EXTRA-curricular activities (of the character-building, not reputation-trashing, sort) have become rather popular in the City since improving one’s CV became more of a necessity than an idle pastime.
And in that spirit, keen Square Mile theatregoers will be happy to learn that SEDOS – the Stock Exchange Dramatic and Operatic Society – have been hard at work over the past months putting the final touches to The Wild Party, a musical starting its run today at the Bridewell Theatre.
Among the cast and crew are a whole host of City workers – including actors Bridget Cross from oil giant Shell, Paul Watson of actuarial firm Hymans Robertson and Karen Lister from insurance titan AIG, as well as company stage manager Amy Draw, who works at Barclays in Canary Wharf, and Bank of Scotland’s Craig Topp, the show’s sound designer.
The storyline features a “wild orgy” between the likes of a cocaine-sniffing playboy, an incestuous brother act and a lesbian actress with her drug addict girlfriend – so something tells me it should certainly be worth a visit.
There’s fighting talk from one of the City’s newest start-ups, drinks firm KoolaKing – which aims to distribute healthy drinks and snacks to workplaces all over the Square Mile, despite its name bearing an unfortunate similarity to KoolAid, America’s favourite fluorescent mix of E-numbers.
As well as donating a proportion of the selling price of each product to the Stroke Association, the firm is also relying on customers’ consciences to extract payment via “honesty boxes” next to their drinks cabinets, in keeping with the general theme of wholesomeness.
“Research shows that an average of 90 per cent of people do cough up with the honesty box system,” corporate finance advisor John Newlands, of City One Securities, tells me.
“Though you’d be surprised to learn that in general, the higher up the echelons you go and the more senior the people who are consuming the product, the less money is actually dropped into the box…”
Better not put one in the House of Commons, then.
Here’s an idea for the Royal Bank of Scotland, if it’s looking for an easy way to shore up its balance sheet in the downturn.
There must be, in the NatWest archives, any number of sets of those famous piggy banks the bank used to give to children holding accounts with them. The family of five characters – Sir Nathaniel Westminster, the father; Lady Hillary, the mother; Maxwell the boy; Annabel the girl, and Woody the baby – were enormously popular in their day, but NatWest stopped the promotion in 1988.
I hear the trade in the collectibles has been roaring ahead on Ebay in recent months – with a couple of sets on there at the moment fetching prices as high as £80.
Did anyone say easy money?
In the spirit of warming the cockles of the City’s heart, The Capitalist would point you in the direction of a YouTube video entitled “Who says a banker’s life isn’t exciting?”
After all the months of knocking the profession, it’s about time someone gave bankers a good name – and it appears that one chap has been doing just that by taking on an unofficial role as the most prolific duck-saver in America.
The banker in question spent an entire day last week rescuing a family of twelve little ducklings stuck on a high ledge outside his office, by catching them as they launched themselves down towards the concrete. He then proceeded to lead the little family like a veritable Pied Piper of Ducks down to the nearest pond, followed by what looked like the entire population of downtown Washington.
Sir Fred Goodwin, from wherever he is hiding out in South Africa, would do well to take note.
Bashing British Airways has become something of a national hobby since the airline reported a spectacular £401m loss on Friday, but should boss Willie Walsh be more concerned about the service his staff are providing to more distinguished customers?
Analyst Geoff Miller, who’s now living the high life in Moscow after five years of working for the now-defunct Bridgewell Securities, decided to give the issue a bit of a stir at the weekend. Sitting in one of BA’s airport lounges, Miller explained, a voice came over the tannoy asking if a passenger “Bono” could make himself known to the front desk.
“Do they not have just a little clue what he might look like?!” he quipped in a status update on Facebook.
The Capitalist imagines the bespectacled eco-rocker would not have been best pleased, if indeed it was he…