BORIS SEEKS THE NEXT BLANKFEIN IN LONDON’S POOREST POSTCODES

 
Elizabeth Fournier
ANY City recruiters out there with a nose for talent will be interested to hear about the latest initiative from Boris Johnson’s Fund for London – a scheme to help disadvantaged young Londoners have a better shot at the UK jobs market.

Young London Working provides a central employment hub to connect jobless young people with their potential employers.

The scheme will give some of the 22,915 Londoners between the ages of 18-24 that are currently claiming Jobseekers Allowance access to training, mock interviews, mentoring and work experience to ease their route into positions that would have otherwise seemed unattainable.

The scheme is sponsored by investment bank Goldman Sachs, agreeing with the Mayor of London’s assertion that “harnessing the next generation instead of squandering their talents is in all our interests”.

It’s a scheme that should be close to the heart of Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, a classic example of the American Dream come true.

Born the son of a Brooklyn postal worker in one of the poorest areas of East New York, Blankfein was the first in his family to go to college, and 35 years on he’s sitting pretty at the top of one of the world’s biggest investment banks.

And with speculation rife yesterday that a Londoner – Michael Sherwood – is being positioned to take Blankfein’s role in the future, it seems that Goldman is already on the lookout for the capital’s next generation of banking talent.

SURREALISM AND THE CITY

AS springtime comes to London, City workers taking the opportunity to top up their vitamin D intake by heading outside over lunchtime might just stumble across something a bit strange.

From 1 April Dali’s famous five-foot Alice in Wonderland statue will make her home outside Moorhouse – the Norman Foster-designed office development that’s sprung up on the corner of London Wall and Moorgate.

Since 1994 Alice, who is cast in bronze and was made in 1977, has been travelling the world, stopping off in Florence, Rome, Singapore and Hong Kong before ending up in the heart of the City.

The outdoor installation will be accompanied by an indoor exhibit of several more iconic Dali sculptures, plus prints and collages including Tarot Cards.

The exhibition will run until 30 June, after which Alice will leave the City for an as yet unknown destination. Curiouser and curiouser…

A NELL OF A TEST

WITH this weekend’s annual Boat Race providing the sporting entertainment in South West London, an alternative event in the capital’s centre is looking to attract wannabe action heroes keen to prove their physical prowess.

Budding supermen (and women) can join Nell McAndrew (right) and test their mettle army-style on Saturday, when London’s first Soldier Challenge traverses the capital’s streets and offers a series of typical military trials to civilians.

Kicking off at 11am on Saturday from Waterloo Station, the course will lead participants through a series of physical and mental tasks designed to mimic five phases of a soldier’s life: recruitment, basic training, combat, adventure training and teamwork.

So if you didn’t quite make the Isis or Goldie crews, but aren’t yet content to retire to the riverside with a pint of Pimms, the Soldier Challenge could provide the perfect middle ground to work up and sweat and raise cash for a good cause.

SINGING THE NEWS

IF, like The Capitalist, you’re feeling a little weary from trying to digest the impact of George Osborne’s 100-page Budget yesterday, then you’ll be pleased to hear that help is at hand.

Yesterday, South Wales accountancy firm UHY Peacheys held its annual Budget breakfast to help clients understand the main points for business, and senior tax partner Steve Theaker (above) hit upon a unique way of getting his message across.

Taking to the stage with his trusty guitar, Theaker took the words out of John Lennon’s mouth as he sang “Imagine there’s no Budget; nothing to comment on” before launching into a deconstruction of Osborne’s sophomore effort.

Despite the cringeworthy nature of the performance, The Capitalist tips her hat to Theaker nonetheless – we don’t imagine there are too many accountants who could sing the phrase “significant accelerated structural deficit reduction” in tune.

The video, needless to say, is on YouTube.