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The Bottom Line: Herald Business Diary

Fast flying fish

Fast flying fish

RESTAURANTS increasingly like to point out the provenance of the food they are serving.

So we were intrigued to hear Campbell Shirlaw, executive chairman at Loch Fyne Oysters, stating its fresh salmon can be air freighted to Dubai more quickly than it can reach London by road.

Brings a whole new meaning to fast food.

It's a family affair

FAMILY businesses employ more than a million people across Scotland, but only one per cent of companies make it through to the sixth generation.

Step forward James Donaldson's of Markinch, which has just appointed sixth generation Michael, already eight years in the business, to the board led by his father Neil, executive chairman since 2001.

As its website notes, Donaldson's has remained remarkably resilient during a recession in its main market, outperforming competitors and delivering profits.

No wonder the company says it sees no reason why the unbroken father to son succession of 150 years should not continue.

Inactivity can pay off

BRUCE Stout is the Edinburgh-based fund manager who treats investors' money as if it were his own - always refusing to run up any unnecessary trading costs for the £1.3 billion Murray International trust.

After another half-year in which virtually nothing was bought or sold (which any investor knows is harder than it sounds), Mr Stout commented: "If you find good companies, you want to buy and hold them for as long as possible."

But terminology is important. "We like to refer to it as low turnover, rather than doing nothing at all. Otherwise people think you are getting paid for doing nothing."

Oh the glamour

APPEARING on Newsnight turned out to be less glamorous than one Glasgow-based accountant envisaged. Ian McDougall, spokesman for Business for Scotland, was on the show to talk about currency, one of the referendum debate's most contentious points.

The businessman had assumed he would spend some time in the make-up chair before being ushered into a comfortable studio.

Not so. Soon after arrival he was thrust into "a cupboard" and told to look into a screen where Kirsty Wark would duly appear.

Not only did Ms Wark not appear, Mr McDougall also had no sight of professor Ronald MacDonald, his counterpart on the currency debate.

Still, the less than salubrious conditions did not prevent him from getting his points across on the show. Only a poor workman blames his tools, and all that.

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