Sam Shaw is a reporter on Money Marketing
While watching The Fray at Hammersmith Apollo on Tuesday with the gorgeous Ali Merrigan of Lansons, we noted the singer resembled a certain media-shy managing director at Chelsea Financial Services. Darius, we insist on hearing your piano skills before we believe you are not in fact one and the same.
My partner in crime Paul McMillan will be seeing the Sex Pistols with those mad Money Portal chaps. I fear the two events’ vigour might differ somewhat but I am very much looking forward to seeing a certain MD in his Never Mind the Bollocks T-shirt.
The week’s musical fandango was bisected by the charming company of St James’s Place at the IMA annual dinner, where the more risk-averse at the table lost out during our sweepstake on how long Marcus Brigstocke’s stand-up would last. With my wager of 35 minutes, I was mocked for my pessimism but words were eaten as I took home the winnings.
Number of women seen stroking Ben Yearsley’s Wookie-like beard: several but Vee Montebello was definitely the most frequent offender.
Annie Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
The week started with a bang – well several actually – at Abbey’s fireworks party at The Roof Gardens in Kensington High Street. Sadly, I had to make an early exit to escort a young blonde journalist of my acquaintance from the premises after she had confided in me that she thought that people’s money editor Simon Read was “sweet” and I feared she might be in need of urgent professional counselling.
Tuesday took me to the top floor of 30 St Mary Axe – better known as The Gherkin – for a social event hosted by Scottish Widows to introduce athletes Roger Black and Sarah Storey, who are the firm’s ambassadors for the 2012 Olympics. Security at the entrance was tight and I found myself standing in the queue next to Financial Technology Research Centre’s Ian McKenna and Lifesearch’s Kevin Carr.
Hargreaves Lansdown’s Tom McPhail has always struck me as being a harmless sort of chap so I was alarmed to see him being pursued at the merry Widows event by Baigrie Davies’ Tom Baigrie, who insisted on calling him Beelzebub.
On Wednesday, it was lunch with IFA Promotion’s David Elms, who regaled the company with tales of his impressive running career – a considerable achievement as he admits to being a smoker. Elms tells me that he has recently moved to Germany after remeeting – and marrying – a former sweetheart from a couple of decades back when he was a student at Hatfield Polytechnic and he commutes to work by plane. Oddly, the savvy Elms reveals that he never got a degree as he spent the time when he should have been studying “standing in a field in Glastonbury”.
Number of cocktail sticks nearly swallowed (the sort that hold together those little burgers you get at parties): three.
Number of my old pals who turned up at one of Kent Reliance chief executive Mike Lazenby’s legendary lunches at The Ivy: a good dozen.
Esther Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
After a quick change into my glad-rags I hopped in a cab to the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, venue for the Cancer Research Charity Broomstick Ball – as the guest of Cobalt Capital. I was given a warm welcome by Cobalt’s Dean “Eddie the Eagle” McCarthy and Jules “last seen performing air guitar while dancing on a table in a ski chalet” Ingall although Andrew “Monty” Montlake looked a little upset that I had failed to don whiskers, as previously advertised.
At dinner, I found myself happily sandwiched between Cobalt’s “bad cop” Richard Taylor and Nationwide’s wise man Matthew Wyles although I found it hard to keep a straight face as the pair discussed the finer points of the Portman-Nationwide merger, with the Ghostbusters theme tune blaring out from the stage.
Poor Jonathan Steven, the new addition to Dom Hiatt’s “Polecat PR” team, was under no illusion that he was anything but a last-minute replacement as his place name, which had displayed a pretty, blonde journalist’s name, had been hastily scribbled out and replaced with the words “Dom’s beeyatch”.
Dom, meanwhile, spent half the evening trying to convince me that he spends his time, when not pitching award-winning financial stories, reading Heidegger. The other half he spent, as I recall, trying to convince me to do flaming sambuccas, even though he refused to do one himself.
The evening passed in high spirits and I somewhat unsurprisingly managed to miss the pre-arranged “broomstick” home at 2am and instead found myself squished into a cab full of mortgage brokers bound for private members club Tramp, Piccadilly Circus.
Number of times I was reminded that I managed to leave my own bag behind at a chalet after a ski trip with Cobalt earlier this year: too many.