David Hellier
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IN the wake of the credit crunch, the dotcom crash of 2001 feels like a small murmur in the history of the City. But ever wondered what happened to those guys who brought open-necked shirts, scooters and start-ups to the Square Mile?<br /><br />Well, one of those who rode the dotcom rollercoaster is now about to make it big in Hollywood. After living the dream of the internet entrepreneur, Adam Hamdy turned to writing and is now about to have his work adapted to the big screen. <br /><br />His debut creation has just been taken on by a major US film studio. Hamdy is writing the screenplay for a film version of The Hunter, a comic featuring a contemporary superhero fighting organised crime. Hamdy once epitomised the heady days of internet start-ups, using seed finance in 1999 to found &ndash; a business that enabled teenagers to buy online without a credit card.&nbsp; He got out just before the crash, with his investment intact. &ldquo;It was a time of insane optimism where anything was possible. And the credit crunch has been very similar. People stopped looking closely at the underlying numbers beneath valuations.&rdquo;<br /><br />So, will we see him create another superhero to save the City? &ldquo;No,&rdquo; he tells The Capitalist firmly from Los Angeles. &ldquo;It is a fast-paced, high pressure environment that can be very rewarding, but I don&rsquo;t miss the Square Mile at all. I&rsquo;m thankful I took the risk to change my career and do what I&rsquo;d always really wanted.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>QUESTION OF SPORT</strong><br />Stars from the City and the sporting world gathered at City Tower in Basinghall Street the other night to welcome a new addition to the trading scene in the Square Mile.<br /><br />Sports trading company Centaur has opened its first office in the City and hopes to convert new punters to its methods of investing in the sporting markets.<br /><br />Guests at the party included 1991 Wimbledon Champion Michael Stich, pictured here with Centaur managing director Tony Woodhams.<br /><br />A former derivatives trader, Woodhams is currently running a &ldquo;Centaur Academy&rdquo; to teach people how use a score line to boost their bottom line.<br /><br /><strong>VARSITY MATCH</strong><br />The testosterone levels at investment bank Nomura International&rsquo;s offices at Canary Wharf were unusually high yesterday. The office was full of hulking great rugby players, including a number of former internationals.<br /><br />Nomura is once again sponsoring this year&rsquo;s Oxford vs Cambridge Varsity rugby match and yesterday unveiled the teams that will slug it out for the coveted trophy. Topping the Cambridge bill is captain Dan Vickerman, a former Australian international rugby player with 55 caps to his name. Taking charge of the Oxford line-up is former Barbarian Dan Rosen.<br /><br />The match kicks off next week on 10 December at Twickenham and Nomura is offering a pair of free tickets to City A.M. readers. Just email before Monday to enter the free prize draw.<br /><br /><strong>CITY WOMAN</strong><br />Working in HR in the City can&rsquo;t have been the most rewarding of jobs over the past 18 months, unless you really enjoy dealing with mass redundancies and cost cutting.<br /><br />But Grant Thornton&rsquo;s Sacha Romanovitch has reason to open the champagne this festive season. She was yesterday announced the Jaguar Woman of Achievement for 2009.<br /><br />Romanovitch is Head of People and Culture at the accountancy firm. She was made a partner while seven months pregnant and was appointed to the board while on maternity leave with her second child. She says the bosses who promoted her are the ones who really deserve an award. <br /><br />While delighted that her award recognises that you don&rsquo;t have to fit the &ldquo;white, male, middle class&rdquo; stereotype to succeed in the City, she is also looking forward to the day when a woman&rsquo;s achievements in business do not need their own awards. &ldquo;I take the approach that anyone, regardless of their gender, if they are good, they will succeed,&rdquo; she said.<br /><br /><strong>WIN A NEW LIFE</strong><br />The City banker who is &ldquo;giving away&rdquo; his millionaire lifestyle complete with his luxury home, Aston Martin (pictured) and boat in a competition last night opened his doors to those with their eyes on his prize. <br /><br />Nearly 200 guests got to test out the potential of Andrew Paul&rsquo;s five-bedroom home in the Kent countryside at a star-studded party last night.<br /><br />Guests were treated to performances from former X-Factor contestant Lloyd Daniels, and also got to have a good look round the designer kitchen and home cinema in Paul&rsquo;s &pound;1.1m home. The competition &ndash; which is running at and costs a minimum of &pound;20 to enter &ndash; closes on 15 December. Equities trader Paul said he wanted to &ldquo;make a fresh start&rdquo; after a painful divorce. He is still living at his Kent mansion, but has promised to move out once the winner is announced.<br /><strong>&bull; Victoria Bates is away</strong>