Steve Dinneen
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The City of London Corporation will today honour a little-known City tradition by handing out cash to brides who can prove they are “honest”.

The somewhat politically dubious accolade dates back to 1882 when Italian-born nobleman Pasquale Favale fell in love with and married a City girl.

He was so taken with the Square Mile that he bequeathed 18,000 lira to the City of London Corporation, stipulating that each year a portion of the money was to be given to “three poor, honest, young women, natives of the City of London, aged 16 to 25 who had recently been or were about to be married.”

The dowry being offered by the modern Corporation amounts to a rather paltry £100 – hardly a dent in the £20,000 average cost of a marriage.

But an even bigger problem seems to be the lack of “honest” brides in the City of London. The Corporation was forced to abandon the scheme last year after receiving no applications for the money.

Indeed, the most recent photograph of happy newly-weds receiving their cheques the Corporation was able to provide dates back to 2004. The offer is now open to any brides who can prove they have lived in the City for at least seven years.

This year’s blushing brides are Julie Anne Barnes, Nichola Rose and Suzanna Sebba.

The City might have its fair share of “honest” women, but the World Economic Forum, which kicks off next week in Davos, seems to be sadly lacking in women of any moral persuasion.

Despite imposing a quota of at least one female per four males among executive delegates from its 100 main sponsors, it seems a third have failed to come up with a leading lady to justify bringing another guy along. To avoid the quota, some companies have simply cut their delegate numbers down to four.

But there is some good news: the quota has at least succeeded in bringing some overlooked women out of the woodwork. Two thirds of the event’s top sponsors are bringing a female delegate this year, versus one third last year.

ITV has hired former hack Mary Fagan (pictured top right) to the newly-created role of communications and corporate affairs director. The ex-Independent staffer used to work under none other than new ITV boss Adam Crozier during his previous job as head of the Royal Mail.

It seems the ITV head honcho is more than willing to plunder the top talent from his former employers.

Alas, we don’t all have friends in high places and, in this climate, sometimes you have to start somewhere.

More keen than most is young James Elgeti, who decided the best way to kick start his career would be to don a sharp suit and a sandwich board and sell himself directly to passing bankers.

The final-year student at Bath handed out business cards at Bank tube station last week in a bid to land his dream internship at a top bank.

“You have the ability to kick-start my career in banking. Talk to me...” read his sign. The Capitalist awards extra points for the minimalist design and crisp choice of font. If you have a place for James email The Capitalist and we’ll put you in touch.