MAN GROUP AIDE PLOTS FAME, SEX AND RUIN

MANAGING the press coverage of Man Group’s multimillionaire hedge fund manager Pierre Lagrange is not a nine-to-five job.

Which is partly why it taken Man Group’s head of media relations David Waller eight years “on and off” to complete his second historical biography around his day job, this time on his scandalous great-uncle Eugen Sandow.

The Perfect Man, which launches this evening at the Heywood Hill bookshop, charts the rise and fall of the Victorian celebrity, in his day one of the most famous people on the planet and one of the first to build a global business empire around his name.

“He is the only interesting ancestor I have,” said Waller, who promises new insights on Sandow’s ignominious demise and the sex scandals that beset his final years.

“There is a serious point, however fleeting, on the nature of celebrity and the industry that goes around it,” he added, reminding that Sandow died in poverty and is buried in an unmarked grave in Putney Vale cemetery. “It is a morality tale for our time.”

SILVER LINING
MODERN Greece may be a write-off, but in classical times the silver mining town of Laurium was a chief revenue provider for the Athenian state. A sound choice, then, as the name of Liberum Capital’s first fund, as the stockbroker looks to achieve half a billion pounds of funds under management within five years.

The mining private equity fund was christened by Christophe Urtel, who will co-manage Laurium with Philippe Cayrol, and investors include a “relatively private” family office and Liberum staff, who have put in £1m. The first investment deal, with a Nigerian gold explorer, is set to be signed before Christmas.

“Perceptions of Nigeria are pretty terrible but it will become the biggest economy in Africa next year,” said Liberum’s mining director Michael Rawlinson.

LAW OF ATTRACTION
ALLEN & Overy partner Andrei Baev remains “as passionate about the success” of the law firm as he has been for the past 11 years.

Nevertheless, he is leaving to become a partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner, where he will split his time between London and Moscow as “a function of my personal circumstances today”.

“A very attractive opportunity has presented itself which resonates with me at a personal level,” Baev informs his best contacts. Russian and CIS nuclear, mining and infrastructure projects have never sounded so appealing.

EURO VISION
THERE was no speech from chief executive Simon Walker at the Institute of Directors’ drinks reception – “I think people have had enough speeches” – giving the guests at least an extra 10 minutes to talk about the Eurozone. “I don’t think people were cheering from the rooftops,” said Walker of David Cameron’s decision to walk away from the EU negotiating table last Friday. “But the consensus is he had no choice.”

The Pall Mall party was attended by a mix of private equity, business, politics and think-tank names. Apax managing partner Adrian Beecroft, Tory MP Laura Sandys, Lastminute.com founder Brent Hoberman (pictured left), and Eamonn Butler and Madsen Pirie from the Adam Smith Institute all made it through the IoD’s doors.