ROBERT Tchenguiz will henceforth be known as Robert the Lionheart, after the billionaire property developer was spotted singing The Lion Sleeps Tonight from the film The Lion King in Selfridges.
The sighting took place at 5.30pm on the evening of the now infamous yacht party at MIPIM in Cannes last Thursday, when a social contemporary of the brothers recognised Robert from their common haunts in Knightsbridge in the 1980s.
While Vincent Tchenguiz made his excuses from the Cannes party – joking that like F Scott Fitzgerald’s hero Jay Gatsby he doesn’t show up at the parties he throws – his brother Robert was back in London, treating his son to a trip around the retailer’s toy department.
“Talk about loud: he was singing “in the jungle, the mighty jungle” from The Lion King at the top of his voice over and over again,” said this column’s source, who added that the property mogul seemed to be “in a bit of a world of his own”.
Robert Tchenguiz confirmed the sighting at the Oxford Street store to The Capitalist, although he took pains to make clear that he was singing the Lion King tune with his young son, inspired by the toy lions they were looking at.
Whatever you say, Robert – sing when you’re winning, and all that.
TOP OF THE WORLD
BASIL Geoghegan, former investment banker with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, has earned a reputation for high achievement over his City career.
But advising Anglo Irish Bank at the height of its crisis will seem like a walk in the park compared to his latest challenge: climbing Mount Everest to raise funds for the Forgotten Irish campaign for the Ireland Fund of Great Britain, of which Geoghegan is co-chairman.
Taking advantage of a two-month window before he starts a new role at Citi, Geoghegan has started his training in earnest, involving giving up alcohol, sleeping in a hypoxic tent and climbing in the Alps three days a week (pictured right in training with his daughter Julia).
Geoghegan, who has so far scaled Mount McKinley, Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, intends to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain in late May and says the feat is a “very personal challenge” to help a vulnerable group for whom every day is a challenge. To support his climb, see www.justgiving.com/BasilGeoghegan.
PROOF – as if any were needed – that the City is an insanely competitive place comes from Ernst & Young, which hired the world’s former number two player Peter Marshall just in time for the Square Mile’s largest squash tournament.
Marshall (pictured above), who joined the auditing giant as a healthcare consultant in July last year, missed out on last year’s Square Mile Corporate Challenge, which runs alongside the pro event the ISS Canary Wharf Classic.
But he was quickly drafted onto the team for this year’s tournament, where he helped Ernst & Young beat Barclays Capital to take a place in the semi-final against PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Even though Marshall retired from professional squash in 2002, his racket skills should still be sharp enough to give the City’s finest players more than a run for their money – watch this space to see whether he can take Ernst & Young all the way to the grand final next Friday, where the firm will meet either Credit Suisse or the FSA.