The common complaint about City A.M. in its infancy was that it was hard to pick up outside the City, Canary Wharf and Mayfair.
Readers generally loved the paper but wanted to read it on their way into work rather than when they arrived at their destination.
So, over the past couple of years we have been re-jigging our distribution range by substituting some areas with others and many of you will have noticed the paper has been available at tube stations and overground stations nearer to your homes.
Earlier this year, we went one stage further, increasing the overall circulation of the newspaper by 30 per cent, with the majority of the new copies outside our traditional central destinations.
This has been a truly dramatic strategic development. It enables readers to devote more time to the newspaper if they wish and it gives more people the chance to pick us up. So far the signs are encouraging, according to our recent readership survey which hundreds of you filled in.
2012 has been a year of further growth for City A.M. We organised our first ever event, Active Trader, which attracted hundreds of people to a conference aimed at giving traders fresh perspectives on their investing strategies. There will be a second such event in the year to come.
In October, we staged our third annual awards event, at which the guest speaker Boris Johnson spoke wittily and affectionately about the newspaper and the important role that financial services play in this great City.
Personality of the year went to Sebastian Coe – who else? – the man who delivered the near flawless Olympic Games to reaffirm what London and Londoners can achieve. “London, we did it right,” said Coe in his final address at the Olympic stadium and there are few who would disagree with him. The Olympics gave us and the capital at large a summer we will never forget.
On another front, we launched our lifestyle magazine Bespoke earlier this year and there are plans to expand our digital coverage, with an enhanced and redesigned web-site. There are also plans to expand our coverage of careers.
For many, the year that is just passing has not been an easy one. Some of the City’s core employers have been retrenching, especially the investment banks who have been struck by lower business volumes together with stiffer regulation.
There has also been consolidation at some of the mid-sized banks, with Investec buying out Alex Snow’s Evolution and Canaccord Genuity merging with Collins Stewart. Again job losses have followed but the hope is that the market is slowly returning to a more profitable, less oversupplied, basis.
It has been a year of fewer IPOs in London than in recent years but one that did get away towards the end of the year, Direct Line, has maybe breathed some life into an otherwise moribund market. We can only hope.
Mergers and acquisitions have been down too, but one gigantic deal, the merger of Glencore and Xstrata, did finally get completed after many hitches along the way.
Elsewhere, we’ve got much to look forward to, including the pronouncements of the new Canadian governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney. There’s nothing to suggest so far that Carney will be short of candid views.
We’re back on 2 January and we hope you will be here too.
Until then, whatever you are up to, have a very merry Christmas.
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■ Allister Heath is away