New approaches: network your way to the top in a private members’ club

THE IVY, SOHO

TYPICAL MEMBER: Members are usually already well connected. Duncan Bannatyne, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the BBC’s Mark Thompson have been spotted there recently.

STYLE: The management are hell bent on privacy. No cameras or phones. Membership is through recommendation only.

EASE OF NETWORKING: Great speaker events give you access to big-name celebrities.

EIGHT CLUB, BANK

TYPICAL MEMBER: Eight Club is the home of mainstream business people. “More banker types than entrepreneurs,”says one member.

STYLE: A stylish multi-purpose venue. The management are happy for members to use the place for work and play.

EASE OF NETWORKING: “It’s not easy to strike up a conversation with a stranger, but you can always take a guest there on a Friday night and get a seat at the bar.”

MORTON’S, MAYFAIR

TYPICAL MEMBER: The Mayfair home for hedge funders. Attracts “the older, Annabel’s crowd and younger women,” says one visitor.

STYLE: Competitively small and quiet for a private club. Prides itself on exclusivity.

EASE OF NETWORKING: The small setting and calm atmosphere is great for having those “get to know you” chats. The flashy decor helps if you’re trying to impress.

HOME HOUSE, MARYLEBONE

TYPICAL MEMBER: A down-to-earth habitat for the super successful. “It attracts more hedge fund managers than traders,” says one member.

STYLE: Utterly unpretentious. Everyone is welcome – even children and dogs.

EASE OF NETWORKING: “It’s not hard to strike up a conversation with strangers. The relaxed atmosphere and regular events make it easy to meet people.”

BATTERY CLUB, CANARY WHARF

TYPICAL MEMBER: The Canary Wharf home for those who work in finance.

STYLE: Riverside views, classic cocktails and a more conservative design gives this place a relaxed but relatively formal feel.

EASE OF NETWORKING: This calm, inoffensive space has the potential to take the edge off more difficult conversations.

SHOREDITCH HOUSE, SHOREDITCH

TYPICAL MEMBER: Come here to network with uber-trendy media types. An insider says the founders of successful startups like MindCandy and Moo are attracted to it.

STYLE: “Quite pretentious. They don’t want bankers as members. If you work in finance think carefully about how to describe yourself on your application form.”

EASE OF NETWORKING: Shared trendiness brings people together in this haunt.


INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS, PALL MALL

TYPICAL MEMBER: Full membership is strictly for company directors.

STYLE: “It’s more of a campaigning, educational organisation. It just so happens to offer you access to its stunning premises and bar.”

EASE OF NETWORKING: The management actively encourage it: regular events and workshops offer plenty of opportunities for you to meet other directors.

THE LONDON CAPITAL CLUB, THE CITY

TYPICAL MEMBER: Old school bankers. Angela Knight is on the board and BCG’s media spokesman David Buik has been spotted there.

STYLE: Seriously old fashioned.

EASE OF NETWORKING: Great if you want to socialise with the older generation. Absolutely no wacky modern art or drum and base.

OTHER IDEAS | CLUBBING

IF YOU prefer the idea of taking your contacts to a different place every time you see them, you should consider taking them clubbing, says Tim Badham, the director of concierge service Innerplace. “Clients love to be entertained in the right sort of club.” Here are Badham’s top three.

BUNGALOW 8. Inside St. Martin’s Lane Hotel, this exclusive night club attracts plenty of high-net worths.

THE BOX. Simply the coolest place to go in Soho at the moment if you’re a City boy or girl.

MADDOX. “The ideal place to entertain clients late into the evening,” says Badham.

Contact: Innerplace on www.innerplace.co.uk