Good morning. The saying goes ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again’. Over the weekend in the US, Kevin McCarthy took that expression to a whole new level when he finally became House of Representatives speaker after 15 votes and politicians almost coming to physical blows. It was the most drawn-out speaker nomination in 164 years.
Gambling boss’ mega payday
The multibillionaire CEO of gambling group Bet365 earned £263m in pay and dividends in the year to March 2022, according to figures released on Friday. Denise Coates, the UK’s richest woman, founded the company in 2000 from her father’s Stoke-on-Trent bookmaking business and grew it into one of the world’s largest betting operators with a footprint across 18 countries and £2.9bn of revenue.
Her 2022 pay still dwarfs the £421m package she received the year before Covid, while in 2021 she earnt close to £300m.
Bet365 is privately owned by the Coates family who were named last year as the top British taxpayers for the third year in a row according to the Sunday Times.
EY prepares for shopping spree
The Big4 accounting firm has earmarked $2.5bn for its consulting arm to buy rivals once it splits from the audit business. The newly separated EY consulting practice will be listed on the New York stock exchange and will have no ties to EY’s audit arm meaning it can gain more clients without being tripped up by conflicts of interest.
Conflict of interest rules mean EY currently must drop any clients obtained through acquisitions, if they are audited by EY’s audit business.
EY’s 13,000 partners will vote later this year on whether to go ahead with the split with the firms leaders arguing that the separation will lead to faster growth for both businesses.
On Friday the fast food giant’s CEO, Chris Kempczinski, warned that there will be redundancies at its corporate office as the company adds new restaurants worldwide. The company has about 200,000 employees in corporate roles and at corporate-owned restaurants with most working outside the US.
Kempczinski says that to keep its competitive edge, McDonald’s needs to adapt to market changes such as increased drive-through lanes, app ordering and food delivery prompted by the pandemic.
Property market cools
UK house prices fell for the fourth straight month in December to £281,272, according to data from Halifax, the UK’s largest mortgage lender. Prices dropped 1.5% last month after a 2.4% decline in November, representing the fastest decrease since the financial crash in 2008. The rising cost of living and higher mortgage rates has softened demand for property and the bank predicts house prices will fall 8% in 2023.
Shelling out: Energy giant Shell will pay UK tax for the first time in 5 years, the firm said it would pay £1.7bn on profits in the UK and the EU in final three months the year.
Show me the money: The destination of £1bn in grants to increase sporting participation after the London 2012 Olympic Games remains unknown, a report by MPs has said. Incidentally sports participation actually fell after the Games.
Aiming high: Boss of digital bank Starling says the startup aims to quadruple profits this year as it benefits from higher interest rates.
Stepping back: Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma will give up control of fintech giant Ant Group after a government regulatory crackdown.
Earning power: Former prime minister Theresa May has earned over £2.5m on top of her official salary since leaving Downing Street meaning she tops the MP rich.
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Fact Of The Day
According to a survey by YouGov, 21% of Brits made a New Year's resolution for 2023 with 53% related to fitness.