THE PACE was frenetic as Ronnie Wood approached the euro interest rates desk with intent to broker a multimillion deal for BGC Partners at yesterday’s fundraiser to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
“How do you like being a trader?” The Capitalist asked the Rolling Stone as he moved on to the euro and dollar corporates broking ring surrounded by burly minders. “It’s fantastic thanks,” said Wood, clapping his hands as his Brazilian girlfriend Ana Araujo looked on admiringly. “I’ve done two million, fifty billion… I don’t know.”
In actual fact, Wood had traded two million Shell bonds under the eye of Euro corporates broker Daniel Carter – “he got it down quite easily” – although he was trumped by Cherie Blair, who handled an $100m interest rates swap between Deutsche Bank and RBS. “Now I can go back to my son Euan, who works at Morgan Stanley, and say I have done a deal,” she said, passing the phone back to IRS broker Robert Brown with relief.
Also assisting the BGC brokers with their multimillion-pound trading deals were London Mayor Boris Johnson; HRH Prince Harry; Spurs manager Harry Redknapp and his football pundit son Jamie; TalkSport presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray, who broadcast their daily radio show from the trading floor; and country singer Dolly Parton, who instructed the traders via video link from America to: “Get out there and work nine to five to raise more money than ever before.”
Meanwhile, Speaker’s wife Sally Bercow, out in force to raise money for Scope, revealed she has “no regrets” about taking part in Celebrity Big Brother – not least because of meeting the “fantastic” Paddy Doherty, the traveller from Salford who went on to win the show. He is now on the Bercows’ Christmas card list alongside X Factor act Jedward.
As trading on the US markets gathered pace, it was too early to call how much money the day would raise for the 79 beneficiary charities, but the firm’s newly retired market analyst David Buik was confident last year’s total would be beaten, despite the emotion of the day and the fear in the global markets. “We started very slowly but the pace is picking up,” added interest rates broker Joseph Allegue. “Our clients are being very supportive – they know what we are doing and they are really helping us out.”
And, in a sober reminder of the terrorist atrocities that killed two-thirds of the workforce of Cantor Fitzgerald, Shaun Lynn, the global president and London chief executive of BGC Partners, which spun off from the London office of Cantor Fitzgerald in 2004, spoke of his hope the company can finally start to put the tragedy behind it.
Speaking after witnessing the “incredible grief” of the victims’ families at the ten-year 9/11 memorial in the shadow of the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square on Sunday, Lynn (left) told The Capitalist: “We will never forget, and we are not drawing a line under the tragedy.
“But ten years marks the point at which we can start to move on.”