz Dolan and former Guardian PF supremo Maggie Hughes.

Thursday saw me in the City for lunch with the Webads lads, who handle the online advertising for publications such as City AM and Morningstar. Astonishingly, four bottles of wine later and around teatime, when I was nearly on the floor, dear Alan Walker and Chris Cochrane, who were still bright as buttons, announced they had to leave for another social engagement. Earlier, freelancer Laura Howard dropped in from her berth at the Moneyextra website in the London Stock Exchange building. The business will soon be seeking new lodgings following its untimely split from IFA AWD Chase de Vere. Dark rumblings suggest this could be as far north as Manchester, terra incognita as far as current MX denizens are concerned.

Number of national newspapers cutting back on PF content budgets this week: another two.

Esther Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
And so, once again, I am back on one leg with a rather damaged knee learning to reacquaint myself with my crutches following yet another netball injury. I am being as patient as I can about people referring to me as hop-a-long or enquiring after my “fat knee”.

That said, Moneysupermarket.com’s Steve “knight in shining armour” Willey has offered to carry me over his shoulder should I still be hobbling around by the time he takes me for lunch in a few weeks. Elsewhere this week, I hear that Cobalt Capital’s Andrew “Monty” Montlake has been busy changing nappies following the arrival of the “big and beautiful” Mini Monty. Baby Rafi Gabiel Montlake weighed in at a healthy 8lb 6oz, according to the message I received, which I am pleased to report also added “no chinbeard yet”.

Finally, I was rather amused to read an email from the PRs of a certain website entitled “urgent amendment to press release” this week. The PR team, it seems, had taken the liberty of implying the endorsement of Martin “MoneySavingExpert” Lewis in its PR material when this may perhaps not have been strictly the case. While the PRs involved went on to offer their “sincere apologies for any aggravation this causes”, this sincerity was tempered a little by the inclusion of the word “yikes” at the notion of being sued.

Number of mint-flavoured chocolate bites I have eaten this week after being sent them by the new press team at Direct Line: far too many.

Any Out of Contexts or Diary stories? Send them to Diary editor Nicola York at nicola.york@ centaur.co.uk telephone: 020 7943 8042

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