REGULAR readers may remember Nasser Azam, the former equities and derivatives trader at Merrill Lynch who swapped his high-flying City career for life as a humble artist.<br /><br />But it seems Azam has discovered a way to combine his twin passions, having just launched a new art investment fund called the Azam Collection.<br /><br />Actually, it isn’t your run-of-the-mill art investment fund, as these things go – Azam has created more of a venture capitalist model for his new project, offering investors a chunk of equity in return for participation in the fund. He, in turn, supports promising young artists at the beginning of their careers with a view to profiting from potential investment opportunities in the future.<br /><br />“I’m very excited about it,” Azam enthuses. “I’ve got a unique advantage in that my position will make it easier for me to tap the City for cash, right at a time when investors are getting back into art and increasingly treating it as a profitable investment class…”<br /><br />The banking veteran is certainly confident he’s got a formula for success, anyhow – he’s put his own private art collection into the fund and expects to build it up into a £100m company within a five to seven year period. Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of Nasser Azam.<br /><br /><strong>FASHION DARLING<br /></strong>As fashion statements go, this is one of the bravest The Capitalist has come across in a while.<br />Word arrives of a new jacket designed by New York tailor Max Girombelli, who dresses the Bush family, among other US luminaries. Made of a super fine dark blue wool, the jacket in question features an embroidered charging bull, a replica of the famous Wall Street statue.<br />Quite apart from the fact that the garment in question will set you back $2,900 (only 100 are being made and they come with your name monogrammed on the lining), can anyone think of a quicker way to vilification from the great unwashed than advertising your support for the banking sector on your sleeve?<br /><br /><strong>COME ALL YE FAITHFUL<br /></strong>One for the diaries of all those in the City who remain unjaded enough by financial woes to embrace the festive vibe four weeks early. Insurer Amlin is hosting an early evening Christmas concert on Wednesday at the ancient church of St Katherine Cree on Leadenhall Street, between 6.15 and 7.15pm, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.<br /><br />Belters get the chance to exercise their strong vocal chords with a couple of popular audience carols, while shrinking violets can relax and listen to the Joyful Company of Singers, one of Europe’s top chamber choirs…<br /><br /><strong>LIFE IS A CABARET<br /></strong>To Proud Cabaret at the weekend – the club fast earning itself the reputation as the City’s newest and most glamorous den of iniquity. Owner Alex Proud, the man behind the Proud Galleries in Camden, says the City’s reputation for fostering aggressive behaviour has, as yet, proved unfounded.<br /><br />“Lots of people are really unfair on City people,” he muses. <br /><br />“But there is a bit of a dearth of good clubs in the Square Mile, and if you provide people with horrid venues, it’s hardly surprising if they get uppity about bad service. We’re entertaining them properly, and so far it’s been a roaring success.”<br /><br />Given that the offering at the new club – which is tucked away behind Leadenhall market in a part of town famed more for dull insurance firms than partying – involves sexy live burlesque-themed singing and dancing, what’s not to love?