THE CAPITALIST

ONCE more, the hedge fund community unites for a good cause – this time not by shelling out enormous sums of money while being wined and dined at a charity gala dinner, a la Arki Busson, but by writing a book designed as a warning to policymakers all over the globe.

Tonight will see swanky nightclub Mahiki host the launch of the book, The Gathering Storm, which is the brainchild of Trafalgar Asset Management founder Lee Robinson.
In a nutshell, the tome involves 18 hedge fund managers and analysts contributing their penny’s worth towards the argument that the actions of central banks and governments the world over are laying the foundations for an even worse crisis to come, not solving the financial world’s woes.

Contributing are renowned bears Albert Edwards, SocGen’s global strategist; Oaktree Capital Management’s Howard Marks; financial expert John Mauldin, the author of the “Thoughts from the Frontline” newsletter; and others such as Kolonna Asset Management’s Patrick L Young, Arbuthnot Securities chief strategist James Ferguson, QB Asset Management co-founders Lee Quaintance and Paul Brodsky, and Avenue Capital chief executive Marc Lasry.

Despite all the doom and gloom, there’s a sunnier side to the book too – all the proceeds are going to around 20 charities of the authors’ choice.

BOOK WORM

While we’re on the subject of literary endeavours, The Capitalist’s memory was jogged yesterday by news of a job move on the part of James Twining, formerly an associate principal at management consultancy McKinsey.

For Twining – who moves over to become group strategy director at Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT), incidentally shortlisted as insurance company of the year for City A.M.’s upcoming inaugural awards ceremony on 28 October – has another, quite different, string to his bow.

He’s better known for authoring a four-part series of thriller novels – The Double Eagle, The Black Sun, The Gilded Seal and The Geneva Deception – about a brilliant young art thief, the now-reformed Tom Kirk, now helping the FBI solve murderous mysteries. Can’t say the world of insurance will provide quite the same level of thrills, but good luck to the multi-talented chap.

BRUMBY’S BREW

Speaking of the extra-curricular exploits of our favourite City characters, I hear that Mark Brumby, the former Astaire Securities leisure analyst who’s now set up his own shop, has turned his hand to brewing in his spare time.

That’s right: as a protest over extortionate prices of beer in the pubs, Brumby – now of Langton Capital – broke out the hops and yeast to attempt to produce a rival to his usual tipple.
“Any plans to branch out to selling the stuff and giving the brewers a run for their money?” The Capitalist enquired, innocently.

“Absolutely not,” came the determined response. “There are ‘elf ‘n’ safety laws in place to stop people like me poisoning others with home-made food and drink. Having brewed it to maturity, I’ve come to the conclusion that the stuff’s quite literally undrinkable.”

Better not give up the day job, then.

HORSES FOR COURSES

A “long week” for Betfair’s Andrew “Bert” Black last week, even by his own admission.

“Leaving aside the fact that Betfair is finally floating after a ten year slog, I’ve had plenty of horse action going on,” Black wrote on his blog on Saturday.

After resigning his position as a non-executive director on the firm’s board amid its
current IPO plans, co-founder Black was free to trawl the week’s sales of young racehorses, snapping up a new filly at Tattersalls for 50,000 guineas.

And later on, more joy when one of his horses, Cheddar George, won at Kempton Park – providing proof that even when preparing to net a windfall worth millions of pounds, victory is always sweet.

“I collected the prize, which was a year’s supply of Irn Bru,” Black reported back, cheerily.

A COUP for the City at the end of last week, as the networking event of the summer – Mint Polo in the Park, the brainchild of Fox-Davies Capital founder Daniel Fox-Davies – scooped the Sport Attraction of the Year gong at the annual London Lifestyle Awards. The polo competition, which beat Wembley and Wimbledon to the honour, was this year won by team New York, sponsored by City A.M.