MORE Far Eastern joy for HSBC chief Michael Geoghegan, who relocated to Hong Kong earlier this year as part of a drive by the bank to up its focus on Asia.
Geoghegan yesterday cut the ribbon on the bank’s swanky new China HQ, located in a shiny tower at the heart of the Shanghai finance complex.
The new digs are as all-singing and all-dancing as you’d expect, with glass, steel and pre-approval for a gold certificate in energy and environmental design. They’ve also got a pair of the bank’s lion sculptures sitting outside – a custom which has been taken up by HSBC headquarters all over the world, including Canary Wharf, after their inception in 1923. (The lions, whose paws are traditionally rubbed for good luck by passers-by, were then nicknamed Stephen and Stitt after two of the bank’s senior managers.)
But best of all for the firm’s staff, the headquarters occupy 22 floors of the 53-storey tower, directly below the über-swanky Ritz Carlton hotel, complete with fine dining restaurants, ballroom, spa and the full works.
“We’re all hoping they’ll look kindly on their neighbours when it comes to discount rates,” whispers one HSBC insider, happily.
Joke of the day, courtesy of Mark Aedy, the head of EMEA investment banking at Moelis. Speaking at a roundtable event yesterday on the future of the European restructuring industry, Aedy took the chance to whip out a clever gag about the positioning of his company’s headquarters, located just opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, at the expense of Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein.
“I can’t go as far as to say we’re doing God’s work,” he quipped, “but we’re certainly sitting at the right hand of God.”
All the best to Rakshit Ranjan, the insurance analyst who last week resigned from Execution Noble to start up at Lloyds Banking Group – though he might want to take a piece of advice on board.
When emailing work contacts, it’s usually advisable to use a bog-standard email address rather than one you set up for fun – which, in Ranjan’s case, was a rather amusing “Rak.Stud@...”
IN THE LIMELIGHT
Spotted on Tuesday at a Royal Ascot fashion show and preview night in Knightsbridge: Nick Levene (top right), the financier who caused a stir in the City last year when he disappeared after former clients claimed he owed them money. Levene later reappeared saying he had simply attended the Priory for treatment for gambling addiction.
I hear he kept very low-key at his first outing back on the social scene, watching the show and sipping his drink quietly.
TITS ON A STICK
A touch of good fortune for Citi, which is currently subject of a lawsuit from the smokin’ hot Debrahlee Lorenzana (left) over in the States. Lorenzana, you remember, claims unfair dismissal because her bosses thought she was “too gorgeous”.
Now, though, some genius has unearthed a past documentary about plastic surgery featuring Lorenzana, who’s actually had two boob jobs, liposuction and a mini tummy tuck.
“I love plastic surgery,” she gushes in the film. “I wanna look like a [Playboy] Playmate... I wanna be tits on a stick!”
Surely that won’t help her case?