A FEW short months ago, this column brought you murmurs that corporate financier Richard Feigen – who resigned as managing director of broker Seymour Pierce at the beginning of the year after an internal investigation, admitting that errors had occurred in a transaction he was overseeing – was mulling a return to the City.
Fast forward to the present, and those whispers have become deafening. Word is that Feigen has teamed up with Stephen Bourne, the ex-head of corporate finance at BDO Stoy Hayward, and the pair are in the final throes of preparing the launch of their new venture, an advisory firm specialising in the small to mid cap sector.
As is always the way with these things, much rests on their choice of a memorable moniker – and to that end, The Capitalist hears that the duo have been inspired by two of their favourite hobbies.
Feigen spent much of last winter in the Alps after leaving Seymour Pierce, gadding about on the slopes with the likes of Britain’s premier Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott, while Bourne also spends much of his spare time on the piste.
And for thirsty winter sportsmen hanging about at Geneva airport waiting for flights or tardy skiing companions, there’s a handy drinking hole in the vicinity called the Hub Bar. Hence talk in the marketplace that their new firm will be dubbed Hub Capital Partners – or HubCap, for short. Catchy.
To the top of the Gherkin last night for the launch of the Financial Traders and Brokers Network (FTBN), a new networking organisation for the industry, where a full-scale fisticuffs was only narrowly averted.
OK, perhaps that’s going a little far, but the event organisers certainly knew how to blow up a storm when they juxtaposed as guest speakers perhaps two of the financial world’s most diametrically opposed ideologists – Dr Vince Cable, business secretary and scourge of highly-paid financial workers everywhere; and Simon Cawkwell, aka Evel Knieval, one of the most famous short sellers of our time.
“I can only stay for 20 minutes, but please don’t think I’m running away,” joked Cable at the start of the evening, before admitting that he felt like he was waltzing into the “lion’s den”.
Too right. Cawkwell, never one to mince his words, attacked in turn lawyers and politicians of all persuasions, before turning the full force of his wrath on the Financial Services Authority.
“They’re intellectually useless slobs – I’m not trying to be rude, but I loathe the lot of them,” he boomed, before extolling the virtues of short-sellers, who apparently are “in the lead in cleaning up the City”.
Despite that piece of logic, it’s clear which speaker would have come out tops if it had come to a full-on debate. Cable elicited from his audience a polite titter or two and a muted round of applause, where his rival’s speech met with whooping, cheers and guffaws of laughter. Game over.
NEXT TOP MODEL
Panicking already about what to get for Christmas for a friend who has everything and needs nothing? Look no further.
ThatsMyFace.com, which specialises into making up action figures from photographs, has launched a range of “celebrity” miniature dolls – featuring the likes of US President Barack Obama, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and… wait for it… Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein.
Blankfein (left) doesn’t come cheap at $99 (£61.70) a pop, but he comes in a variety of different outfits – standard-issue “military brown”, in which Blankfein himself probably wouldn’t be seen dead; “Indiana Jones” (ditto); casual (jeans and T-shirt); and – for a hefty supplement – the usual business suit.
Of course, you could always just opt to buy the head for a bargain $60, and affix it to your own Barbie or Ken dolls as you see fit.
Preparations for remembrance events on Armistice Day, Thursday 11 November, are already underway – and some in the restaurant business are aiming even higher in future years.
The swanky Mews of Mayfair restaurant is hosting a veterans’ lunch, served by local business entrepreneurs and celebrities, including former racing driver Sir Stirling Moss, where all donations will go to the British Legion charity. The lunch is the brainchild of one of Mews’ investors, Ashley Levett, who wants to make the event an annual affair and get a raft of other London restaurants on board for next year. Here’s hoping fellow eateries will flock to a good cause.