BIG BUSINESS came to Montenegro this weekend, lured by the £1m fortieth birthday celebrations for Nat Rothschild, the billionaire scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
Peter Mandelson, Russian investor Oleg Deripaska and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich were among the 300 oligarchs and mining magnates who flew to “the St Tropez of the Adriatic” for the party, while Peter Munk, the Canadian gold mining tycoon, gave a speech outlining the commodities billionaire’s many achievements.
“It was amazing really,” said one partied-out City guest between yawns, in an admirably succinct account of the three-day extravaganza that hopped from the Aman hotel to a “disco soirée” around a newly built infinity pool in the marina.
No sign of former BP chief executive Tony Hayward though, according to The Capitalist’s source, even though as Rothschild’s co-founder in the oil and gas investment vehicle Vallares he was widely expected to attend.
If this weekend’s reports are to be believed, perhaps Hayward was too busy closing the deal for Vallares’ takeover of Kurdistan oil producer Genel Enerji…
MEANWHILE, BP’s chairman Carl-Henrik Svanberg was spotted at the Frontier Economics summer party at The Wallace Collection last Thursday, hosted by the consultancy’s chair Baroness Hogg.
Hogg, the former chairman of 3i Group, was joined by her successor Sir Adrian Montague, British American Tobacco’s chairman Richard Burrows and cabinet secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell, the evening’s speaker.
Holding court surrounded by fine French art, the country’s top civil servant brought the house down with one of his more radical solutions to the ageing population. “Offering free cocaine and hang-gliding lessons to the over-eighties,” said O’Donnell – tongue firmly in cheek, obviously.
IN AT THE DEEP END
HERE’S the Lord Mayor as you won’t have seen him before (below): in a smart 1950s-style bathing suit as he prepared to swim ten widths of Hampstead Heath Lido in aid of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal on Saturday.
“We didn’t succeed in drowning the Mayor this year,” said a Corporation of London mole on the annual event. David Wootton, the preferred candidate to succeed Bear in November, had better watch out…
THE VULTURES are already circling the carcass of the News of the World. Before the ink was already dry on the commemorative final edition of the red-top, its rivals the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror had already booked inserts offering cheap deals to convert bereft NoTW readers.
“As you will have noticed, today is the last issue of the News of the World,” said the Mirror’s ad for its 70p deal. “But I wanted to tell you all about the Sunday Mirror – a newspaper that is all about your life, your concerns and your interests.”
The NoTW made no advertising income from yesterday’s issue, with all ad space given to charities for free and pre-booked revenue donated to good causes. So did Trinity Mirror and Associated Newspapers also make a donation to charity in return for stealing the NoTW’s readers? Or did the NoTW allow its rivals to promote themselves for free, as the ultimate final gesture of goodwill to its own industry? The questions continue…