WE’VE all heard a lot of novel investment advice over the course of the last two bumpy years, but investing in your own diamond mine has got to be a new one.

Investment firm Capital Alternatives has set up a new venture, Capital Mining, which plans to do just that, having recently snapped up the mining rights to a large piece of land in Sierra Leone.

They’ve now chopped up said land into 225 square foot chunks and are selling the mining rights to potential investors for the bargain price of £3,000 per chunk.

For your cash, you’ll get a guarantee of your money back within two years if the land remains unmined (though the firm insists this is just a failsafe backup), and the rights to 50 per cent of the worth of any diamond or gold contained in the mine if it does.

“It is a project that will appeal to those who like to take a bit of a risk,” gushes chairman Robert McKendrick.

“We recently found a £57,000 diamond in one similar area, so some investors might get incredibly lucky while others get nothing at all. It’s a gamble, but a sexy one – imagine going home to your wife at night and saying, ‘Darling, I’ve bought you a diamond mine…’”

The Capitalist has got to admit, the phrase has a certain ring to it.


There’s nothing City folk love more than a good cause to get behind, especially if it involves drinking and protecting their tried-and-testing traditions.

A good job, then, that so many bankers, brokers and fund managers are such dedicated regulars at City boozer Jamaica Wine House, affectionately known as the “Jam Pot”.

Apparently, a new tenant has moved into the office above the pub and has now initiated a campaign to ban drinking outside the pub and applied for a licence review. Spoilsport.

Still, not to be outdone, the pub’s owner – brewer Shepherd Neame – is launching a counter-attack by canvassing all its regulars to pledge their support and vouch for the Jam Pot’s long history of outdoor boozing. It needs all responses back by Monday, so hop to it!


Something of a break away from the norm on Wednesday evening for stockbroking veteran John East – a former senior partner of Margetts and Addenbrooke and now deputy chief of Merchant John East Securities.

Eagle-eyed jazz fans at live music venue 606 Club, near Earl’s Court, may have spotted East in action on the Hammond organ (above), playing his first public jazz gig for nigh on 20 years.

East has been playing jazz since his early teens and was formerly a founder of CityAid – the Square Mile’s answer to LiveAid – in the Eighties. I hear he and the band brought the house down with classics like Van Morrison’s Moondance and Rodgers and Hart’s My Funny Valentine – and they’re planning a comeback soon. The Capitalist will keep you posted...


Angela Knight, boss of the British Bankers’ Association and the City’s defender against the rising tide of banker-bashers, has landed herself a new role.

Earlier this week, it was off to a ceremonial swearing-in as Knight became a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers. “It’s an honour,” she smiles. Well-deserved, I’m sure.