EDITORIAL: A SERIOUS BUSINESS, THIS PARTNERS GAME

EDITORIAL: A SERIOUS BUSINESS, THIS PARTNERS GAME - February. The month of St Valentine. The events of the 14th apparently have their roots in a Roman festival involving a vase in which women would place their name (perhaps along with a love note). A man

by RUFUS OLINS, Editor-in-Chief
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

February. The month of St Valentine. The events of the 14th apparently have their roots in a Roman festival involving a vase in which women would place their name (perhaps along with a love note). A man drawing a woman's name would either seek or was guaranteed her 'favours' - whatever those might be. None of this is a million miles away from the modern dating agency game, although when you select a potential partner online in the 21st century, data-gathering techniques should ensure that your selection is slightly less random than a lottery.

As our feature 'The Mating Game' shows, people are finding it ever more difficult to get hitched by the conventional means of chance encounters in the pub, at work or in the park. All the forecasts say we will increasingly turn to third parties for help in the matchmaking process; one in five single adults in the UK already use dating agencies.

You may feel it odd to be reading about romance in a business magazine. You should not. In his fascinating response to the question how would he do things differently 'if he had to start again', Lord Stevenson, chairman of Pearson, says: 'More important for someone with as jagged and uncomfortable a personality as mine was that I married a wife who has at all stages stood up to me, sorted me out and humanised me.' This is a reminder that work and home cannot be severed; they are forever interconnected - contentment at home is linked to productive happiness at work. Small wonder that some companies are now offering introduction agency membership as an employee perk.

On the subject of love and marriage, there have been few more acrimonious divorces that the ugly separation of Lord Hollick and his Express Newspapers group, which has now bounced into bed with Richard Desmond, the controversial owner of OK! and a stable of 'adult' mags. As in all divorces, one worries about the children - or, in the corporate sense, the staff. Deputy editor Chris Blackhurst's inside report on his takeover experience makes sardonic reading; how would you feel as a senior staffer if you were kept in the dark as your future was being mapped out behind closed doors?

By contrast, we have a happy new partnership to announce at MT. This month, our editor-at-large Matthew Gwyther has stepped up to take the editor's chair, having written for the magazine since its relaunch two years ago. We aim to run the magazine as a partnership. So there you have it - our very own addition to the history of great double acts. Hanson and White, Slaughter and May, Gieves and Hawkes, Abbott and Costello - Olins and Gwyther. This one could have legs.

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