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A Shaw thing

Sam Shaw is a reporter on Money Marketing

Having enjoyed the hen weekend to top all hen weekends in the company of the stunning Ali Merrigan from Lansons, I should have planned a nice quiet week. Alas, duty calls and press day was topped off with F&C’s annual summer party at Bar Bianca in Piccadilly.

The place was suitably packed and I managed to catch up with my favourite Irish funds reporter from one of those other trade titles, Bestinvest’s Justin Modray (man, the guy should be a journalist, the way he networks), the lovely F&C PR Karolina Adamkiewicz and hoovered up several canapes. As my soon-to-be ex-colleague James Salmon and I scalded our fingers on the melted brie, we figured it was time to head off and leave Mr Hollands and Co in peace.

Later in the week, the MM team caught up with the gorgeousness in a PR that is Mark Locke from Aegon and, erm, got a little squiffy.

Had a hilariously stressy taxi-awaiting moment when a very late but so appreciated Nick McBreen from IFA Worldwide Financial Planning who “will be with you in a minute, I’m just stuck in the middle of a parade outside Green Park”. I had visions of Mr McBreen atop a carnival float a la Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I had kept that thought to myself, until now that is. Sorry, Nick. Your MMTV debut was ace, by the way.

Glasses of vino (having missed the Champagne): About 147, or so it felt the next day.

Mentions of MMTV: Lots. Seems our multi-media foray is gaining momentum.

Annie Shaw is a freelance financial journalist

While at the Virgin Money darts tournament in the presence of Phil “The Power” Taylor, bearing in mind I’ve not picked up a set of arrows since my student days, I was pretty confident of a win following my astonishing victory at the Halifax winetasting a week earlier and was a little disheartened to be told by a colleague “you can’t guess at darts”. Sadly, the caustic comments turned out to be accurate and I was indeed knocked out in the first round.

Last week I bumped into Simon Read, personable money editor of the People, now apparently styling himself “the people’s money editor”. Last time the mischievous Read surfaced at a social event, he stunned the gathering of top financial and political suits by polling the assembled crowd on how many present had been subjected by legal authorities to an intimate body search. A surprising number seemed to remember urgent appointments and made a hasty exit.

Glasses of white wine drunk: Nil. Had to pour it into a plant when I realised that there was still Champagne on offer.

Esther Shaw is deputy personal finance editor at the Independent on Sunday

I was tickled to hear I was 33/1 favourite to win the darts prior to the event, according to Scott Mowbray of Top5Bet, the gambling arm of Virgin Money.

However, my late appearance at The Princess Alice pub meant I had to settle for simply spectating at this most competitive of sporting events – which was, perhaps, no bad thing if the comments of my dear colleague, the ever-sporting James Daley, were anything to go by: “Losing at darts to a woman in her mid-50s in front of a bunch of my peers is the kind of humiliation I’d usually have to pay for.”

Congratulations must go once again, of course, to the Mail’s Liz Phillips for knocking out quite so many of PF’s young bucks so early in the night, deservedly securing her Phil “the Power” Taylor’s spot prize for the event.

A little later in the evening when I was engrossed in conversation with freelancing’s finest Laura Brady and Emma Lunn, I was rather amused to be approached by a feisty male Sun journalist asking: “Are you the PRs for Virgin Money?” I can only assume this is a compliment.

Back in the office this week, I nearly fell off my chair in laughter when my über-suave, braces-wearing boss Sam Dunn rang the Hargreaves Lansdown legend that is Tom McPhail and asked, quite unwittingly: “Can I ask you a quick question about penguins?” It is an easy mistake to make but while Mr McPhail can hold his own on any retirement-related issue, I am not so sure that small flightless birds are quite his forte.

Minutes of the Eurovision Song Contest watched by Lifesearch’s Kevin Carr: All of them. He may deny this.

Bottles of Champagne quaffed: Double figures. It has been a long week.

Any Out of Contexts or Diary stories? Send them to Diary editor Sam Shaw, email: or telephone: 020 7943 8042


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