EDITORS at the Daily Mirror could barely contain their excitement at the coming of bonus season yesterday, splashing their front page on the beleaguered chief executive of RBS, Stephen Hester under the headline “Do the right thing: give up your obscene £3m bonus”.
“The Mirror calls on Mr Hester and all the other fatcat bankers to do the right thing... start living in the real world – like the rest of us,” read the piece.
The Capitalist wondered if this “us” includes Sly Bailey, chief executive of Trinity Mirror? Her most recent bonus in 2009 amounted to a tidy £698,000, for total compensation of £1.7m, including £248,000 for her pension. That’s a jump of £700,000 on the equivalent pay-outs the year before.
And this is despite revenues shrinking 12 per cent to £763m and pre-tax profit plunging 40 per cent to £73m over the period. It’s no wonder Bailey isn’t keen to take a leaf out her flagship paper and up sticks to “the real world”.
THE Capitalist tips her hat today to the City law firms named in Stonewall’s workplace equality index, which lists the top 100 gay-friendly employers in the UK. Simmons & Simmons retained its top spot among the legal community for the second year running, with Pinsent Masons, Hogan Lovells, Baker MacKenzie and Herbert Smith also recognised in the top 50.
Herbies, which jumped from number 56 to joint fiftieth in this year’s list, hosted a ceremony at its offices to honour the Stonewall index last night, after the gay rights lobbying group surveyed over 9,000 lesbian, gay and bisexual employees across legal Britain.
But I’ve heard that the list could raise eyebrows at another City firm, which prides itself on its diversity programme and will be disappointed to have been looked over. Perhaps its official submission to Stonewall didn’t mention the fact that one part of the firm’s practice is affectionately referred to as “the pink floor”. Or perhaps the fact sadly counted against them.
DITCH THE TRAVELCARD
“I’ll be taking the bus,” BBC business supremo Robert Peston posted on Twitter this week, on his way to Westminster to report on the live grilling of Barclays chief Bob Diamond by a pack of MPs. “Will Bob Diamond be taking the bus?” Peston asked, always first to spot the burning question of the moment. An hour or two later, we had the answer.
It seems that Diamond, who said during the Q&A that the time for bankers’ remorse is over, was shuttled back and forth in a black cab.
And now, City slickers can go one better in showing off their provocatively plush means of transport. For the modest sum of £5,750, The Capitalist hears that one lucky fund manager can get her hands on the number plate (see above): “F11ND M” (Geddit?). What better way to mark bonus season than to roll up with this tasty label slapped on your Aston Martin? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TALL AND TANNED . . .
THE gloomy weather, banker-bashing and looming bailouts in Europe seem to be getting a lot of the City down this month, so much so that bankers are looking for pastures new. Until now, received wisdom has told us that they’ll go to Hong Kong, Singapore or maybe New York. But now a headhunter tells me that hordes are looking to flee to Brazil after this year’s bonus round. “Anyone with a little pidgin Portuguese vocabulary” is clamouring for a finance job near the sunny beaches and exotic cocktails of Rio de Janeiro, we hear. Time to invest in that language course.