High-flyers sign up for chilly night on outer

COMMONWEALTH Bank chief executive Ian Narev has become the highest-profile signing for the event where company bosses are handed a beanie, piece of cardboard, cup of soup and some cold concrete bedding for the night.

COMMONWEALTH Bank chief executive Ian Narev has become the highest-profile signing for the event where company bosses are handed a beanie, piece of cardboard, cup of soup and some cold concrete bedding for the night.

Narev on Friday pushed the number of entrants in this year's Vinnies CEO Sleepout close to 700, with the event hoping to raise $5 million across the country.

Among other highly paid corporate types already signed up for the Sydney event on June 21 are Transfield Services boss Peter Goode, former Australian Vintage and now ISS Australia chief executive Dane Hudson, APN News & Media chief Brett Chenoweth, the non-Michael Easson part of EG Funds Management Adam Geha, the Trust Company's John Atkin, BT's Paul Migliorini and Unions NSW head comrade Mark Lennon.

Among the silvertails at the Melbourne event will be Southern Cross Austereo chief Rhys Holleran and the UBS banker Jonathan Mant, who will be able to share some warmth with his wife and federal member for Higgins, Kelly O'Dwyer.

Among some in the huddle at the Brisbane event will be the Domino's Pizza boss Don Meij, Ord Minnett executive chairman Karl Morris and the federal Labor backbencher Kevin Rudd.

In Perth, Atlas Iron chief and ex-brickie's labourer David Flanagan will be sipping on some instant soup alongside Emeco boss and ex-Wesfarmer Keith Gordon.

Booking face time with bride

IT IS not too often you see a marriage that appears to be tied into an initial public offering. Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told the 13.8 million subscribers to his Facebook page over the weekend that he had married his long-time girlfriend Priscilla Chan.

The wedding came a day after Zuckerberg rang the opening bell for the Nasdaq stock market in typical Facebook fashion. He did it remotely from his California office to celebrate his company's public listing.

The 28-year-old Zuckerberg, however, married Chan in person and even included a wedding snap on his Facebook timeline.

Name the key to loving Fiji

THE Fijian government provided its explanation last week for the reason for changing the name of its Qantas part-owned national carrier from Air Pacific to Fiji Airways.

"The Fijian brand conjures up different images, if you go to Europe and you mention Fiji, people will never respond to you in a negative fashion even though they may have never seen the map of Fiji," said Attorney-General and Minister for Civil Aviation Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in a statement. The airline does not even fly to Europe.

In the same statement, the airline's chief executive, Dave Pflieger, said: "In short, despite our 42 years of efforts to market the name Air Pacific, Fiji is the word that resonates and motivates people to find us."

ASX tangled web for talk

WEBINARS. They're favoured by seekers of quick dollars around the world, used to flog everything from property to business leadership classes to investment reports named after Greek bath-time interjections.

But now, a challenger appears: the Australian Securities Exchange, which has decided to ditch its series of lunchtime investor-hour presentations in which brokers, institutional investors and economists share their wisdom with mum-and-dad punters.

The move will rob investors of personal contact with speakers, Australian Shareholders' Association talks convener John Upton said. "It'll just be a guy sitting there delivering his spiel to a screen, a bit like an AGM or something," Upton said.

The ASX said the events had become less popular and canning them would not save any money, as it would continue to spend the same amount on webinar presentations. But if CBD's webinar-choked email inbox is any guide, it's a brave move.

The stock-pickers will now face stiff competition, going head-to-head with software vendors spruiking photo sales systems, and, most riveting of all, spreadsheet nerds who promise to bestow the ability to "use SUBTOTAL for totals to avoid missing or double-counting numbers".

The final investor hour in front of a live audience is to be held in Sydney next month.

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