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A shaw thing

Sam Shaw is a reporter on Money Marketing
Tuesday night saw me going back to my former contacts in the protection world, the brown-eyed beauty Peter Chadborn, Scouse’s finest Andy Milburn, soon-to-be-daddy Mark Locke and, of course, the omnipresent in the protection world Kevin Carr. Andrea “Core of Steel” Tryphonides was there, too, as were the other MM girls. Milburn took home the winnings from our swearbox, which should have been enough for a round at least.

From there, it went into a rather harassed day on Wednesday bisected by a frightfully posh lunch at Brown’s Hotel courtesy of Paul Hogarth and his recently reunited recruitment partner Tony Murrell.

Later in the week, I headed north on an all too rare visit to Leeds for a meeting with Tenet’s Simon Hudson at a charming French restaurant and had one of the best rib-eyed steaks I have had in a long time.

Rather luckily bumped into one of my favourite-ever PRs Trish Corrigan from Standard in the Hilton’s lift as we were the blind leading the blind around Leeds before having to phone 2Plan’s Nick Hewitt, who kindly guided us into HQ for the official launch of the rather impressive looking new technology-based national IFA. (I know, I know, men listening, women reading maps, etc.) Our evening at Brasserie Blanc was filled with many tales, a fantastic dinner and a vat of SancerreNumber of people regrettably ending up back at the hotel bar having been banned from a club for wearing suits: all the blokes. Inappropriate uses of the term off the record: too many.

Annie Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
To the BSA annual lunch at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square, where I congratulated Paul Marsden on his elevation to the chief executive job at Harpenden Building Society. I should have congratulated him on his consummate PR skills, too, as an earlier press release, making the announcement of his new role, called Harpenden a “top 50 building society” which, since it is number 49 out of 59, is not a lie.

The joy of these set-piece events is the chance to see the bosses of the mortgage minnows who do not usually come out to meet the press. Howard Machin, head of the Buckingham, declared himself jaded after two days of industry conferences.

I shared a table with inscrutable BSA director-general Adrian Coles and Leeds Building Society’s top honcho Ian Ward. Over lunch, I learned that the enacting of the notorious Butterfill Bill had somehow escaped my attention last month. That is the one that was all the rage when Northern Rock was riding high. It will allow building societies, like banks, to borrow more mortgage money from the markets, thereby reducing their dependence on savers. The passing of the Bill was only enabling legislation and there are more hoops to jump through so the view of the table was that, in the light of the current credit crisis, our mutual friends would be unlikely to embark on anything too reckless in the foreseeable.

Uplifting speeches by economic secretary Kitty Ussher and Legal & General’s Adrian Boulding: one apiece. Number of emails allegedly hoarded by the Times’s Andrew Ellson in his inbox: 170,000, not all of them necessarily read.

Esther Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
On arrival at the Norwich Union Healthcare Medical Journalism Awards at One in Westminster, I was given a very warm welcome by the Mail’s Jeff Prestridge, who was lingering at the entrance in a seemingly bouncer-esque kind of way. After exchanging pleasantries, he insisted, right there and then on the doorstep, that I show him what I was wearing “just in case I had to get up on the stage”.

All I could think was I was very glad I had managed to get myself out of pyjamas before leaving the house (God love freelance life) and equally relieved that I had resisted the temptation to get straight into my netball kit, even though I was dashing off to a finals match once the awards had been announced.

Once inside, I limited myself to just the one glass of wine and a vegetable spring roll in the company of the Guardian’s Tony Levene, who was sporting a rather eye-catching tie with the word wham emblazoned supermanstyle on the front. Proof, if any were needed, that he is indeed a consumer superhero although I am not sure if that means he ought to start wearing a cape with the letter L and his pants outside his trousers.

Elsewhere this week, I joined my old partner in crime Sam Dunn for a glass of bubbly at the top of Tower 42 to mark the end of our three glorious years together and our first forays into the freelance world.

The wedding plans, he tells me, are going rather well although the less said about the little wedding invitation faux-pas, the better.

Awards won by me at the Medical Journalist Awards: one. Photos of me grinning like a Cheshire cat while receiving award from Mr Prestridge: one.

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