However, once safely inside the Square Mile World Spreads 30 Under 30 Awards at the elusive Museum of London, small-talk between the bright young things turned to more traditional topics, such as who had bought the most tables at £3,000 a go?
Cheviot Asset Management and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce came out on top here, but the real focus of the evening was the 30 rising stars, with the banking and finance winners including Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First; Nicholas Toubkin, the youngest-ever private banker at Coutts; and Marc Davies, known for his “fast and accurate judgement” at Frontier Capital Management.
However, their achievements paled into insignificance compared to those of guest speaker Anton Kreil, who set up his own hedge fund from his bedroom in Liverpool at 18, was poached by Goldman Sachs at 21, and retired at 28 to teach lesser mortals the secrets of trading in his BBC2 show Million Dollar Traders.
Kreil, in the company of awards host Krishnan Guru-Murthy, kept the pace going at the 30 Under 30 afterparty at Chinawhite, where The Capitalist hears the networking was intense, with “literally thousands” of business cards handed out.
The free-flowing champagne from associate sponsor Louis Roederer didn’t hurt the introductions either and, as the evening drew on, some guests exchanged “more than just business cards”. As one partygoer reported: “When you have young, energetic people under 30 in a champagne-filled room with dark corners, taking things further is inevitable.”
THE KING’S SPEECH
MEANWHILE, the crowd who turned up to pay their respects at the retirement party for BGC Partners’ David Buik was “old-school City”, with Sky News correspondent Jon Craig mixing with Shroders fund manager Andy Brough and the Bank of England’s deputy governor Paul Tucker at The Royal Exchange last Friday night.
As is customary for a retiring legend, Buik hopped onto a step to make a speech outlining some of the highlights of his illustrious career in finance. But while his daily email commentary dispatches to the City regularly reach a wide audience, his parting words fell largely on deaf ears.
“No-one could hear a thing,” said a mole, who blamed the acoustic issues on an unfortunate combination of “a large room, a large number of guests and too many echoes coming from the packed restaurant upstairs”.
MEAN Fiddler founder Vince Power took a break from the investor roadshow as he prepares to float his latest venture Music Festivals on Aim next month to attend Merchant Securities’ spring party at the Paternoster Chop House.
Merchant Securities is handling the listing for Music Festivals and has valued the live music company at £20m, so Power had a strong incentive to make an appearance – but Lord St John of Bletso, Gartmore fund manager Rob Giles and Kate Tidbury of Octopus showed up simply for the “Best of British” food and the entertainment by Magic Circle member Robert Pound, who conjured pound coins into their closed hands.
Also on hand was a caricaturist, who had been briefed to be “savage and spare no blushes”, making guests wince at his unforgiving likenesses. But he had clearly been tipped off about who was paying for the party, since Merchant’s chief executive Patrick Claridge (pictured bottom, right with the artist), “got off pretty lightly”.
NOT MY GENERATION
THERE are perks to being John Phizackerley, the EMEA chief executive of Nomura.
No, not planning next month’s opening party for the bank’s new fortress at One Angel Lane – which will be marked by a traditional Kagami Biraki ceremony – but the chance to spend a large part of last week listening to gigs at the Royal Albert Hall, thanks to the bank’s two-year sponsorship of the Teenage Cancer Trust series.
Phizackerley was particularly impressed by The Who last Thursday, but he was noticeably absent on Friday, when the Manchester crowd turned out in force to hear former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher take to the stage with new band Beady Eye.
With beers flying everywhere over the crowdsurfing audience, The Capitalist hears the Nomura executives and their guests Lucy Ward and Anthony Harte from the Teenage Cancer Trust were pleased to be “safely in their box”.