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EX-FAIRFAX CHIEFTAIN MAKES HIS COMEBACK

MEMBERS of the City’s investment banking community have probably been wondering for months what has become of Adam Hart, the cheery former managing director of Fairfax. Hart left Fairfax last summer and hasn’t been heard from since, apart from a stubborn rumour doing the rounds in the autumn that he was about to join Edward Vandyk’s growing empire at Astaire Securities as chief executive.

But now I hear Hart has popped up somewhere entirely different, and is planning a dazzling comeback as chairman of boutique investment banking and advisory group London Bridge Capital, with the aim of growing the firm into the dominant player focused on small to mid caps in the renewable energy and cleantech space.

On a more flippant note, Hart is best remembered in this column for his sterling efforts in organising a snowball fight between Fairfax and rival broker Teathers amid the blizzards of last February. The Capitalist wonders if the troops at LBC – which, despite its name, is based on Harley Street – would be up for following their leader into battle against London’s private surgeons, should the capital see similar flurries of snow in the not-too-distant future?


GLORY BOY
Deloitte’s vice chairman Vassi Naidoo was patting himself on the back at the weekend after covering himself with glory at a footballing event at the end of last week.

Naidoo must be the only accountant in the Square Mile to lay claim to the honour of having put two penalties past David Seaman, after squaring up to the former England goalkeeper twice at an event on Downing Street to launch the Deloitte Street Child World Cup.

The cup – which involves teams of homeless children from the UK, South Africa, India, Vietnam and seven other countries – takes place between 11 and 21 March and aims to bring attention to the suffering of such children around the world.

“When my secretary told me I’d be taking the penalties, I was so anxious that it was only the promise of making the children’s lives a little better that got me up there,” Naidoo laughs. “I thought we’d have to tie up Seaman’s hands and blindfold him before I’d have the slightest chance…”

Life’s just full of little surprises, eh?


SKI SEASON
Trust fun-loving Schroders fund manager Andy Brough to bring a breath of fresh air to the dullest of tasks – writing out-of-office email messages included.

“Andy Brough has left the building and has headed for the piste, that will be Austria rather than Vancouver (it’s an age thing and I don’t look good in those racing suits),” reads his latest missive.
“If you are trading in these markets then may your God be with you…”

Talk about rubbing it in. Next time, can we all stow away?


DENS OF INIQUITY
One of the London lap dancing industry’s most powerful figures – Stephen Less, chief of the Secrets club chain – is up in arms about the government’s new licensing crackdown on the sector, and tells me the City should be worried about the new rules too.

“It’s like saying people should be banned from driving because there are accidents on the road,” he barks. “This is against human rights, especially as club operators have no right of appeal after a year if their property is shut down by the council.

“And what’s more, it will affect the City boys dramatically. They have to entertain, it’s part of their job to entertain, and they need to be able to let off steam after sitting in an office all day doing a high-powered job…”

At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, I suggest that traditional watering holes minus scantily-clad ladies might serve the purpose just as well, though Less is having none of it. Perhaps reports of a decline in bonuses being splashed in the table dancing haunts of the capital really are somewhat wide of the mark?