REWRITING THE RULE BOOK FOR CITY LIFE

RULES, rules, rules – it’s probably fair to say the financial services industry is getting a little sick of them by now, after being hit by a hammer blow of regulatory changes in the wake of the crisis.

But that hasn’t deterred Canon David Parrott, guild vicar of the St Lawrence Jewry church on the Guildhall yard, who’s taken it upon himself to re-write the City rule book – quite literally – in order to provide guidance on how to live a better life.

The original, written by former Lord Mayor Sir John Barnard in 1740, is still given to new Freemen of the City of London today, and features 36 short “rules” for life, along with references from the Bible to back them up.

Parrott – whose name may be familiar to some, since he shot to prominence earlier this year for blessing BlackBerries, phones and laptops at a Plow Monday service – has merely updated the rule book using modern English to make it more relevant for today.

“The challenges presented to the City by the financial state it has been in for the past couple of years have caused some people to question the values by which they live their lives – some of the same values which are central to the church,” says Parrott, who’s enlisted the business world’s most famous man of the cloth – HSBC chairman Stephen Green – to deliver the first of a series of lectures to mark the book’s launch later this month at St Lawrence Jewry.

The sub-headers to the rewritten book – “Rules for living the high-life without being a low-life”, for example – certainly sound like he’s hit the nail on the head on the advisory front.

TOP LIP TOPIARY
If you’ve felt baffled over the past week or so by the number of usually dapper gentlemen in the Square Mile who’ve been sporting sparse growths of hair on the upper lip, allow The Capitalist to explain.

We’re currently in the middle of “Movember”, the month when many men go through the public humiliation of growing a moustache from scratch, to raise funds and awareness for the Prostate Cancer Charity.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Stewart Jones is one charitable soul braving the abuse for a good cause, and tells me that the style of choice this year is shaping up to be the Mexican drop-down moustache. The reasoning? The more out-there the growth, the more likely it is that others will realise that you’re taking part, rather than just forgetting to have a proper shave in the mornings. Next stop: the Edwardian twizzle-sided moustache.

TALL ORDER
Useless trivia of the week, courtesy of the National Business Awards on Tuesday evening – where Dragon Peter Jones’ National Enterprise Academy was the charity partner.

The rather diminutive Capitalist had never realised, watching Jones on-screen, that he was such a statuesque fellow, standing an impressive 6’7” tall.

“That’s right,” he laughed. “You know what? When we’re filming in the Den, they even have to put Theo Paphitis’ chair on stilts so that I don’t look like such a giant…”