LONG FORGOTTEN stockbroking firms were revived at Drapers’ Hall last night at the reunion for all those who worked on the London Stock Exchange floor before the Big Bang.
Seligman Harris, Phillips & Drew, Capel Cure Myers and Quilter & Co – all consigned to City history, but former staff such as Phil Cole still remember the days of paying “one and thruppence” for a week’s supply of paper collars at AJ Neils.
One early female pioneer after the LSE changed its rules to admit women in 1973 was Barbara Gill, who met John, her husband of 28 years, when she worked at Vanderfelt and he worked at Scrimgeour Kemp Gee, where his nickname was “pit prop”.
The youngest person at the party was Daniel Broby, 47, who has risen to become chief investment officer of Silk Invest after starting at Buckmaster & Moore aged 22. The elder statesman, meanwhile, was Eden Financial’s Roy Cutts, 70, the current “father of the house” as the oldest former Stock Exchange employee still working in the City.
“The Stock Exchange floor was the university of life,” he told The Capitalist. “You learned how to behave and to treat people fairly – I have never regretted it for one minute.”
“The City was calmer, there was more time to think, and one was able to build very good relationships with one’s clients, who became friends,” added European American Capital’s Martin Jaske on life before the 27 October 1986 watershed.
A sentiment shared by Simon Cowan of Redmayne Bentley, who concluded: “However much money people made after the Big Bang, it was never going to compensate for the camaraderie and fun the Stock Exchange instilled in people.”