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CITY DIARY: $11.2bn Google chairman Eric Schmidt ‘wines and dines’ Manhattan socialite Ulla Parker as divorce speculation continues

Google chairman Eric Schmidt is reportedly squiring Manhattan socialite Ulla Parker

Google chairman Eric Schmidt is reportedly squiring Manhattan socialite Ulla Parker, a leggy divorcee with a hankering for all things five star. While no George Clooney, boggle-eyed Schmidt, 61, is quite the Silicon Valley stallion. He’s previously been linked with shapely Vietnamese concert pianist Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen. Friends warn he’s unlikely to divorce long-suffering wife Wendy who, after 37 years of marriage, could be entitled to half the old roué’s £9 billion.

Fred Goodwin may yet escape the unwelcome media circus likely to surround his court appearance, over allegations Royal Bank of Scotland misled shareholders. Jammy Goodwin is due to be called on June 8, the day Theresa May has decided to hold her impromptu General Election. It would be a pity if Fred’s squirming in the dock gets lost among the resulting furore.

Sir Philip Green may have afforded himself a toothy grin after Labour’s Iain Wright said he won’t stand at the election. Wright was one of Green’s chief tormentors during the BHS pensions fiasco, accusing the tycoon of ‘taking the rings from BHS’s fingers and beating it black and blue’. Happily, Green’s other bete noire, Frank Field, now 74, isn’t going anywhere. ‘Roll on the election!’ he trills.

Virgin Money’s bubbly chief Jayne-Anne Gadhia, 55, wore a splendid pair of fuchsia pink kitten heels at the launch of her book The Virgin Banker. The £165 fancy trotters were an ‘impulse buy’ from Theresa May’s favourite cobbler, Russell & Bromley. Such refinement. Unlike her boss Sir Richard Branson, who pads about affectedly in oafish tennis shoes.

What constitutes rich these days? Jeremy Corbyn says it’s anyone who’s paid more than £70,000 a year. So that’s most front office banking jobs. Research by recruiters Dartmouth Partners claims even university leavers can expect £72,000 in a basic analyst job with an investment bank. Goldman Sachs says the average salary in its UK offices is an extraordinary £327,000. Is it possible bankers are paid too much?