Yes, the Goldman crew are a tough crowd – but even the investment bank’s most hard-nosed deal-makers are being won over by the new Italian opposite the Goldman Sachs fortress on Fleet Street, which is gaining a reputation for the best coffee in the City.
The roaring trade in top-end iced lattes and freshly ground coffee from Broadway Market is even luring over Merrill Lynch bankers from their HQ off Paternoster Square – mainly because the restaurant was set up by their former colleague Daniel Land, 28, who left his highly paid job in corporate broking to set up the “reckless venture”.
A case of it takes one to know one, then. Land, whose business partner in the Coco Di Mama café is ex-Bain & Company consultant Jeremy Saunders, also 28, agreed the secret of the pair’s success is that “we were our customers”. “We understand the fact that our City clients are generally having a bad day,” said Land. “Getting out to buy your lunch is the high point in the day for people who are working unbelievably hard.”
Also backing the concept of healthy Italian food – billed as an alternative to “the same old loop of Prêt à Manger, Eat, Itsu and Wasabi” – is venture capitalist Arjun Waney, the serial entrepreneur behind the Roka and Zuma empire.
Land wouldn’t reveal how much Waney has invested – “it’s not really appropriate for us to say how much his stake is” – and the man himself couldn’t shed any more light as he is currently on a boat somewhere near Cannes. No doubt Waney will continue his “great guidance” – and announce launch dates for his forthcoming Mayfair ventures Aurelia and Banca – on his return from the leisurely two-month family vacation.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
SING when you are winning – or when you are an investment manager whose company sends you on a training evening to learn “control” from a master aria singer.
Such was the fate of Investec’s Tom Milnes, Michael Turner, Angus Oakshott, Jules Porter and Luke Kauntze, who last week found themselves being instructed by George Von Bergen, the star of Opera Holland Park’s production of Le Nozze Di Figaro. Von Bergen taught the senior executives how to “take control of the audience”.
The investment guinea pigs also learned the importance of “powerful presentation”, “emotional projection” and using eye contact and body language to convey “key messages and intonations” – all of which are, apparently, “valuable skills in the investment business”. Client meetings at Investec will never be the same again.
UBS pulled out all the stops to be appointed as an adviser on the part-privatisation of the Spanish national lottery – the biggest IPO in Spain on record – by presenting to the Loterias executives on iPads, as reported in The Capitalist on 23 June.
Pleasingly, the Swiss bank’s efforts have paid off, after The Capitalist hears UBS has made the final advisory cut on the €7bn float, alongside Credit Suisse, JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs with Spanish firms BBVA and Santander.
That’s an estimated €11m (£9.7m) advisory payday for an outlay of in the region of £5,000 for, say, a dozen iPads, currently retailing at £399 on the Apple store. As the UBS bosses will no doubt agree, that’s not a bad return on investment.
WIZARDS OF EC4
BERWIN Leighton Paisner has run two private Harry Potter screenings before so, to complete the trilogy, it put on a third film night at the Odeon in Leicester Square for part two of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows… in 3D.
BLP partners Michael Wistow, Matthew Kellett, Jonathan Kropman, Anthony Lennox and Chris De Pury came along with their children, as did 450 clients – also with their families – from BNY Mellon, Tesco, RBS and Land Securities.
BLP is proud of its strong client retention rate, pointing out that 80 per cent of its top 20 clients in 2001 are still with the law firm today – a statistic it believes is testament to “the fact we value and include our clients closely in the firm’s events”.
Not that closely, though – in a blow for readers hoping for a picture of BLP’s corporate contacts dressed as boy wizards, The Capitalist can confirm only the kids dressed up.