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CARIBBEAN HOLIDAY WINNER IS REVEALED

A HUGE thank you to all who replied to our online reader survey last week, when you logged on to the website in your droves to give us feedback and suggestions for the paper.<br /><br />Everyone who participated was entered into a fantastic prize draw to win a holiday for two at the Royal Plantation Ochos Rios in Jamaica, the Caribbean&rsquo;s most exclusive beach resort, courtesy of the hotel and Virgin Holidays &ndash; and The Capitalist is pleased to reveal the winner of the competition: the lucky Susie Weston of Barclays Capital.<br /><br />&ldquo;Oh goodness, I&rsquo;ve never won anything in my life until last week, when I also won a bottle of champagne!&rdquo; an excited Susie, who&rsquo;s been in the City for over 20 years, tells me. &ldquo;I guess I should now be waiting for number three &ndash; I&rsquo;ll definitely be buying my lottery ticket this weekend&hellip;&rdquo;<br /><br />Also up on their luck are Simon Johns of Credit Suisse, Ian Davidson of Citi, Nomura&rsquo;s Gordon Smith, Jane Hincksman of Devonshires Solicitors and Mike Bryan at the Treasury &ndash; all of whom bagged themselves a bottle of Bollinger champagne by taking part in the survey. Bottoms up!<br /><br /><strong>BANKS IN SHREDS</strong><br />Sauntering past the Bank station branch of Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday on a lunchtime jaunt, The Capitalist was astonished to see the bank&rsquo;s flag looking grubby, tattered and partly in shreds.<br /><br />Surely, if RBS can afford to shell out &pound;300,000 on corporate hospitality at Wimbledon (not to mention the cost of unsuccessfully trying to keep passers-by from cottoning on to the whereabouts of its luxuriously-appointed suite), it can afford to replace a scrap of threadbare cloth? Then again, given the bank&rsquo;s reputation for trying to be discreet, perhaps it&rsquo;s a subtle nod to its disgraced former chief, Sir Fred &ldquo;The Shred&rdquo; Goodwin.<br /><br /><strong>FENG SHUI FORTUNE</strong><br />People are just full of surprises, aren&rsquo;t they? The Capitalist hadn&rsquo;t exactly pegged East-End-boy-done-good Gerald Ronson as an ardent follower of the ancient principles of feng shui, yet in zooms an invitation to a ceremony next week to mark the lowering of a time capsule into the foundations of the new 46-storey Heron Tower on Bishopsgate.<br /><br />The capsule will contain the original plans for the tower and artefacts to mark its history, along with a giant tortoiseshell &ndash; in accordance with the feng shui belief that the tortoise, one of the four celestial animals, promotes longevity, stability, steadiness, good fortune, support and protection. Apparently, adhering to feng shui requirements will increase the tower&rsquo;s competitiveness as a global headquarters and is in line with the weather-beaten property tycoon&rsquo;s very favourite rule of business.<br /><br />&ldquo;The devil&rsquo;s in the detail,&rdquo; Ronson tells me. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s about having the passion, the detail, the quality and the value for money. That is our brand.&rdquo;<br /><br />My, but hasn&rsquo;t he gone all Zen on us in his old age?<br /><br /><strong>BOOT CAMP</strong><br />Two entrepreneurial Irish solicitors have had the brainwave of training up kids early to join the legal profession, with a 10 day boot camp offering them &ldquo;a unique and exciting opportunity to come and sample life in the courtroom&rdquo;.<br /><br />So for the bargain price of &euro;350 (&pound;301), specially reduced from &euro;395 as a nod to the recession, we can ship our littl&rsquo;uns off to parade around in fancy wigs, safe in the knowledge they&rsquo;re putting in the groundwork to fund our happy retirement several decades hence.<br /><br />Parents never had it so easy.<br /><strong><br />WASTE NOT, WANT NOT</strong><br />Word reaches The Capitalist of a bit of a kerfuffle over at the Embankment Place offices of accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers, where individual wastepaper bins have become a thing of the past in a green drive.<br /><br />&ldquo;Yes, we have become binless,&rdquo; whispers an insider. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve all had to stop eating at our desks or printing paper as no-one can be bothered to go to the big bins.&rdquo;<br /><br />A right hassle for the poor workers, I&rsquo;m sure, but at least they can look on the bright side: they&rsquo;re doing their bit for the environment AND being forced onto a rapid weight-loss programme just in time for the beach season.<br /><br /><strong>WINING AND DINING</strong><br />Strategists can bleat all they want about the state of the economy; The Capitalist&rsquo;s sticking to that tried-and-tested barometer of prosperity, the City fine dining index.<br /><br />Luxury eaterie Coq D&rsquo;Argent has been rammed to the rafters every night for the past few weeks, judging by the snaking queues outside the ground floor lifts in the early evening sunshine. Ladies and gentlemen, it&rsquo;s officially time to get back in the game.<br /><br /><strong>SORE LOSERS</strong><br />Tales of joy and woe abound after the five-set epic tennis match on Sunday between champion Roger Federer and fighting opponent Andy Roddick.<br /><br />Perhaps one of the hardest hit was spread betting firm Sporting Index, which I hear lost a hefty &pound;80,000 on the match after predicting there would be just 38 games played and 33 aces served. In actual fact, there were 77 games in the match and 77 aces.<br /><br />Still, at least the firm won&rsquo;t be feeling as bad as Roddick, who stood to make &pound;850,000 if he&rsquo;d won the competition. Alas, he has to make do with &pound;425,000. <br /><br /><strong>GUINNESS CRAWL</strong><br />Hats off to financial advisory firm Bluefin Advisory Services, which is currently doing its bit for the good of man with a series of sponsored walks in aid of Leukaemia Research.<br /><br />I hear chief executive John Simmonds has been getting stuck in and showing his minions how it&rsquo;s done, though the whole experience hasn&rsquo;t been without its setbacks.<br /><br />At the first walk in Belfast recently, poor Simmonds nearly had kittens when he realised there would be no Guinness to be had until at least the eighth mile &ndash; and that came after the shock of having to travel from the hotel to the starting point in a Renault Megane instead of his customary, rather more swanky methods of transport. The things people do in the name of charity, eh?<br /><br /><strong>REST IN PEACE</strong><br />And finally, condolences to the family and friends of Capital Fund Management co-founder Jean-Pierre Aguilar, who died in a tragic gliding accident over the weekend in a tournament near the Alpine town of Barcelonnette.<br /><br />Aguilar, 49, co-founded the Paris-based hedge fund in 1991, having started his career at asset management firm LeGrand and Cie.<br /><br />&ldquo;He was an inspirational leader and a great friend who will be sorely missed by his colleagues and clients within the hedge fund industry, where he made a major and original contribution,&rdquo; Capital Fund Management said in a letter to investors.