LLOYD’S WEIGHS RISK OF OFFSHORE GAMBLE
LLOYD’S of London is moving offshore, as The Capitalist hears the insurance group has entered a team in one of the world’s most competitive yacht races – a two-day zigzag around 11 Caribbean islands that is a magnet for seafaring captains of industry.
First to arrive in the Caribbean was Marshall Bailey, the COO of State Street, who flew out yesterday for a holiday in the British Virgin Islands before the challenging Royal Ocean Racing Club Caribbean 600 sets off from Antigua on 20 February.
He will be joined by fellow members of the Lloyd’s Yacht Club, the group formed in 1936 to introduce Lloyd’s underwriters to offshore racing, including Edward Fane of Miller Insurance; Howard Burnell, a senior marine underwriter at Amlin; and Towers Watson’s catastrophe consultant Liz Lotz, who will race the 23-metre Maxi owned by John Wilson, head of risk consultancy Empowered Systems.
The team is back in the race after a one-year absence, and hopes to complete the 600 nautical mile course by the small hours of Wednesday morning. “Sailing is a great leveller,” LYC’s head of racing Andrew Jameson informed The Capitalist, as he prepared for three-metre-high swells in “extreme” heat. With Austrian investor Gerhard Andlinger; Fidelity’s president of asset management Ron O’Hanley; and George David, the former chairman of United Technologies, also among the 40 yachts competing, let’s hope so.
THE SCAFFOLDING has come down in the auditorium, and Westminster Council has agreed the entertainment licence.
So finally the leisure group behind the St James Theatre, Entertainment & Media Group, can announce that curtain up for the capital’s first new theatre for 30 years is September. “We have been one of London’s best-kept secrets for a while – and that was deliberate,” says Lucy French, director of development on the team led by Robert Mackintosh, brother of theatre impresario Cameron, and EMG director Alan Judd.
Funded by private investment, EMG has taken a 75-year lease from developer Yolanda, and the refurbishment of the former Westminster Theatre on Palace Street is 85 per cent complete.
Artistic director David Gilmore, who directed the West End version of Grease, is scouting New York for shows for the 312-seat theatre, as talks are held with operators for the planned two bars and a brasserie.
The venue will also have a studio space, a “remarkable staircase installation” and its own channel on BSkyB – so far, the backers are “slightly over” the initial budget of £5m…