IF you happened to be in Cannes yesterday afternoon, you would have been treated to the sight of a middle-aged, straw-haired man riding a Boris Bike into the centre of town.
On closer inspection, you would have spotted that that figure was, in fact, the London Mayor Boris Johnson, who was livening up the MIPIM property fair as only he knows how.
Just hours after delivering his keynote speech at the convention, Boris was escorted 6km along the seafront by the French police, where he and his communications director Guto Harri joined the last leg of the Aedas Cycle to Cannes charity ride.
Boris wore a business suit for his sedate lap of honour, and on alighting at the Palais des Festivals, he had the grace to admit he looked rather out of place among the 83 battle-scarred cyclists from the property world, who had cycled 1,500km in six days.
Other than that, the riders on the trip – who included John Wallace, chief executive of Qatari Diar; Stuart Carr-Jones, vice-president of JP Morgan; and Giles Clark, relationship director at Barclays Corporate – said the adventure passed without incident.
Unless you count the “bumps” in Kent, when two riders fell off on the A20; the hospitalisation of one of the eight motorcycle outriders after a crash near Lyon; or the time the guide bus got lost, setting the timings back so much the team had to cycle through a gorge in the dark.
No wonder there were “tears of relief” when the group reached its final destination.
NO PAIN, NO GAIN
GOOD to see that Jon Pain, the former managing director of supervision at the Financial Services Authority, has returned to gainful employment after losing out on one of the top jobs at the regulator in a clash of horns with Hector Sants (pictured left).
No matter that Pain steered the UK’s banks, insurance groups and all other financial services firms through the darkest days of the financial crisis. When push came to shove, chancellor George Osborne persuaded Sants to stay on as chief executive and Pain was forced to seek career advancement elsewhere.
Pain is having the last laugh though – he has now been snapped up by KPMG to join the firm as a partner in its Financial Services Regulatory Centre of Excellence, starting in July after the obligatory period of gardening leave.
If you can describe helping KPMG’s clients navigate their way through the new world of financial regulation at a time of “unprecedented change” as a laugh, that is.
IT’S official: Morgan Stanley has the fastest boy racers in the City, after zooming to victory in the TeamSport go-karting championship at Tower Bridge.
The four Morgan Stanley drivers – Dave Pethers, Will Alderson, Paul Railston and Mikey Horton (three pictured below) – scored 100 points to beat the team from Bank of America Merrill Lynch into second place with 92 points.
Just to ram the point home, Pethers also set the new record for the fastest lap time of 49.49 seconds – faster than the previous record set by Top Gear’s original Stig, Perry McCarthy, when he opened the eco-track at the end of January.
At the bottom end of the leaderboard, Credit Suisse managed to come ninth – despite calling its team Here for the Beer – while the slowest lap of the night, 53.43 seconds, was recorded by the team from ING, otherwise known as Carry on Karting. Or perhaps they shouldn’t.
THE organisers of the Cartier International Day at Guards Polo Club (above) are looking forward to welcoming the country’s financial leaders to this year’s event on Sunday 24 July.
To get City A.M.’s readers in the mood, The Capitalist can reveal this year’s party will have a Kenyan colonial estate theme, styled with the trappings of the 1940s Rift Valley heyday including a dramatic structure “more used to being set overlooking Kenya’s sweeping plains”.
It remains to be seen how that will translate to the outskirts of Windsor – but the three-course African-inspired menu is certain to be memorable.