Reporting by: William Turvill, Oliver Gill, Jasper Jolly and Lucy White
The City’s bankers, traders and analysts are preparing for a night of pizza, coffee and maybe even some quinoa salads as they await the General Election results.
Spreadbetting firms and foreign exchange traders from the likes of Moneycorp, World First and Alpha FX, will also have staff working around the clock.
“We’ve got pizzas ordered for the boys,” Peter Cruddas, the boss of spreadbetter CMC Markets, told City A.M. ahead of the big night. “I shall go home, have a shave and a shower and then come and sit back and watch events unfold.”
He added: “If Mrs May wins, we think we’ll have a normal night, a quiet night. If Corbyn’s got any sniff, if the exit polls come out and they’re not looking so clear cut, then all hell will break lose.”
City Index’s head of research Kathleen Brooks said her firm would be “fully staffed”, with traders, client managers, IT workers and analysts all following events of the night.
“There’s a real sense of excitement as we await the results,” she said.
Most of the office are on a health-kick at the moment so we will be keeping our energy levels high with kale smoothies, quinoa salads and superfood energy bites, although the rumour is that the usual pizza deliveries are on their way too.
Jonathan Pryor, head of FX dealing at Investec, said his treasury team at the bank is armed with instructions from dozens of clients who have asked to be informed of specific, unexpected events during the night. The division will be manned overnight, with the full team in from 5.30am.
Pryor will be returning to his Essex home before travelling back, while others will be put up in City hotels. Investec staff will be fed in the evening and have breakfast put on in the morning.
Simon French, Panmure Gordon’s chief economist, told City A.M.:
I have just one strategy for making it through this evening: I'm having an espresso every time the BBC get comments from Professor John Curtice. And a double when it's Paddy Ashdown.
David Coombs, head of multi-asset investments at Rathbones, has a more contemplative night planned. “I’ll be up with a pint of cider – non-alcoholic to keep a clear head – and thinking about our underweight UK positioning,” he said.
A Barclays spokesman said: “Barclays will have extra sales and trading staff in our offices in New York, London and Singapore to further enhance our global coverage model through the UK general election. Our primary focus remains on helping our clients navigate through any ensuing market volatility as the results come in.”
An HSBC spokesman said: “Our hubs in London, New York and Hong Kong are well-resourced, and capable of providing round-the-clock trading services at even the busiest and most volatile times.
“With high profile, market-moving events, we will have more staff working extended hours in one or more centres to make sure we can help our clients and manage our risk.”
A SocGen spokesman said: “Global markets staff will be able to work later on Thursday and come into the office earlier on Friday, if needs be. Our analysts and economists can do the same thing in case they need to speak with clients.”
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