Grave Frenchman’s bid for liberté

Anglo-French fraternité is back in vogue. What better demonstration than Tony pumping Jacques’ hand at No 10 – and exchanging a few faltering words in the language to boot.

Anglo-French fraternité is back in vogue. What better demonstration than Tony pumping Jacques’ hand at No 10 – and exchanging a few faltering words in the language to boot.

But the entente is rarely as cordiale as it seems. Take the “merger” between Britain’s research giant Taylor Nelson AGB and France’s Sofres, announced in these pages only a few weeks ago. No sooner has the ink dried on the deal than we hear that the finance director of Sofres wants out.

Apparently, when Georges Grave discovered he was to be posted to London, he claimed constructive dismissal. Bizzarely, the company agreed with his claim. As a result, M Grave is to receive an ex gratia payment of FF3.2m (337,000) in addition to his basic salary of FF1.2m and an earn out of about FF400,000. Ah, vive la difference.

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