PWC BOARD PARADE IN PANTOMIME EXECUTION

IGNORANCE is bliss.

Just ask the children at PwC’s performance of Aladdin, who “didn’t have a clue” that the pantomime dames parading in front of them included four of the Big Four firm’s most senior auditors: Richard Oldfield, Richard Sexton, Stephanie Hyde and Kevin Ellis.

Far better to focus on the Justin Bieber showtunes, which were far more enthusiastically received than the walk-on turns by the PwC board, whose starring roles involved announcing guests at the ball scene “in time to the music”.

Taxing stuff. In case you missed the seven shows at the LSE’s Peacock Theatre, the high-octane production is now transferring to Newcastle for a further four performances over two nights from 9 February.

Ticket sales from both runs have allowed more than 7,000 children from inner-city schools to “enjoy” the PwC spectacle, now in its twenty-sixth year, for free.

RBS KNIGHTHOOD
ARISE, SIR Stephen. A far-fetched daydream in RBS chief Stephen Hester’s wildest imaginings? Or something the government has been considering behind the scenes and is about to announce to unsuspecting taxpayers in the near future?

The Capitalist only asks because a recent House of Commons briefing note has already conferred a knighthood on the man turning around Britain’s 83 per cent state-owned bank. “There is currently considerable interest in elements of the share bonus allocated to the chief executive of RBS, Sir Stephen Hester,” guides a standard note released on Friday on “banking executives’ remuneration in the UK”.

Indeed there is – no doubt there would also be “considerable interest” if the man who last night waived his 2011 bonus payment gets a KBE before RBS returns to profit. Somebody get the Tippex out – and fast…

THE SHARPE END
LAST Thursday’s EuroHedge awards, the annual event for the hedge fund elite, had a strict “no press” policy.

Perhaps the organisers were worried The Capitalist would report that Credit Suisse and Goldman hosted five tables apiece – “things can’t be that bad”, said a mole – or that the event décor was “completely OTT”.

The winners, meanwhile, who included Marshall Wace, Brevan Howard, CQS and GSA Capital, typically returned 15 to 25 per cent in 2011, with impressive Sharpe ratios of between 1.5 and two per cent.

One winning hedge fund, however, claimed a “strikingly consistent” Sharpe ratio of 6.5 per cent, said Eurohedge – an achievement The Capitalist hears the audience met with considerable envy...