Business Studies Course - Investment
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An informal memo - Reading

Mr Blake has sent this memo to Mrs Meredith. Read it and then answer the questions on the part opposite. Check with "Answers" at the bottom of the page.


Just a word to the wise before you interview young Ivan English tomorrow. Remember that his sole concern will be to customise a portfolio for a major client. Make sure that he understands that although he can choose the companies in the portfolio, he must not have less than three companies or more than six. I hope he will be prepared to work on those terms.

Also, you might like to try to find out how he would feel about working as a consultant, instead of a full-time employee. There are various tax advantages for both him and us, but he might be reluctant to give up the security of a full-time job. To sweeten the deal you could tell him that we are prepared to go up an extra 8k a year if he is prepared to work on these terms. But I think it's a long shot that he'll go for it.

As is usual with our company we don't expect him to punch a time card. However, he must make sure that he is available for meetings and when we need him. I understand that with his last company there was a strong performance-related element to his pay and I suggest that we keep it going with him here.

Let him know that we are aware that he did not tell his last company he was planning to jump ship. Fortunately for him they recognise that it is a good idea to have somebody who can act as a link between us. You can also tell him that if he tries anything like that with us he will find the financial consequences quite painful!

On the whole I think this young man will be an asset to the company, so if everything goes OK at the interview, you can offer him the job on the spot. Let me know how it goes.

Best regards,

Magnus Blake.

Incidentally, remember we are still lacking a Systems Manager - can you find out why it's taking so long? This is getting urgent, and if we have to head-hunt someone, we will.


1. At Biscuit Investments, Ivan English will work ..
a. for at least three companies.   
b. for more than six companies.   
c. for one company.   
d. for many different companies.   

2. What advantages would Ivan get as a consultant?
a. More security.   
b. Less tax.   
c. More money.   
d. Both B and C.   

3. At Biscuit Ivan must ...
a. work on 8k a year.   
b. not punch a time card.   
c. learn to sweeten deals.   
d. keep in contact.   

4. How was Ivan paid in his last job?
a. Completely according to results.   
b. Partly according to results.   
c. A salary of 8k per year.   
d. Both B and C.   

5. What is meant by "anything like that" in para 4?
a. Leaving without warning.   
b. Causing financial consequences.   
c. Acting as a link.   
d. Talking to his previous company.   

6. Ivan will get the job ...
a. if he is an asset.   
b. if Mr Blake agrees.   
c. if Mrs Meredith thinks he should.   
d. immediately.   

7. The comment about a Systems Manager is a/an ...
a. agenda.   
b. postscript.   
c. appendix.   
d. addendum.   

8. How would you describe the tone of the letter?
a. Friendly.   
b. Rude.   
c. Vague.   
d. Businesslike.