RESTLESS IN THE CITY FOR YANK BANKERS

NO rest for our American friends in the City, it seems. The Capitalist had a snoop around some of the biggest US banks’ UK branches yesterday, hoping to find them wonderfully empty due to an outflow of traders to celebrate America’s biggest holiday of the year.

But no, it seems our bankers were hard at work into the evening hours yesterday.

It was “business as usual” at both Goldman Sachs and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, with one exception: the canteens of both were given over to a Thanksgiving themed lunch of turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie to offer some cheer to all the hard-working yanks.

Over at Investec, however, the celebrations were on a grander scale – if somewhat cosmopolitan. Traders headed off to Canary Wharf early for a curry with their brokers. Not particularly traditional, but certainly a uniquely British style of celebration.

But it wasn’t necessarily to thank the pilgrim fathers for their foresight. Instead, they were celebrating a day of thin trading and lazy markets.

Each to their own.

CITY VERSUS LYCRA
TO mark its official sponsorship of Team Sky – the pro-tour cycling team – spreadbetting firm IG Group is holding a City suits versus the cycling pros bike race at Broadgate today.

City folk, including several lycra-clad IG senior traders, will be pitting their cycling skills against Britain’s cycling Olympic gold medallist and Team Sky leader Bradley Wiggins. While all slots to race against the champion himself are taken, the opportunity to watch the suits sweat it out over a one-mile course on a stationary bike – with all the huffing and puffing and sweating that it entails – is surely worth a gander. And if that’s not enough to tempt you along, perhaps Wiggin’s characteristic honesty could lure you there.

After struggling up a Pyrenean mountain in this year’s Tour De France race he told reporters: “I’ve got nothing. I just don’t have the form, it’s as simple as that. I just feel consistently mediocre.”

You never know, if Wiggins not on form again, then the suits could be in with a chance.
To find out, turn up today between 10am and 3.30pm to witness the battle of the bikes.

STELIOS STAR
EASYJET entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou in partnership with the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity, last night picked a businesswoman for the worthy winner of the annual Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs and a cheque for £50,000 for Tiny Mites Music. Vanessa Heywood was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1995, forcing her to give up her career as a professional actress, singer and dancer. Rather than wallowing in her sorrows, she took advantage of her musical talent and set up a business offering live and recorded music sessions aimed at young children.

CRYSTALLISED SOOT
TIMES may be tough, but the sparklers are still pulling in the buyers. Gem Diamonds yesterday raked in a not-to-be-sniffed at $22.7m from the sale of two of its large diamonds – a generously proportioned 184 carat diamond and 196 carat diamond respectively. Not bad for a piece of crystallised soot!