LAUNCH OF STUDY INTO CITY FIRM DIVERSITY

Elizabeth Fournier
A LUCKY few got a sneak preview of Nomura’s brand new Angel Lane offices yesterday, as the bank played host to the launch of executive search firm Odgers Berndtson’s diversity study of 100 senior women in financial services.

The women that Odgers recruited to take part represent 54 organisations with a combined turnover of over £500bn, and the guestlist for the evening reflected the high-profile contributors to the study.

The study was introduced by Odgers chair Virginia Bottomley, with Standard Bank chief executive Jenny Knott also speaking in Nomura’s new Thames Suite, offering impressive views from the 11th floor of the new building.

Charlotte Sweeney, Nomura’s head of diversity programme, told The Capitalist that the report should provide a useful reference for City firms reviewing their diversity strategies – particularly as it overlaps on several points with the Lord Davies report released last month.

“Banks in particular have been focused on this for over a decade,” said Sweeney. “They need input for their continuous focus on development.”

One thing is for certain, any macho types planning to ignore the City’s current drive for diversity risk being left behind if they don’t get on board.

As Bottomley said: “Women will control 60 per cent of the UK’s private wealth by 2025, globally they are responsible for £13 trillion in consumer spending. Organisations will suffer unless they fully exploit the female talent in their midst.”

A POOR CONNECTION
OFCOM often talks about the demand for mobile spectrum (the waves your mobile phone uses to send data), telling us who should have it and why there isn’t enough. It could make even the best intentioned person drift off, but ears prick up when the amount raised by the last big spectrum auction is mentioned: £22.5bn.

It exceeded everybody’s expectations and gave the government a vast war-chest. But the adviser on that deal, Rothschild, was understood to have walked away with a relatively modest sum. Rather than negotiating a percentage cut of the final figure, the investment bank agreed to accept a flat fee, thought to be low single digit millions. Rothschild rather diplomatically declined to comment yesterday.

In the Parthenon of losers in the dotcom bubble, Rothschild is not a name that will be remembered. But we’d imagine that whoever is the adviser this time around will not agree to a flat fee.