AHEAD of the property industry’s annual invasion of Cannes for the Mipim conference next week, The Capitalist caught up with a keen group of attendees that set-off early yesterday – by bike.
Cyclists from the likes of DTZ, CBRE and Argent eschewed private jets in favour of a more scenic route. Feeling positive at the starting line, Argent partner Nick Searl told The Capitalist: “My favourite part of cycling is the clothes – what else lets a middle-aged man dress head to toe in brightly coloured lycra?” He was keeping his eyes on the prize – not Boris Johnson waiting to greet the group – but “the cold beer at the end that will make it all worthwhile”.
■ As to be expected, the drinks were flowing at corporate comms giant FTI Consulting’s Claridges drinks party last night. However, the timing of the gathering proved rather awkward for the firm’s senior managing director, economist and City A.M. shadow MPC member Vicky Pryce, who was found guilty of perverting the course of justice just a few hours before guests were due in the hotel ballroom. The Capitalist wouldn’t be surprised if party-loving Pryce – who hosted her own big bash just the weekend before her trial – made an appearance. However, an executive at the firm told The Capitalist he wasn’t expecting her, but she was, he hastened to add, still on the invite list.
■ Award winners are used to being interrupted mid-speech, however at the Business Finance Awards at Mayfair’s Millenium Hotel on Wednesday evening, The Capitalist hears that the opposite was the case when Morrisons’ group finance director Richard Pennycook was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In an awkward exchange, Pennycook had to politely remind guest speaker Michael Portillo – who was rapidly trying to wrap up the evening – that he was still standing at the lectern on stage, having yet to grace the audience with his words of acceptance.