People: Decades of soapy bubble and Greek tragedies

THE group that told us men would have to do more washing up in the 1990s than in the 80s and predicted the “Diana effect” would crush retail sales on the day of the Princess of Wales’ funeral is celebrating 20 years of economic forecasting.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) released a list of its finest prophesies to mark its anniversary, while also unveiling a change at the top.

Douglas McWilliams, who features on the list for apparently predicting the rise of China and its effect on Western household budgets as well as the Greek debt crisis, is handing the chief executive’s baton to former journalist Graham Brough this week.

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Defiant to the end, McWilliams insisted his 2010 assertion that Greece must leave the euro will yet come about. We can also confidently predict he will continue crunching the numbers on the future economy as he stays on as the CEBR’s chairman and chief economist.

Recruiters on the move

Recruitment tycoon Laura Drysdale has reached far and wide to find the latest additions to her own team.

Drysdale, managing director of Change’s international business and one of four directors who led a £14 million management buy-out of the Scottish recruitment firm in 2006, has pulled in recruits from as far afield as China and Switzerland for the firm’s latest expansion.

As well as hiring Stephanie Cano for the new role of international operations manager, five consultants have joined the global accountancy and finance teams based in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Among them, Lin Lu has relocated from Shanghai, and French-born Claire Encrenaz arrives from Geneva.

Drysdale said the appointments will broaden the group’s international reach and add additional language skills to
the team.

Scoop from Citypress

Former ITN and Sky journalist Brian O’Neill has joined PR agency Citypress as part of plans to expand the firm’s new operation in Scotland.

Manchester-headquartered Citypress, which was founded 51 years ago and lays claim to being the first PR agency outside of London, opened its Edinburgh office in November 2012 with the appointment of ex-Big Partnership account director Beth Nicol as head of Scotland.

Its team also includes ex-editor of the Scottish Mirror, Crawford Brankin, who joined the company after it purchased his PR operation JCB Consultancy in August.

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O’Neill worked in broadcast journalism before taking the well-trodden path into PR in 2011, joining Halogen Communications as an account manager.

Marika tries new Shoos

Among other movers, family law specialist Marika Franceschi joins Edinburgh-based ACH Shoosmiths from Anderson Strathern, while HBJ Gateley has lured Glasgow Junior Chamber of Commerce chairman Iain Brown from rival Dundas & Wilson.