UNDER a week to go until the appointment of the man who will replace Lord Mayor Ian Luder at the helm of the City of London.<br /><br />The new boss won&rsquo;t officially take up residence in his swanky Mansion House digs until his official inauguration in November, though the election &ndash; if you can call it that &ndash; takes place next Tuesday.<br /><br />These things are something of a foregone conclusion, you see. Every year, the corporation&rsquo;s senatorial group, the Court of Aldermen, publish a letter well ahead of the elections, in which they set out their own preferred Mayoral candidates for the next few years. Naturally, there&rsquo;ll be much ceremonial huffing and puffing on the day itself, when all of the eligible Sheriffs are required to parade before a roomful of liverymen casting votes via the suitably antiquated method of shouting out.<br /><br />But in practice, the aldermen&rsquo;s chosen one always emerges triumphant, and this time it will be Nick Anstee, a senior director at law firm SJ Berwin and former chair of the City&rsquo;s markets committee. I&rsquo;m told Anstee was first mooted for the position a few years ago, until a quarrel with the butchers of Smithfield market put paid to the appointment. (Pricing can be something of a sensitive subject.) It looks like it&rsquo;s all for real this time, though, so he&rsquo;d better get ironing those ceremonial robes. We at City A.M. certainly wish whoever is elected well; he will have his work cut out fighting for the City.<br /><br /><strong>ALL THAT GLITTERS</strong><br />To the Park Lane Hilton last night for the glittering Investor AllStars awards &ndash; which like any self-respecting awards ceremony, of course, considers itself the equivalent of the &ldquo;Oscars&rdquo; for its own target audience, London&rsquo;s venture capital community.<br /><br />Over 500 guests thronged the ballroom for the event, which saw Albion Ventures win Venture Capital Trust of the year, NorthStar Equity Investors win Equity Gap Fund of the year and law firm Bird &amp; Bird the award for service provider of the year. Hermann Hauser from Amadeus Capital Partners took the coveted outstanding achievement award.<br /><br />In keeping with the austere economic environment, the organisers enlisted the services of Net-a-Porter chief executive Mark Sebba as the keynote speaker, instead of some irreverent comedian.<br /><br />&ldquo;This is to all the women in the room. You are our customers, and for all of us at Net-a-Porter, you are the most important people on the planet,&rdquo; he gushed, to cheers from the female contingent in the room. The site&rsquo;s founder Natalie Massenet has obviously schooled him well in how to impress the ladies.<br /><br /><strong>ENDING ERA</strong><br />It&rsquo;s the end of a beautiful marriage this week for serial entrepreneur Hugh Osmond and verbose Citigate Dewe Rogerson spinner Tony Carlisle, who has been booted off the advisory account for life funds vehicle Pearl.<br /><br />Pearl, which is today expected to confirm Northern Rock boss Ron Sandler as its new chairman alongside its results, recently entered a fresh chapter in its life after completing a restructuring deal with Liberty, leaving founder Osmond&rsquo;s stake heavily diluted.<br /><br />The Capitalist understands Osmond&rsquo;s reduced influence meant the situation became a touch uncomfortable, since the Pizza Express entrepreneur has been close to Carlisle, his adviser and personal friend, since his time at the helm of pub group Punch Taverns. On the other hand, Tulchan, which won the account earlier this week, is now preening itself happily.<br /><br /><strong>CROWDED HOUSE</strong><br />It&rsquo;s always mildly disconcerting to see finance bigwigs out of their natural office environment, and Tuesday evening&rsquo;s charity gig at the Corney and Barrow in Paternoster Square was no exception.<br /><br />There wasn&rsquo;t really an issue with the bands, which included one from RBS and another, called the Hypothecators, consisting of WH Ireland boss Richard Ford on drums, Vestra Wealth partner Tim Fletcher on lead guitar and JP Morgan&rsquo;s Elsa Madrolle, Ernst and Young&rsquo;s Neil Coles and Polygon chief operating officer Phil Bland on vocals.<br /><br />But apparently, when the Hypothecators broke into a cover of Robbie William&rsquo;s &ldquo;Angels&rdquo;, the gathered audience waved their BlackBerrys reverently over their heads in the place of cigarette lighters&hellip;<br /><br /><strong>CHRISTMAS CHEER</strong><br />Good news for members of the pro-Christmas contingent who enjoy nothing more than a festive trip to London&rsquo;s glittering ice rinks in the run up to the big day.<br /><br />The Capitalist hears property group Land Securities has come over all benevolent and has big plans for the building site that will eventually become the Park House development, directly opposite Selfridges on Oxford Street. Apparently, the site &ndash; which covers an entire block &ndash; will be turned into an ice rink this winter to put a smile on the face of even the most harassed last-minute Christmas shopper. Hurrah.<br />