A RIFLE through the proxy statement issued by Goldman Sachs to its shareholders ahead of tomorrow’s general meeting throws the spotlight firmly back on compensation – and it seems the firm’s executives aren’t the only ones being scrutinised.
That’s right – not only are investors being asked to give their thoughts on the pay packages of chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, finance director David Viniar and general counsel Esta Stecker, they’re also encouraged to have a gander at their offspring as well.
“A child of each of Mr. Blankfein, Ms. Stecher and Mr. Viniar, all of whom were non-executive employees of the firm during fiscal 2009, received compensation for fiscal 2009 of approximately $155,000, $200,000 and $225,000, respectively,” the proxy statement reminds shareholders, helpfully.
The Capitalist isn’t sure that Blankfein’s son Alex, Viniar’s stepdaughter and Stecher’s son – who all graduated years ago – will be too happy at being labelled “children”, though it certainly pays to keep it in the family.
PRIME REAL ESTATE
An eagle-eyed reader emails through a link to a Gumtree advert posted last week, entitled “Quick sale needed for desirable central London house”.
“Fully furnished 6 bedroomed house in central London. Desirable area. Close to West End. Walking distance from London’s best theatres and restaurants.
“Gated road. 24/7 manned security. 10 mins walk from Westminster tube. (Jubilee line) Grand Staircase. 4 Reception Rooms. Study. 6 En-Suite Bedrooms. Cabinet Room. 2 Luxurious Drawing Rooms.
“Neo-classical style, may require modernisation. Lots of potential. Looking for quick exchange. Moving back to Kirkcaldy, Scotland.
“Please email with any questions or more pictures, Gordon.”
The asking price for Number 10? An eminently reasonable £3m. Form an orderly queue, now.
Today’s general election is one of many, many firsts – and the latest to add to that list is none other than bookie William Hill, which is following in the lead of the bond markets by opening through the night to allow punters to gamble on the result right up to the bitter end. In order to keep on raking in the cash – the firm is predicting record political betting turnover of £25m this time around – William Hill is keeping telephone and online betting open all night, the first time it has ever done that for a political event.
Predictably, the shortest odds are on a hung parliament or an outright Conservative majority (both at 5/6).
Meanwhile, over at spread betting firm Sporting Index, I hear the traders are being encouraged to put their individual political tendencies aside and don blue caps, shirts and ties in support of a Tory victory – the firm is very long on Tory seats, meaning any majority for Cameron will have the pennies pouring in.
Another man desperate for a Tory victory today is Hargreave Hale fund manager Patrick Evershed, the long-standing president of the Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association.
Evershed – whose high-profile constructive dismissal claim against his former employer, New Star founder John Duffield, is due in the Court of Appeal next week – tells me he’s been hard on the electioneering trail now for 65 years, since he was just four years old.
“All the way back in 1945, I was helping my mother campaign for the Conservatives – she held the dog on a lead and I pushed envelopes through the letter boxes,” he recalls. “My family has a long history in politics, right back to my great-grandfather Sydney Evershed [one of the founders of brewer Marston Thompson & Evershed], who was a liberal MP in Burton-upon-Trent…”
Now we’re officially out of recession: a Picasso painting of his mistress Marie-Therese Walter sold at auction earlier this week for a record $106m (£70m).
The 1932 work – entitled “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” – was sold at Christie’s in New York after not being seen publicly in 50 years. It was snapped up by an anonymous buyer from a collection assembled by late Los Angeles art patrons Frances and Sidney Brody.
For all those still wondering where they’re going to drink the night away tonight as the election results trickle in, look no further.
One of the biggest election parties in London will be taking place at the Sports Cafe on Haymarket, which is due to host around 700 people watching the action unfold on 60 big screens with projectors.
Tickets are £25 with food and drink served all night, and best of all, the first drink is on the house…
OFF THE PLINTH
Yesterday marked six months to the day from the date the Sir Keith Park memorial statue was erected on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, the result of an awareness campaign funded by City veteran Terry Smith, chief executive of Tullett Prebon.
The statue was taken down yesterday after its stint on the plinth, with Smith hosting a glittering reception at the Canadian embassy on Tuesday evening to celebrate Park, an air chief marshal in the RAF during the Battle of Britain in 1940.
It will be replaced by a permanent bronze statue on a plinth in Waterloo Place, to be unveiled on 15 September.