LONDONERS’ CHARM IS A SERVICE FOR WEALTHY
WHERE THE wealth lies and, more importantly, how to persuade customers to part with it was the theme of the Wealth Summit run by monthly magazine Luxury Briefing in association with City A.M.
Master of ceremonies was James Reatchlous, who bought Luxury Briefing from Princess Alexandra’s son James Ogilvy in 2009 before expanding into spin-offs such as Luxury Connections, the soon-to-be-launched quarterly “little black book” for suppliers.
Reatchlous’s supporting cast included Ben Elliot, founder of the rich man’s concierge Quintessentially, and Rob Hersov, who sold his private jet company Marquis Jets Europe to NetJets in 2008 before founding high net worth consultancy Adoreum Partners.
“You have to reach the rich with a level of trust,” Hersov told The Capitalist, still inspired by his breakfast the previous day with Vernon Hill, the man giving HSBC, Barclays and friends “a run for their money” by bringing the customer-oriented Metro Bank to the UK. “The banks here have got it all wrong,” he continued. “They are selling products rather than focusing on relationships.”
Not so, said William Cash, editor-in-chief of Spear’s magazine, who said that if the UK does anything well it is service – in fact, the consequence of the Big Bang is that London’s banking classes have become “the financial waiters of the world”.
“We are experts in social grovelling; some call it charm,” he said. “For Malaysian, Russian and Middle Eastern oligarchs, there is nothing more reassuring than an English accent.”
BOOM AND BUST
CASH also read an extract from his forthcoming novel Drawdown, which opens at the height of London’s golden boom in 2007 before chronicling the downfall of banker Mike Mowbray, who loses everything after being embroiled in a scandal that leads to prison.
The author has spent the last five years sitting “ringside on the bleachers of London’s Circus Maximus”, observing scenes similar to the fictional charity auction organised by the Alpha Return for Children Foundation that opens his comedy novel.
Any similarity to Arki Busson and Ian Wace’s hedge fund gala Absolute Return for Kids is, of course, purely coincidental – but all will be cleared up next year, just as soon as agents Aitken Alexander find a publisher. “We are going to auction the book to the highest bidder, just like in the City,” said Cash happily.
PROPERTY tycoon Gerald Ronson has found a new favourite haunt: the Arts Club on Dover Street, where his DJ nephew Mark Ronson is the director of music. Also spotted dining at the private members club since it opened on 12 September are Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and Killik & Co partner Paul Killik.
It must be the connections of the club’s business advisory board – entrepreneur David Tang, Addleshaw Goddard senior partner Paul Lee and property investor Gary Landesberg, to name but a few – that has persuaded 1,500 arts enthusiasts to part with the £1,200 joining fee plus £1,500 annual membership.
“The Arts Club has already become a powerhouse of networking,” said The Capitalist’s man in Mayfair.
THE SHAPESHIFTING Hindu god Krishna met business transformation recruiter Venquis last night at the firm’s Diwali party to celebrate Krishna defeating the god of rain. “Let’s hope the sovereign debt clouds don’t dampen the spirit of giving,” said the firm’s spokesperson as he supplied the donation link www.justgiving.com/shivia/donate