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Correspondent’s week

This week by Compliance Online editor (retail markets) Annie Shaw

It does not seem long since I was doing uniform inspection before seeing the children off to school on a Monday morning. This morning sees my nervous daughter Laura standing in front of me saying: “Do look I look all right, mum?” before setting off for the first day of two weeks’ work experience in the Building Societies’ Association press office.

She is editor of the Exeter University student newspaper, has more front than Blackpool and looks every inch the PR girl so I know she is going to be fine. After the BSA, she is doing two weeks at Lansons so, fellow hacks, please be nice. Having seen her off, I have to get myself to the wilds of Windsor Great Park for a meeting at the world corporate headquarters of Compliance Online with news agency Adfero, which is going to supply us with a newsfeed to complement our own reporting.

The journey takes the best part of three hours by public transport and the last leg is by taxi from Ascot station. Taxis can be much in demand at the station and I cannot believe my luck when the person in front of me gives the COL address. Cheekily. I jump forward and beg to share, only to discover that it is the Adfero team who have arrived mob-handed and there is no room for me in the car.

I have to wait for the next taxi and arrive at the office after the Adfero chaps, whom I find waiting on the doorstep. Despite our disorganisation – we cannot find enough chairs for them all – the Adfero people are all very charming and the meeting is declared a success.

Tuesday has me doing a similar meeting with Gary and Cathy Wright of City Compass, who are going to provide copy for our site. The meeting is on the mezzanine of the Royal Exchange and I try not to be distracted by the glitzy shops downstairs. Afterwards, I call in to our London office in Fenchurch Avenue to catch up with the gossip but they are all off for a lunch meeting with Gartmore’s money-laundering reporting officer Steve Elkins so I slope off home.

On Wednesday, I have a relatively quiet day, working from home to finish off a profile of the Catholic Building Society for The Tablet. It is the Catholic weekly magazine’s first ethical business supplement and my first venture in religious publishing. The editor has a few queries on the story – which I learn is to run over three pages – so I have to track down the lovely CBS chief executive Jim Gilbourne, who is on holiday up a mountain in Romania. Luckily for me, ethical considerations do not allow him to swear at hacks interrupting his vacation.

On Thursday, it is work as usual but in the evening, I travel into London for Money Marketing reporter Andrea Tryphonides’s leaving party. I heard she was having “a quiet drink with a few friends”. It turns out that the talented and ever popular Andrea has been forced to change venue to a bigger bar across the road and a crowd described as not far short of the population of Mexico City has turned up to see Andrea off.

Roll on the weekend. On Friday morning, I have a blinding headache. As well as the normal Compliance Online routine, I also manage to fit in a short piece on Polaris World, which recently invited me on a press trip to Spain, and a lunchtime drink with freelance Laura Brady, who lives near me in Hertfordshire and has been helping me with my website, In the evening, I set off for Manchester for the wedding of two friends who met at university and have been living together for an unspecified number of decade ever since. Tempus fugit.

Any Out of Contexts or Diary stories? Send them to Diary editor Paul McMillan, email: or telephone: 020 7970 4776


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