AN UPDATE on the saga of Stephen Schwarzman, the Blackstone Group chief executive who ruffled a feather or two recently by comparing the plight of the private equity industry to the Second World War.
The ever-outspoken Schwarzman, peeved at the ongoing battle between US politicians and the sector over increasing its tax burden, claimed: “It’s a war. It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland…” At the time, calls to elicit an explanation for the remarks fell on deaf ears, though Schwarzman has now crawled out of the woodwork to offer an apology – of sorts.
“I apologise for what was an inappropriate analogy,” he told the New York Post. “However, the fundamental issue of the administration’s need to work productively with business for the benefit of the overall economy is still of very serious concern, not only to me, but also to large parts of the business community…”
Talk about banging the drum.
JAZZ IN THE CITY
Within the financial community, jazz is most definitely the new black. Hot on the heels of the Canary Wharf jazz festival last weekend, word arrives of a new supper club venture being launched by the swanky 1 Lombard Street eatery, a stone’s throw from Bank station.
The restaurant’s new Saturday jazz nights will begin in September, with live performances every week and a seasonal themed menu from chef partner Herbert Berger.
Vocalist Anita Wardell opens the line-up on 4 September, followed in subsequent weeks by the Alex Garnett Quartet, pianist John Critchinson and his trio playing the music of Cole Porter, and male vocalist Atila with songs from jazz legend Johnny Mercer.
1 Lombard Street has joined up for the new venture with Jazz FM – which, I hear, was prompted to increase its exposure to the Square Mile on the back of the popularity of its Sunday night show Jazz in the City. The programme features music chosen by a different City luminary each week and is hosted by Schroders fund manager Andy Brough and Paul Kavanagh from Killik & Co – it hit the airwaves in January and so far, it’s going down a storm.
A clap on the back to Tori Brough, the long-time chief spinner over at Thomson Reuters, who yesterday announced she’s going to a new job.
The gig in question is at the London Stock Exchange and will involve “heading up the group’s corporate communications and media relations function”. There’s no official job title at the moment, mind, since that would be a bit of a kick in the teeth to the firm’s erstwhile corporate comms director John Wallace – who was “let go” from the firm in May as part of a drive by chief executive Xavier Rolet (above) to streamline the marketing function…
BACK TO WORK
Reports that Hewlett-Packard’s former chief executive Mark Hurd has been inundated with offers to return to work will be welcome news for his supporters, led by Oracle boss Larry Ellison. Hurd, you remember, was cleared of sexually harassing former porn star Jodie Fisher, but resigned after an investigation uncovered irregularities in his expenses. Apparently, he’s informed chums that he next wants to do something about which he is “passionate”.