Crown chief hails march into China
Picture serried ranks of pinstriped executives, marching lockstep into the oriental interior. Stopping only for a sip of water and a mouthful of gruel, the grim-jawed MBAs stride onward, ever onward, as they strike ever further into the heart of China.
The visionary picture belongs to Crown chairman James Packer, who addressed the Asia Society in Sydney on Thursday on the topic of Australia making a great leap Beijing-ward.
"You cannot possibly afford to be in a position of power and not have visited mainland China," Slim Jim said. "It should almost be compulsory for all senior executives and government officials to make the trip to gain an appreciation of the incredible rise of Western commerce."
CBD reckons Crown could make a few extra pennies by flying the execs in on its private planes, including the one previously allegedly used as a torture jet by the CIA.
Upbeat shopkeeper Bernie Brookes hit the phones on Thursday to spruik some of the wins he's racked up at Myer.
Addressing the calculator brains during an analyst briefing, Brookes said highlights included this week's announcement that cosmetics entrepreneur Napoleon Perdis (who describes himself as a "wog boy" who grew up in western Sydney) would come to Myer.
Brookes said he had been practising his "air kisses" for the flamboyant Perdis, who is at the centre of the store wars because his contract with rival David Jones expires in July. Brookes also mentioned he took some of Myer's top designers out for dinner the other week. A perfect opportunity for air kisses - just don't mention Kym Ellery.
What can't he do?
He's a ferocious litigator who has stoushed all over the land, representing corporates and the government in class actions, inquiries, and royal commissions.
But when he's not fighting in court Jones Day partner John Emmerig has another passion: painting. His two loves collided on Thursday when his portrait of High Court judge Stephen Gageler was shortlisted for the prestigious portrait prize, the Archibald.
Emmerig's oil and acrylic portrait is up against works by the likes of Sarah Hendy, who's painted Jasper Knight, and Jasper Knight, who's painted the late Adam Cullen (who won in 2000 with a portrait of David Wenham).
Oh, and in between painting and litigating, Emmerig is also a winemaker.
Still in the art world, international investors are lining up for a slice of a collection put together by an Australian medical entrepreneur.
No, this has nothing to do with disgraced former doctor, Geoffrey Edelsten. The artworks in question belong to Sydney doctor Colin Laverty and his wife Elizabeth, who built up a formidable array of modernist and Aboriginal art over 40 years of collecting. Laverty, a gynaecological specialist, sold his pathology business in 1998 to the business that later became Primary Health Care.
Now in their 70s, the couple are trimming their thousands-strong collection by flogging off more than 260 works through auction house Bonhams.
The works, including pieces by Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Peter Booth, can be viewed at fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne from Friday to Sunday and at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art from March 22, where they'll be auctioned on March 24.
Bonhams expects the collection to fetch between $3.88 million and $5.57 million.
Speaking of Edelsten, the sugardaddyforme.com user was made a life member of AFL club Carlton on Thursday, along with pokies kingpin Bruce Mathieson.
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Crown chief hails march into China
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