Mr Blake: "So, Ivan, what do you think of this Woolard's business? Damn regulators interfering eh? And yet their chairman seemed completely certain that it would go ahead."
Ivan: "He wanted to believe it. But when you look at the amount of business the two companies do in the same places - they would have had a monopoly."
Mr Blake: "You know a lot about it. Have you been looking at it?"
Ivan: "Yes. I was planning to put about £40 000 in when the merger was announced. The savings looked good, but when I realised the merger would probably not go through, I dropped the idea."
Mr Blake: "And you also dropped the idea of investing in Pilbroch breweries?"
Ivan: "Oh ... indeed. It seems Peter had the same idea, and he locked up most of the available shares. There aren't many on the market. Pilbroch is a family firm, you know."
Mr Blake: "It's not like Peter to invest in something like a brewery. More your type of thing."
Ivan: "Well, I understand he made a good profit."
Mr Blake: "And then lost it all on Woolard's. And about £20 000 more. It seems he thought it was certain to do well.."
Mr Blake: "You did a lot of reading on the merger, did you, Ivan? Lots of chairman's reports, for example? Did you leave little notes to yourself on your desk, suggesting it was a good thing?
Ivan: "Probably, yes. Good research is always important. I always research thoroughly."
Mr Blake: "I am sure you leave nothing to chance. So through its employees, my company has lost a lot of money. Please keep me informed about what investments you are planning next, Ivan. I want you to be confident that I know what is going on.