School fees paid in Lew of shares
By · 22 Nov 2013
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22 Nov 2013
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School fees paid in Lew of shares

We all know the retail sector is doing it tough. But Premier Investments boss Solomon Lew doesn't even expect his own board to invest in his company.

After all, the billionaire says, "executives have mortgages, some of them have children that need to be educated, or other expenses". Skin in the game would surely boost confidence in this ageing bricks-and-mortar player.

But on the question of asking executives to buy shares, Solly says, "that is something the company doesn't have a policy on".

Bachelor charms

What do Hamish McLennan and Mark "Lock up your bunnies" Latham have in common?

A penchant for Ten's least worst-performing show, The Bachelor, aka compulsively watchable terrible television.

It's a wrap now for bachelor Tim, who described the smile of his chosen one Anna as, "Like that first ray of sunshine, it just warms me up all the way through".

For McLennan, boss of Australia's fourth most popular channel, Ten - as the ABC's Late Show once sung, "Still number four! Even SBS is knocking at the door" - The Bachelor has been "event TV at its best".

"We're trying to create shows that are event based, that are must-watch," McLennan told his inquisitive interviewer/employee Russel Howcroft this week.

DJs fireworks

The David Jones shareholder meeting on Friday morning should provide some fireworks, and not just for the fact that the department store faces a first strike by disgruntled investors against its rather generous remuneration report.

Reports that tensions between chairman Peter Mason and chief executive Paul Zahra led to the latter announcing his resignation just before the all-important festive season, is expected to get close scrutiny from the floor.

As is the issue of directors Steve Vamos and Leigh Clapham buying shares in the company only three days before better than expected quarterly sales results.

Obviously the board is worried about the toll on Mason and Zahra, who will not have to face the flashy cameras and scrutiny from the fourth estate. No photographers or TV cameras will be allowed at the meeting and the traditional media conference after the meeting has been cancelled.

Taking its toll

Sydney, you are on notice. The city of toll roads now has toll-road slayer Nicholas Bolton as its newest resident. Mr Bolton, who became a major thorn for investment bank Macquarie when it tried to mop up BrisConnections all those years ago, is also a lively player on the city's art scene.

Bolton, who now heads up listed Keybridge Capital, can't let Melbourne go. He was spotted putting in an $11,000 bid at the National Gallery of Victoria for Mercedes-Benz corporate charity Brainwave for a spruced-up car bonnet (Mercedes-Benz E-Class no less). Bolton's bid still wasn't enough to win the goods, with the panel work going for $12,000.

Rural race party

Over the past 150 years, the Bong Bong Picnic Races in leafy Bowral have witnessed many significant events.

It started as a way for the landed gentry locals to enjoy the racing carnival without having to make the pilgrimage to Melbourne.

It's also the chance for corporate heavyweights to mix their love of money and horseflesh with the likes of John Singleton, Gerry Harvey, Mark Burrows and Labor stalwart Graham Richardson, all regulars over the years.

Keeping the tradition going are the Riversdale team, Paddy Coughlan and Rod "Ned" Kelly, who are hosting their usual marquee as they prepare to float their pubs, backed by Singo and Mark Carnegie.

This year, with rain threatening, some of the locals are dressing in original gear, as are some jockeys.
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