IT’S not often City folk are presented with an opportunity to make millions and do some good for the community, so hedgie supremo Mike Platt, the boss of BlueCrest Capital Management, must be pleased as punch with the way his newest venture is going.<br /><br />Last year, Platt teamed up with art world expert Joe La Placa to create All Visual Arts (AVA), an initiative to develop a world-famous collection of contemporary art and support budding artists in the process. Fast forward to the present, and the pair are launching their third major exhibition, The Age of the Marvellous, which opens at the former Holy Trinity Church in Marylebone on 14 October.<br /><br />“These are tough times for people in the art world, but through Mike’s financial acumen, I’m enjoying one of the best years of my life so far in terms of business and success,” gushes La Placa. “His support is undying…”<br /><br />It’s certainly an interesting project for Platt. The new exhibition involves, among other Wunderkammer-inspired works, two particularly thought-provoking pieces by Paul Fryer – the first of which, a life-size crucifixion sculpture featuring a “missing link” half-man half-ape figure, will be placed on the deconsecrated church’s former altar, while the second, one of a series of similar works currently owned by the likes of Damien Hirst, features a black Christ in an electric chair.<br /><br />Perhaps Platt should borrow it awhile for his Mayfair office? It’d certainly get the clients talking…<br /><br /><strong>CAMPAIGN CRUSADE</strong><br />Here’s a cautionary tale showing just how much damage the disgraced Fred Goodwin and his team at RBS have wrought on the bank’s reputation.<br /><br />Jack McVitie – the chief executive of Scottish independent financial advisory firm LEBC Group – tells me he was astounded to receive a call earlier this week from a friend who told him he was on a poster advertising RBS. And though McVitie originally scoffed, he subsequently received tens of phone calls until he eventually came face to face with one of the ads in question.<br /><br />“There was a picture of me walking past one of the Edinburgh RBS branches, phone clamped to my ear and carrying a briefcase, slap bang in the middle of the photograph,” he says, indignantly. “People who were ringing me could not believe I hadn’t been paid for it, and I couldn’t see that the firm had tried to disguise my image one bit. If it had been an advert for cheese, I wouldn’t have minded, but as it was RBS…”<br />Precisely. The bank, luckily, has now come back to him with an apology, tail between its legs.<br /><br /><strong>STAR STUDDED</strong><br />Exciting times for the global financial community this week as filming starts in New York for the sequel to the 1987 classic “Wall Street”.<br /><br />Michael Douglas is set to step back into his shoes as the unscrupulous corporate raider Gordon Gekko, and will star alongside Transformers’ Shia LaBeouf, American Gangster’s Josh Brolin and Frost/Nixon’s Frank Langella.<br /><br />Latest news is also that Charlie Sheen – who played ambitious young stockbroker Bud Fox in the original – will also be playing a short cameo role in the film, which is due for release next year. The countdown begins.
ART WORLD HAILS ITS HEDGE FUND SAVIOUR
10 September 2009 1:00am