ALL aboard, folks – Cowes Week is here again, which means days of sailing and schmoozing in the Isle of Wight for the water babies of the City. And with a few days already elapsed, I hear there’s only one subject on people’s lips: the smart array of boats in the “super zero” class and the business luminaries at their various helms.
Carphone Warehouse boss Charles Dunstone has been doing his usual rounds on his craft Rio, naturally, while serial entrepreneur Sir Peter Ogden took first position in the day’s racing yesterday aboard Jethou.
Saltier seadogs than The Capitalist have also remarked upon the entrance of a new vessel in the class this year in the form of Centrica boss Sam Laidlaw’s “Bob”, which hit the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons. Bob was the boat upon which Laidlaw – whose father Sir Christopher was once chairman of beleaguered energy giant BP – hosted the company’s outgoing chief executive Tony Hayward on that ill-advised mid-oil spill sailing jaunt just a few short months ago.
“Everyone is eagerly watching each morning to see if ‘King Tony’ has deigned to put in another appearance,” says my man on deck.
TOUCH OF GLAMOUR
After years of worthy-but-dull work as an online market research firm, YouGov is going all glamorous.
The pollster yesterday preened itself as it announced the appointment of 34-year-old Ben Elliot as a new non-executive director. That’s the same Ben Elliot who launched swanky concierge company Quintessentially – with his blood ties to royalty (Camilla Parker Bowles is his aunt), an array of famous ex girlfriends (Jade Jagger and Cat Deeley, to name but a few) and a little black book bursting with the kind of contacts for which a Hollywood executive would kill (Gwyneth Paltrow and Sharon Stone).
A word of advice to those reams of unfortunate fresh graduates clamouring for a first job in the City: forget economics and financials, it’s a sound knowledge of seemingly useless trivia which will give you the edge. According to job website Efinancialcareers.com, jobseekers have recently reported being asked to estimate anything from toothpaste sales in Kazakhstan to the number of table tennis balls in China and how many pound coins would fit in the interview room.
Weird and wonderful.