Veteran property legend Harvey Soning, chairman of James Andrew International, stood at the entrance of Claridge’s Ballroom last night, shaking the hands of some of the biggest names in the property world who flocked to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his firm (and his belated 70th birthday).
Sir Martin Sorrell (absent from WPP-owned Finsbury’s bash) gave the welcoming speech, in front of a crowd which included Vincent Tchenguiz, British Property Federation’s Liz Peace, Shard developer Irvine Sellar and Gerald Ronson.
“I’ve only known Harvey Soning for oh, say, 45 years,’ Ronson told The Capitalist and he certainly wasn’t the only old friend in the room.
“Harvey helped WPP to find its very first office,” Sir Martin Sorrell told the room. “You’re the greatest client one could hope for,” replied Soning. “That’s because we overpay,” laughed Sorrell.
After the speeches, Harvey’s son Andrew introduced a video with congratulatory messages from the property world. Helical Bar’s chief Michael Slade told it best. “Harvey is one of the good guys, in a world full of very bad boys,” he said in the vid, garnering plenty of giggles.