TRADERS PLUMP FOR THE LIFE OF LEISURE

CITY traders prone to bemoaning their lengthy working hours and stressful days might want to consider hopping over to New York the next time they get itchy feet.

For an attack of the green-eyed monster is sweeping Wall Street after a newspaper profile late last week of the founders of Briargate Trading – who seem to have discovered the very epitome of a “work-life balance”.

Rick Oscher and Steven Rubinstein, 20-year veterans of the NYSE trading floor, work a grand total of a couple of hours a day, concentrating their efforts on the manic open and close of the market.

The rest of the time they spend trying out the City’s finest restaurants, playing tennis or golf, spending time at their children’s school and generally hanging out.

“I can go play 18 holes of golf and then come back and trade and that’s a workday,” boasted Rubinstein to the Wall Street Journal.

Says his partner: “If someone offered us three times what we make to do a real job, we wouldn’t do it. Money isn’t everything…”

Talk about the life o’Riley.

REVOLVING DOOR
At last, confirmation arrives of a development in the small cap space that The Capitalist has been predicting for a while.

Former Toscafund hedge fund manager Paul Compton has been on the hiring trail since starting at WH Ireland a month or two ago – and he’s now sealed the deal with a team from Astaire to bolster the firm’s corporate relationships.

Ruari McGirr and Seb Wykeham – who led St Helen’s Capital before it was snapped up by then-Astaire boss Edward Vandyk not so long ago – join with immediate effect, focusing on small cap quoted entities, private equity and venture transactions, particularly in the resources sector.

CELEBRITY SPOTTING
A dose of celebrity for the Square Mile before the weekend as none other than Travis frontman Fran Healy turned up to do a spot of busking outside Deutsche Bank’s headquarters.

The appearance was perhaps something of a missed opportunity for Healy, who kept his guitar case closed and insisted he was campaigning only for War Child to be elected as the bank’s charity of the year.

One imagines that his renditions of classics “Why Does It Always Rain On Me”, “Sing”, and “Turn” would have squeezed quite a few pennies out of moneyed staffers passing by.

FASHION FORWARD
Banks and high fashion aren’t the most usual of bedfellows, but private bank Coutts is on a mission to change that preconception with the latest London Fashion Week-inspired window display at its headquarters on the Strand.

To mark its sponsorship of the LFW “Fashion Forward” award, Coutts recently commissioned a dress by last year’s winner Louise Goldin – made entirely out of paper. Apparently, the gown is supposed to raise awareness among entrepreneurs of the importance of business planning as well as creativity for success, though for most of the passers-by, it’s simply a beautiful piece of eye candy.

Following its exhibition in the bank’s headquarters, the garment is destined for a London museum.

SPORTING CHANCE
To the House of Commons late last week for a dinner hosted by Bhanu Choudhrie, the executive director of care homes-to-luxury hotels investment group C&C Alpha Group, to raise funds for British athletes off to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October.

Choudrie, also the chair of the business advisory board for the Commonwealth Games England 2010, lured MPs Keith Vaz, Sir Menzies Campbell and Sir Andrew Foster to rub noses with stars such as Dame Kelly Holmes, Darren Campbell and swimmer Karen Pickering to the event, which raised £85,000 for the athletes’ coffers. Holmes stumped up for a cosmetic dental surgery package (despite having a seemingly gleaming set of gnashers), while Campbell was outbid on a painting of Westminster signed by the unlikely trio of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.