CBD

Brick road still paved in gold

Brick road still paved in gold

Reality TV star and finance company operator Mark Bouris insists his Yellow Brick Road is not shorter than advertised.

Bouris is famous for delivering the "you're fired" catchphrase in his role on The Apprentice, and discrepancies between the number of branches advertised by his Yellow Brick Road group made CBD wonder if some of its outlets had also been declared surplus to requirements.

In an investment presentation given this month, YBR claimed it had 168 branches at the end of June, up from 120 at the same time last year.

But CBD counted only 92 open branches in the list on the company's website, with five more addressed described as "coming soon". Had these licensees been fired? According to a YBR spokeswoman, no: they've been hired.

"We had 168 branch licences signed at 30 June as reported," she said. "We don't list all branch licences signed on our website as there is a process to get them up and operating."

Loyal Hawkins

CBD hears Myer is quietly confident of striking a new deal with the woman whose face adorned its 2009 prospectus, Jennifer Hawkins. It's thought that under the new arrangement Hawko will have to nominate her successor, CEO style.

Her current $5 million deal, signed before the float, included equity in the empire. Shares immediately fell on listing.

Wallis falls flat

Westpac institutional boss Rob Whitfield is the latest heavy-hitter to take exception to the nickname given to Joe Hockey's planned financial system inquiry, "Son of Wallis". "I would love if we could move away from calling it Son of Wallis - it is a financial services inquiry," he said in Sydney.

Asked how he felt about different nicknames such as "Hockey's child", Whitfield responded: "Hockey's child is better."

Son of Wallis is a reference to the previous 1997 inquiry by businessman Stan Wallis, and has been spruiked by Hockey since late 2010.

Australian Super chair Heather Ridout has also complained about the moniker, last month saying she'd prefer "Daughter of Wallis".

There's no love at all out there for CBD's preferred nickname, Wallis II: Electric Boogaloo.

Big-time vacancy

So you're a captain of industry, a leader of men and women with a big car, big house, big boat and big ego - but there's something missing. Perhaps you crave respect - a place at the table with world leaders, where you can share your big thoughts on geopolitics.

CBD has the job for you. There's a vacancy in the B20 group, the gathering of Australian business bigwigs involved with the G20 group of developed nations.

With Australia set to host the G20 meeting next year, a seat on the so-called B20 board, which meets in Sydney on Thursday, is more prestigious than ever.

In February, former prime minister Julia Gillard announced Australia's delegation would be led by Wesfarmers CEO Richard Goyder.

Since then, the 25-strong group has been through more changes than an injury-prone footy side. Goyder is still there, but the squad has now expanded to 28 - including the vacant position.

Out are Virgin Australia boss John Borghetti, former Google head searcher Nick Leeder, Australian Industry Group boss Innes Willox and former BHP boss Marius Kloppers.

In are the new Google boss, Maile Carnegie, new BHP head Andrew Mackenzie, West Australian billionaire Kerry Stokes, Rio Tinto MD David Peever and ANZ head teller Mike Smith.

If this sounds like your sort of company, applications should presumably be sent care of T. Abbott, Parliament House.

Got a tip?

bbutler@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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