FAMILY made their fortune digging for diamonds in the Congo and Sierra Leone, but Made in Chelsea stalwart Francis Boulle is interested in mines of a different kind.
Fundmine, to be precise, an online investment platform that allows entrepreneurs to sell their company visions to private investors that has to date attracted £8.7m of backing.
Boulle, the son of privacy-conscious diamond tycoon Max Boulle, who was last seen running an unbranded banking and mining investment firm in the tropics, is launching the site on 1 December in partnership with private art dealer Jacob Harmer.
“Word of mouth” has taken the well-connected pair so far, but Fundmine – conceived as a response to the lack of government money available to SMEs – is now offering entrepreneurs a free proposal to be included on the platform on launch, adding to the 100 media, telecoms, property and, naturally, mining businesses already on board.
Serious investment proposals only though, says the man who brought sexymp.co.uk to the nation, adding that he is now “too busy” to commit to another series of the reality show that made him a household name – beyond the Made In Chelsea Christmas special, obviously. “I need to get on with my projects,” he told The Capitalist. “But I won’t rule it out.”
A DOWNBEAT assessment of Unicredit from Morgan Stanley and Citi yesterday, with one bearish Citi analyst noting: “We believe asset quality remains the main area of concern… and execution risk remains high.”
“Near-term, the stock may come under technical pressure,” agreed Morgan Stanley, downgrading its 2012/13 forecasts by ten per cent and slashing its price target 14 per cent.
Neither analyst’s view is particularly helpful to Unicredit’s forthcoming £6.4bn rights issue, as announced to great fanfare on Monday. But then that won’t bother Citi or Morgan Stanley, since neither has been asked to advise on the lucrative deal.
SAVE OUR SOULS
DESPERATE times call for desperate measures. And things have become so bad in the City that bankers are this morning being prayed for at St Helen’s Bishopsgate.
“We’ll spend the largest part of our time in prayer for the City, in particular for the professions represented in the West End,” the organisers of the City Prayer Breakfast told The Capitalist. Could they possibly mean the likes of Mayfair hedge funds Lansdowne Partners and Odeys, in the news recently for all the wrong reasons?
Best to ask prayer leader Michael Farmer (below), the RK Capital Management boss known as Mr Copper after he turned MG Metals into the world’s largest copper trader.
“Let light shine out of darkness,” was the committed Christian’s message of hope from 2 Corinthians 4:6, proving that yes, it is possible to worship both God and Mammon.
SOME number crunching: £2.8 million – the amount vulnerable people’s charity Norwood raised at its annual dinner attended by London Mayor Boris Johnson, Topshop mogul Sir Philip Green, Deloitte’s insolvency head Neville Kahn and Shard developer Irvine Sellar.
Three million: the amount the Richard Desmond-backed charity is attempting to save each year, after implementing cost-cutting measures in response to hearing it will lose £4m in annual funding by 2015 due to local authority spending cuts.
“Our challenges at this time are great and the needs of our community are growing,” said Norwood’s new CEO Elaine Kerr. “We are only going to be limited by our drive, ideas and available funding. It’s only the latter that we don’t have in abundance.”
MAN OF LEISURE
HE’S BACK: Philip Sandzer, the property industry veteran who founded the leisure agency Shelley Sandzer in the 1980s before disappearing overseas to do charity work.
Seven years after selling his leisure-focused firm, Sandzer has made a “full-time return” to commercial property as head of a new retail and leisure division at DeVono.
He won’t represent landlords, though, only tenants, under the firm’s “no conflict” model – and Topps Tiles, Ping Pong and Corney & Barrow are already knocking on the door.
AS CHIEF executive of motor repairer Nationwide Accident Repair Services, Michael Wilmshurst sees his fair share of painting – car bonnets, that is.
But what Wilmshurst lacks in artistic talent is more than made up for by his creatively named son, Lewk, who has been named as a finalist in this year’s Saatchi Online Showdown, the competition launched by advertising guru and art collector Charles Saatchi as a platform for emerging artists.
The artwork that won the day is the intricate drawing “Morphogenesis//a grain of sand to glass”, which will hang in the Saatchi Gallery alongside the other winners.