BARCAP VICE-CHAIR TO BACK CITY WOMEN IN PLURAL DIRECTOR ROLE

BARCLAYS Capital vice-chairman Gay Huey Evans has long been a trailblazer for women in the Square Mile, but she’ll be even more influential in her advocacy for greater female participation at the top echelons of the City in her new role as a “plural” board director.

Huey Evans left BarCap yesterday after a long and distinguished career in banking, spending time at Bankers Trust, the FSA and Citi before joining Barclays in 2008.

Having taken a role as a director on the board of the London Stock Exchange earlier this year, she is now looking to take up more board positions. Plans for one financial services company directorship are already in full swing, awaiting the approval of the FSA, and she’ll also be looking to expand her remit into other sectors – including media and pharma.

“It was time for a change, but I’m definitely not the type to stay home and play tennis – I’ve got far more energy than that,” the glamorous 56-year-old tells The Capitalist with a chuckle, before launching into an excited précis of her plans to inspire women in the upper echelons of the companies in which she will work.

“I feel strongly and passionately about this, and always have done,” Huey Evans says. “Women are great assets for any company, but they have different skills and mindsets to men. The old adage that men are from Mars and women are from Venus still stands – and it’s crucial to understand that for there to be true equality at any company…” Hear, hear.

FAMOUS FACES

In the wake of “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps”, another movie spawned by the financial crisis is due to start production shortly – and finally, all of the heros and villains of the piece have been cast.

William Hurt had already been cast to play US Treasury secretary Henry Paulson in the silver screen adaptation of Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book Too Big to Fail. He’ll now be joined by a roster of look-a-like stars – including Saving Private Ryan and The Illusionist actor Paul Giamatti as Fed chairman Ben Bernanke; Tony Shalhoub, star of TV series Monk (and the voice of Luigi in cartoon flick “Cars”) as Morgan Stanley boss John Mack; and James Woods, star of Once Upon a Time in America, as Lehman Brothers chief Dick Fuld.

Poor Warren Buffett, who also features in the movie, got a bit of a raw deal, though. Playing Buffett is Ed Asner – who’s best known for playing Santa Claus in no fewer than four different movies, including “Elf”. Something for the Sage of Omaha to consider in the future, perhaps?

LABOUR OF LOVE

A welcome show of support for the City from quite the unlikeliest of corners. Yesterday, Labour MP Gareth Thomas – the shadow higher education and science minister – stood up in the Commons to argue for London’s financial sector and its contribution to the UK economy. In something of a shock move, Thomas dismissed relentless banker-bashing as “a spectator sport” and called for the UK to “re-embrace the City”.

“There are a whole series of challenges facing the City, such as the amount of trade that has developed in other international financial centres,” he told City A.M. “Policy makers need to work with the City to maintain its Premier League status. We are one of the top four and we want to stay that way. The City is a very important source of tax revenue; it would be foolish not recognise that.”

As part of his conviction, Thomas has mooted the idea of a Royal Commission on the future of London, considering the economic, environmental and populations the city will face in the future – a proposal which has the backing of even less likely Labour figures, such as ultra-left-winger John McDonnell and MPs Heidi Alexander and Stephen Timms, the former financial secretary to Alistair Darling’s Treasury.

It’s not clear if the Commission’s backers would go as far as to support all of Thomas’ feelings about the City, but it’s certainly a start.

LOYALTY CARD

Software group Autonomy saw its shares tank again yesterday, with a downgrade note from Deutsche Bank analyst Marc Geall compounding its woes after a profit warning last week.

Geall said Autonomy had neglected the need to pre-emptively invest in order to deliver sustained growth, and would now have to either “reset its margin or make a transformational acquisition that carries additional risk” in order to mitigate its mistake.
It’s potent stuff, particularly coming from a man who left Autonomy for Deutsche only months ago. Geall was head of corporate strategy and IR at the group, before he resigned his day-to-day responsibilities in April and left to join Deutsche in June.

FINE WINE

Finally, an opportunity for wine-lovers of the City to pursue their passion while doing their bit for a good cause. As part of the Fine Wine Fair this weekend, the event organisers are holding an online auction on Friday with all the profits from the deluxe and hard-to-find wines going straight to the Help for Heroes military charity. Get your fix at bidforwine.co.uk/helpforheroes.