Elizabeth Fournier
NEVER let it be said that the City is averse to getting a little dirt under its fingernails. On 12-13 March members of the banking community will be doing just that at Havens Hospices annual “I’m a banker…get me outta here!” event to raise money for the organisation’s hospices in Essex.

Over the weekend, teams from Daiwa, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds, Nomura, ICAP, RBS and many more will be mucking in to help out with painting, decorating and gardening at the hospice sites.

Most challenging of all perhaps, the teams will also be camping together overnight in a huge marquee, which means they’ll have to wake themselves up for the second day of work without Blackberry alarms and Nespresso machines to help.

The scheme is the brainchild of Deutsche Bank employee Roberto de Cristofano, whose daughter has been using the Children’s Hospice for several years.

While there may not be witchety grubs on the menu or Gillian McKeith as a campmate to contend with, for some City executives a night in the wilds of Southend-on-Sea might be just about as much as they can take.

It looks like it might be time to dig out that Jaguar-branded dust sheet and hang up your driving gloves – a new survey has found that five per cent of company directors now keep a second “run-about” car just for visiting clients, to avoid perceptions that they’re doing a little too well during these austere times.

One director surveyed by car leasing firm was dismayed when he started losing business after arriving at meetings in his brand new V8 Range Rover (circa £60,000).

But rather than updating his sales patter or negotiating prices, it was straight back to the forecourt for a Nissan Qasqai to avoid alienating his contacts – a drop in the ocean at just £16,000.

The survey conveniently landed in The Capitalist’s inbox around the same time as a piece on the economy of running a scooter to combat increasing transport and insurance costs. Long the preserve of suburbanites with a intense hatred of traffic jams and a love for mod fashion, perhaps this means it won’t be long before the most image-conscious of executives are turning up at their AGM on two wheels.

A second-hand Vespa will set you back around £500 – surely not enough to offend even the most frugal of customers.

The culmination of weeks of hard work and plenty of culinary expertise has definitely paid off – The Capitalist can reveal that last week’s Square Mile Salute raised a grand total of £240,000 – a fantastic result for the three charities it supports.

Their tongues and purse strings loosened by the five course banquet, diners pledged huge amounts during the evening’s auction, with all proceeds going to support Help for Heroes, The Royal British Legion and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity in their drive to build and run centres for wounded troops on their return from active duty.

The Square Mile Salute has been pioneered by City businessman Ray Steadman of Chamberlain’s Restaurant Leadenhall Market, along with Gordon Hogg of Finclass and Philip Corrick of The Royal Automobile Club. City A.M. was delighted to be involved, and is looking forward to next year’s banquet already!