View more on these topics

Correspondent’s Week

This week by Simoney Girard, managing editor for a range of financial magazines.

People who know me think I am cheerful and nice. Well, I am not. I am a pessimist. I expect the worst to happen to me so, when it does, I can feign sang froid and make like I ain’t bovvered.

Here I am in a new job, striving to make a good impression. I am still in finance but learning to love contract publishing. It has not been easy.

The first week, I had a meeting with a client I knew from days of yore. She mentioned story after story with an openness that would have floored Jodie Marsh. She looked over at me, as previous exclusive-hunting tendencies took over. My pen was moving fast.

“Stop twitching, Simoney,” she joked.

“I can’t help it. This would have been a gold mine,” I replied.

“I know,” she said, laughing. “But if I see it in print, I will know where to come.” Oh, how we laughed. End of matter?

Ha! That evening went out with my boyfriend who writes for Reuters. In the car with him and his mates, he turned round and said: “I think I got a great story today from XYZ company. They’re doing a big ABC.”

Bovvered? You bet. Screw sang froid. Same story, wasn’t it? How could I respond? “Please don’t write it?” Like that wouldn’t give the game away. Might as well just walk into a police station and say: “I didn’t kill that postman.”

But what would happen if I didn’t say anything and he wrote it? Cue clearing my desk on Monday. And he would be funding my lifestyle. The prospect of curries for the rest of my life did not thrill me but, thankfully, he said he was meeting the company on Monday to confirm it. Phew.

Friday came and I had survived until late in the day. Then I fell into Dante’s seventh circle. The toilets here are right next to the office. At around six o’clock, the office was quiet but several folk were around. I went in, shut the interconnecting door but someone came to empty the bins and left it open just at the moment I happened to emit a squealer. A nanosecond of silence. As I debated what to do, there was a sequel, followed by uproarious laughter from my new colleagues. What to do? I walked out but, instead of being able to laugh it off, the room was silent as everyone was studiously intent on their keyboards. Utter mortification. End of matter?

Well, Monday came and went without any problem. I got some juicy articles which kept me out of trouble and the Reuters article did not appear.

Tuesday started well. I was waiting in for a washing machine repair. The price I was quoted was £94. Mr Fixit looked at me and said: “Look, I’ll charge you the estimate charge of £39. I don’t think charging you the full amount is right for such a small job as your warranty is about to expire.”

Since when did that ever happen? It made my day, especially as I had just agreed some new terms of insurance with my bank, which effectively covers plumbing repairs from the end of the month, coinciding with the expiry of the machine warranty.

Perhaps this week was going to make up for the horrors of last week. But being a pessimist, I thought: “There’s probably some pit around the corner waiting for my unwary footfall.”

The crunch came after an afternoon visit to the toilet. When I got back to my desk, an email, circulated to the whole office, was waiting for me. It read: “Please shut the toilet door. You don’t want to be named and shamed, do you?” Face? Red? Bovvered?

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


Lawyer highlights watchdog disparity

A leading lawyer says the Financial Ombudsman Service treats advisers unfairly compared with other professions.At a debate between the FOS and law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, partner Jonathan Davies said the FSA’s decision not to apply the 15-year long-stop rule to FOS judgments unfairly prejudices advisers.Financial services lawyer Davies gave an example of two neighbours, […]

Synaptic to feature wrap comparison

Synaptic Solutions is adding a wrap comparison tool to its product research service in response to what it says is growing adviser interest in platforms.The wrap tool is being launched in early 2007 and will enable advisers to compare charges and which products can be held on it.A survey by the research provider reveals that […]

Property funds are still leading

Specialist was the most popular fund sector in October for the ninth consecutive month. Property accounted for £379m of the sector’s £519m net inflows.

This week in Investment

Some people are obviously just too good at their jobs. Take the £3.7bn Jupiter income trust manager Anthony Nutt for example.

Pensions Dashboards around the World

Steve Webb’s latest policy paper British savers risk being left in the ‘slow lane’ unless the UK Government takes a more active role in ensuring the successful delivery of a Pensions Dashboard. The report, ‘Pensions Dashboards around the World’, coincided with a major conference that was held on Monday 16 May and brought together experts […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm