Portillo to reveal shortlist for prize held by Bad Government

LAST year’s winner was the imaginatively titled Bad Government by Henrietta Simpson.

And tonight Michael Portillo will announce the shortlisted artworks for the 2012 annual Threadneedle Prize for Painting and Sculpture.

The prize, sponsored by the London-based investment manager Threadneedle Investments, has been increased this year to £30,000, making the accolade the country’s most valuable prize for a single work of art.

Judges including sculptor Peter Randall-Page and National Gallery curator Christopher Riopelle will narrow down the shortlist from a selection of 153 works showing at the Mall Galleries in Westminster from tomorrow.

This year, visitors to the exhibition will be able to view works including Helen Booth’s Separation – almost certainly not a comment on the coalition’s inner turmoil – and Domino Effect, something that Threadneedle’s Eurozone analysts might have something to say about themselves.

The exhibition will run until 13 October, with an awards dinner to announce the winner hosted by Victoria Coren on 10 October.

Art lovers will also be able to cast their votes for the winner of a special Visitors’ Choice Award, which The Capitalist can only hope might have a slightly more optimistic title than last year’s winner – Drained.

■ EMPLOYEES from Liberum Capital swapped their suits for spandex last week to take part in a 24-hour cycling challenge to celebrate the company’s fifth anniversary. The event was organised by the investment bank’s own charity, the Liberum Foundation, which holds two fundraisers each year to support three London based charities.

Simon Stilwell, chief executive of Liberum, explained that the foundation was set up to stand by the firm’s strong Liberum culture and to “give back to the local community”.

Keen to start the challenge, the employees at Liberum Capital channeled their collective inner Wiggins and managed to cycle over 1,880 kilometres on stationary bicycles parked in Central London. Employees found their competitive sides, teaming up to cycle the miles and win the anticipated Liberum Capital bonus. The suitably named team “Miles for St Giles” cycled to victory for St Giles Trust Charity while “Saddle Support” and “Cycle Pathic” raised money for School Home Support and Tiny Tickers respectively. Those that were less keen to jump into the saddle organised smaller events, with Liberum Capital also donating all their trading commissions made on the second day of cycling.

Overall the fundraiser raised over £120,000 with the chief executive from St Giles Trust, Rob Owen, displaying his gratitude by stating “it was a true Tour de Force if ever there was one!”