THE City’s resident “Swiss funds fox”, Guy de Blonay, has barely warmed up his seat after his high-profile return to fund management group Jupiter, but already things are settling comfortably back into their old ways.
De Blonay officially took up his new position at the group a week ago, after leaving his first job at Jupiter just over eight years ago to join rival New Star.
The dapper chap – whose family owns an ancestral seat in Geneva called Chateau de Blonay – informs me that it’s good to get back down to work with his former colleagues, though I hear one small detail has yet to be put right.
De Blonay, you see, gained notoriety within the firm when he previously worked there on the Jupiter environmental income fund because he insisted on driving into work in his Porsche – a car whose only cursory nod to the environmental cause was the fact that it was painted green.
As a result, de Blonay’s mischievous colleagues presented him with a tiny model green car, which resided in pride of place on his desk until he departed the firm, leaving it behind him as a memento.
“I’ve barely arrived here and I don’t think they’ve found it yet,” he tells me, with a wry chuckle. “If they do, I’m sure they’ll bring it up for me...”
LAP OF LUXURY
Sad times for those in the City with a penchant for the more luxurious things in life. Apparently, the boffins at Harvard have done some research which claims that merely being exposed to luxury goods increases your chances of taking decisions purely out of self-interest, without regard for how they will affect others.
The paper – cryptically entitled “The Devil Wears Prada?” – asked two groups to view a selection of products such as shoes and watches, with one group being shown luxury versions and the other their run-of-the-mill counterparts.
They were then asked to make decisions while pretending to be chief executive of a company – and, surprisingly, the group with exposure to premium brands were “significantly” more likely to endorse production of a new car which would pollute the environment, market a video game which might induce violence, and so on.
Step away from that bonus cheque, boys and girls.
LOVE IN THE AIR
Returning to a past tale in this column, a quick mention for former Dresdner Kleinwort investment banker Salima Manji, who quit her high-flying job in 2008 to set up a matchmaking supper club for Asian professionals in the City.
Just over a year later, and Manji is celebrating the ultimate success for her new venture – the first engagement between two of her members. Congratulations to Deutsche Bank’s Kamran Naqvi and his new fiancée, accountant Yasmeen Patel.
A bold claim, if ever there was one.
In zooms a raft of information from Limecard – a firm which was originally founded as a private members’ club aimed at high net worth individuals but has recently branched out into a number of areas, including sports management.The firm claims it’s looking to win over sporting enthusiasts in the City, though it’s impossible not to
be sceptical when it informs me that its first client is darts player Adrian Lewis.
“Our aim is to help the sport move away from the image of beer and gambling and let people see that darts actually has a huge business following,” chirrups a spokesman, optimistically.
Somehow, The Capitalist finds it hard to believe that darts can do a onnneee-hundred and eightyyy (sorry, couldn’t resist) degree u-turn and compete for the corporate entertainment crown with more genteel sports like cricket…
Something to put Londoners’ hearts at rest: the London Air Ambulance wants to let all know that its rescue teams are going to be the first in the UK to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from 1 March, thanks to increased support.
The charity – which is a beneficiary of generous City firms such as Goldman Sachs, Investec, law firm Ashurst and Virgin – uses a helicopter throughout the day and a specially-equipped rapid response car to cover after-dark missions, with a paramedic and trauma doctor on hand for every incident.
Finally, readers who felt strongly about boycotting celebrity hotspot Nobu after it refused to take off the menu any dishes made with endangered bluefin tuna might want to follow the lead of staffers at Deutsche Bank, who are clubbing together to promote awareness of the issue within the Square Mile.
I hear Deutsche is supporting the Marine Conservation Society as part of its charities of the year programme, and is encouraging its employees to lobby restaurants where they go for lunch to consider using only sustainable sources of seafood on their menus.
Currently polishing its halo at the top of the sustainable chart is Liverpool Street sushi bar Moshi Moshi, while those to avoid include restaurants using Bay of Biscay anchovies, haddock from the Faroes and West Scotland, Atlantic halibut and lobster from Canadian and South New England stocks.