Ed Bramson: The man in the spotlight who refused to deliver his lines - View from the Floor

Michael Bow
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The Great Hall at Saddlers' Hall off Cheapside
Ed Bramson was perhaps the calmest man in the room yesterday.

Sitting quietly beneath the crystal chandeliers adorning the opulent surroundings of Saddlers’ Hall, he clutched a macintosh and umbrella and sat in the audience as the downpour hammered outside.

All eyes were on the British-born, silver-haired New Yorker when chairman Yates opened the floor. No one spoke for 30 seconds, a strange anticlimax to such an electric affair.

Those of us schooled in the Hollywood myth of the corporate raider expected a Gordon Gekko-Teldar Paper spiel, all roaming microphone and punchy soundbites.

Alas, this is the real world and Bramson sat motionless. After an awkward silence one shareholder stood up and said Bramson had no idea about Electra’s portfolio.

Another asked about how much all this was costing. Yates gave the figure with grave solemnity. A tut and shake of the head wouldn’t have felt out of place.

Bramson sat dispassionate, unfazed by the slings and arrows and the congregation of busy, powerful people gathered in a drafty cold hall on a grey, wet Monday morning at his behest.

“I’m just waiting like everyone else,” he said ahead of the result. He lost, but he’ll be back, unfazed as ever.

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