IT WAS unseasonably cold at the preview of this week’s Chelsea Flower Show – so the Queen, mindful of her constitution, didn’t stop to admire every single show garden.
However, she did manage to drop in on the Royal Bank of Canada’s New Wild Garden, designed by Nigel Dunnett of The Landscape Agency, where Lynn Patterson, the bank’s director of corporate responsibility and John Burbidge, chief executive of RBC Capital Markets for Europe and Asia, were “deeply honoured” to meet her Majesty.
Burbidge stayed on for the evening’s gala dinner, where he and Ross Jennings, director of RBC Wealth Management, hosted a client party alongside RBC Capital Markets’ Patrick Meier, head of investment banking for Europe, and Josh Critchley, head of equity capital markets.
Elsewhere at the Chelsea showgrounds, Stephen Hester, group CEO of RBS, braved the wind to admire the award-winning flowerbeds, as former Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson and ITV chairman Archie Norman retreated inside the marquee for “a bit of a chat” in a more sheltered corner.
A “very tall” power trio from the show’s sponsor M&G Investments and its owner Prudential – Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam, chairman Harvey McGrath and M&G chief executive Mike McLintock – held court for the evening, while Deutsche Bank managing director Charles Wilkinson hosted a party for the new CEO of software firm Sage, Guy Burruyer, on his first Chelsea outing as a FTSE 100 leader.
Former PM John Major was “on good form”, as was the “charming” former Barclays chairman Sir Peter Middleton, who attended the gala with his wife.
Also escorting his other half was Citi’s head investment banker David Wormsley, fresh from his bank’s co-advisory role on Glencore’s float this month, who caught up with spinner Guy Lamming of Finsbury, which handles the PR for the commodities giant. Wormsley also no doubt had a word with Glencore’s boss Ivan Glasenberg himself (pictured right), who made his flower show debut at the Monday night gala.
“Did Glasenberg try and buy the flower show?” wondered one mole of the commodities billionaire. An interesting question, but The Capitalist will have to find that out another time – by the time the dust settled on this year’s horticultural power gathering, Glasenberg (pictured below) was already halfway to Asia on a plane to Hong Kong.
ON THE subject of Glasenberg, The Capitalist hears there was an amusing exchange of presents yesterday between the Glencore chief and Xavier Rolet of the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Before hotfooting it to Hong Kong, Glasenberg took time to celebrate London’s largest-ever flotation with some of his extremely athletic-looking management team at the LSE headquarters.
Glasenberg presented Rolet with a huge toy truck to represent the commodity giant’s heritage, which Rolet duly promised to give pride of place among the stock’s exchange’s other top mementoes.
It sounds like Glasenberg got a good deal, though, since Rolet then presented him with a 1996 bottle of Boerl & Kroff champagne, thought to be worth around £1,000.