Now for the gentler, mellower side of Axe Max

Now for the gentler, mellower side of Axe Max

MAX "the Axe" Moore-Wilton was his usual outspoken best in front of a business gathering at Justin Hemmes' The Ivy in Sydney yesterday.

Fresh from taking on Qantas' equally outspoken Leigh Clifford, Sydney Airport's chairman said he was sick of seeing himself portrayed in newspaper photos "murdering my wife or killing a baby kangaroo".

"There is never one of a smiling Max Moore-Wilton," he said. "If you're sitting at an annual general meeting, at some stage or other, like Kevin Rudd, you'll pick your nose."

Taking time

NEVER mind wasting the court's time, what about the rest of us? Proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court between coal junior Blackwood Corporation and "bogannaire" Nathan Tinkler's Mulsanne Resources threatened to descend into farce on Tuesday as the parties sought and obtained another adjournment.

Senior deputy registrar Jennifer Hedge was clearly frustrated when Blackwood's lawyers could not say why.

Registrar: "I'm not keen to adjourn it just every week." Lawyer: "I understand that, registrar." When the matter returns next Tuesday, asked the registrar, "Do you expect it to be ready to proceed or dismiss on that occasion?" Lawyer: "We will appear on that occasion and let the court know what the position is." Registrar: "I'll note that I'm advised by the plaintiff that they're expected to be ready to proceed or dismiss or . . . have a good reason why not."

Tinkler's court actions have a tendency to drag on. In a dispute with a Mirvac subsidiary trying to get one of his companies to complete a property purchase as ordered by the Supreme Court, Tinkler's lawyers wrangled an almost six-week extension, based on the need to schedule at least two days of hearings because of the voluminous evidence they would put on. Six weeks later - surprise, surprise - the court heard settlement talks were under way.

Top banana

HE'S an investment banking top banana and now Simon Mordant is in charge of Bananas in Pyjamas, among other things.

The forgetful Greenhill boss has yet another thing to remember after being elevated to the board of the ABC, along with scriptwriter Dorothy West and racing industry figure Bill Lenehan, by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

Of course, it's not all B1, B2, the teddies and Rat in a Hat. Mordant and his fellow board members are also responsible for keeping an eye on the vast TV, radio and internet output of the taxpayer-funded national broadcaster.

Let's hope he remembers to turn up to board meetings. In late September, when his merchant bank was in the throes of changing its name from Greenhill Caliburn to Greenhill, Mordant couldn't tell CBD whether he had attended a board meeting the previous week.

"I don't know," he said

Money machine

THE cash machine ANZ has in the ground floor of Singapore's "four floors of whores", Orchard Towers, turns out not to be the only big earner in Mike Smith's money factory.

Until recently, the ATMs in ANZ's Cambodian joint venture, ANZ Royal, have also been raking in extra spondulicks.

ANZ Royal is a joint venture with Kith Meng, a big wheel in Cambodia whose Royal Group owns everything from telcos to tourist resorts.

While Australians who travel overseas are used to being slugged a foreign currency transaction fee when they use an exotically located hole in the wall, ANZ Royal's cashboxes were charging $5 on top.

Even ANZ's loyal customers were slugged with the extra fee, which CBD's Cambodian correspondent said was $2 to $3 higher than charged by rival banks.

But, in sad news for ANZ's equally loyal shareholders, a bank spokesman told CBD the fee had not been charged since September.

Does it compute?

HAS the global boss of HP, Meg Whitman, been in town?

She's said to have met the Commonwealth Bank's board earlier this week. If true, the meeting would be the second this year, with Whitman paying court to CBA head teller Ian Narev following a computer outage that left branches floundering in July.

HP's Enterprise Services was responsible for looking after computers that were turned into useless lumps of plastic and metal.

Coincidentally, the CBA's contract with HP is reported to be up for renegotiation.

A CBA flack declined to comment on whether or not Whitman had enjoyed a second helping of sarnies around the bank's boardroom table, while HP's PR didn't return CBD's call.

Flying in flack

JUST who works at Perennial? CBD is no closer to an answer.

Perennial owner IOOF's flack, Melinda Hofman, was asked on Tuesday whether executives Mike Crivelli, Anthony Patterson, John Murray and Kerry Series were still employed.

All but Series had unsuccessfully sued IOOF for $35 million in pay after it merged with Australian Wealth Managers.

Hofman said she needed to "get advice" and never called back. A second call is yet to be returned.

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