THAT time of year seems to have crept up on us again, when thousands of City runners take to the streets for the most popular race of the year – the Standard Chartered Great City Race.
After a chilly, blustery day, the sun finally came out to shine on the gathered throng, who signed up from almost 400 firms in record time this year. Leading the pack – in spirit, if not literally – was Standard Chartered’ European chief executive Richard Holmes, dressed as an eye surgeon in a nod to the bank’s official charity Seeing Is Believing, which tackles avoidable blindness all over the world. (Relief reigned, however, for chief financial operator Richard Meddings, who last year undertook to complete the course with a blindfold on to highlight the plight of those affected – a role taken on this year by the charity’s goodwill ambassador and Paralympic champion Henry Wanyoike, a blind runner, with his guide Joseph Kibunja.)
Taking the medal for the guys’ and the girls’ races were long-standing champions Phil Wicks, from Legal & General, and his fiancée Emily Adams from Punter Southall, who ran the 5km race in 14 minutes 07 seconds and 17 minutes 03 seconds respectively. The athletic pair are due to wed in less than a month, making yesterday’s triumph all the sweeter.
Someone should remind SocGen’s economic strategist Dylan Grice that summer holidays are for relaxing.
Grice sent out his “Popular Delusions” research missive yesterday with the helpful title “Five books for the beach”. Those of us more used to taking Dan Brown and John Grisham on hols, however, might find our strategy guru’s interpretation of light reading rather taxing.
His recommendations include “Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets” by Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva; “Lords of Finance” by Liaquat Ahamed; and – most bizarrely – “Gold and Iron: Bismarck, Bleichröder and the forging of a new German Empire” by Fritz Stern.
Oh, and “The Little Book of Behavioural Investing” by James Montier – who just happens to have previously been co-head of global strategy at… you guessed it… SocGen.
PLAY ON WORDS
A City chum has been perusing a note from Shore Capital’s head of research Clive Black earlier this week on Ocado, which has taken him on a trip down memory lane.
Black, who has been vocal in his thoughts on the online grocer’s tricky upcoming flotation, managed to find a fair few acronyms for the company to express his views – Over-Costed Average Daily Orders; Oligopolistic Competition And Dangerous Overvaluation; and Overvalued Company, A Disappointing Outcome.
“Black’s offering brings to mind a research note written by UBS media analyst Derek Terrington in advance of the IPO of (Robert) Maxwell Communications,” our friend notes.
“It was acronymically titled ‘Can’t Recommend A Purchase!’ It cost him his job, but it was worth it.”