Never waste an opportunity
Good to see author and QBE non-executive director John Green using every opportunity to plug his latest book, including the insurer's annual meeting.
"My latest is an eco-cyber thriller called The Trusted, and if you want to rush out now and buy it you can get it in bookstores today," Green told shareholders as he urged them to support his re-election to the board.
Green, who has also written books titled Nowhere Man and Born to Run, also pens business columns.
As chairman Belinda Hutchinson endorsed Green's
re-election, she said: "I'm sure he'll sign a copy of his book, if you have one, outside. We might charge him for advertising his book during meetings."
Shareholders who had wanted to hear this type of banter live over the webcast may have been disappointed. The live feed of QBE's AGM abruptly ended after the opening speeches from the chairman and chief executive.
But while QBE has at least one feature you'd find in airport bonkbusters - that mysterious captive insurer in tropical tax haven Bermuda - the feed shutdown was not for the kinds of shady reasons you'd find in one of Green's page-turners.
According to a spokesman, it was so the webcast could be uploaded in time for US investors.
Brown tees off
For most of the dignitaries enjoying Sunday's inaugural flight to Dubai by Qantimates - the new hook-up between flying kangaroo Qantas and the desert kingdom's Emirates - the shenanigans will end when they return to Australia next week.
But while the likes of Transport Minister Anthony Albanese (see CBD, Tuesday) will no doubt be getting straight back to work, the boss of Emirates' Aussie operations, Barry Brown, is taking a longer break after getting the deal across the line.
Following the flight, Brown is off to Augusta, Georgia, for golf's Masters.
Brown has played golf with Tiger Woods, who is back at the No.1 ranking and aiming for the Masters after recovering from a series of unfortunate incidents in which he accidentally ended up in bed with several women who were not his wife.
This time around, Brown might fit in a round with golf legend Tom Watson.
That's our son
The founder of Mesoblast, Silviu Itescu, has emerged as the buyer of a Melbourne property at a price that had observers scratching their heads with wonder.
CBD has learnt that Itescu was the buyer of a house on Findon Avenue, in leafy Caulfield North, at auction at the weekend. The five-bedroom, three-bathroom house was expected to fetch about $3 million, but a fierce contest between Itescu and a handful of other bidders pushed the figure up to $3.4 million.
Itescu lives close to the property, which also boasts an infinity pool, marble fireplace, home theatre and views of the bay and the city's skyscrapers.
But all this luxury is not for
him. A company spokeswoman said he bought the spread for his elderly parents so that they can be close to him.
"Silviu wanted a house that his parents could live in, in close proximity to their grandchildren," auctioneer Phillip Kingston of Gary Peer Real Estate told CBD.
Pay per view
Up goes the paywall at Rupert Murdoch's high-class London paper the Sun, which is joining the ranks of outlets (including CBD's publisher) turning to readers to replace dwindling ad revenue.
From some time in the second half of the year readers will be asked to fork out cash to read yarns such as "Dogs killed Jade as she ate meat pie", "Michelle is best of the breast" and "Alan Carr slaps sex ban on Russell Brand" - all actual headlines from Tuesday's Sun website. Form an orderly queue.
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