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Issue .2 0

The commodities of the future By William HuTcHings


e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n

s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e

n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o

h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n

n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d

R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e

R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g

e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n

s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e

n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o

h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n

n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d

R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e

R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g

e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n

s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e

n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o

h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n

n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s t a n d t h e m a n d

R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h

R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n

e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n

s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e

n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o

h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n

n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d

R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e

R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g

e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n

s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e

n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o

h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n

n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d

R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e

R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g

e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n

s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e

n d e R s t a n d t h e m a n d c o n t R o l t hRay e Dalio m . –Rthe i sworld’s k y number t h ione n hedge g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o fund manager, according to Forbes magazine,

h e m a n d c o n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h having i n gbrought s ainR$13.8bn e n for o clients t in t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n last year

n t R o l t h e m . R i s k y t h i n g s a R e n o t i n t h e m s e lv e s R i s k y i f y o u u n d e R s ta n d t h e m a n d

I N D U S T RY • L U X U RY • O P I N I O N

Editorial Editor

Mark Hedley dEputy Editor

E di tor's

L Et t E r

Jon Hawkins sub Editor

Brendan Fitzgerald Editorial assistant

Matt Huckle intErns

Fred Carter, Pete Simpson

Design art dirEctor

Matthew Hasteley sEnior dEsignEr

Lucy Phillips

Contributors Hannah Berry Laura Hammersley William Hutchings Warren Pole Jancis Robinson Dale Rogers Robin Swithinbank Prof Pablo Triana

Advertising group advErtising ManagEr

Michael Berrett print advErtising

Will Preston, Will Taylor HEad of drinKs & vEnuEs

Alex Watson

Printing Blackmore

publisHEd by

Square Up Media 4 Tun Yard, Peardon Street London SW8 3HT +44 (0) 20 7819 9999 Editor in cHiEf

Martin Deeson HEad of digital

Mike Gluckman coMMErcial dirEctor

Lauren Neale


ast year, 1,113 new hedge funds were launched across the globe, including 270 in the fourth quarter. According to Hedge Fund Research, this is the highest number since the heady days of 2007. As ever, the general press happily gnashed its teeth at the end of 2011, revelling with schadenfreude at hedge fund losses, but what it failed to report is that the industry was growing and diversifying to ensure that there wouldn’t be a repeat performance. So far, it’s been working. Not only have the first two months of 2012 been the best start to a calendar year since 2000, but they have also welcomed a multitude of new entrants to the industry, many offering lower management and incentive fees. It’s been good news for these little guys: small funds are outmanoeuvring many of the lumbering old boys – the nippers able to react quicker and more discreetly. In fact, so discreetly that you often won’t hear about it. Which brings me around to why we’re here. As a magazine for the industry part of our job is to give you a pat on the back. So if you’re having a killer year, don’t be shy; drop me a line – I’d love to hear about it.

HEad of pr & MarKEting

Loren Penney MarKEting & EvEnts

Danielle Kent Sameeha Choudhury Ella Tolhurst financial dirEctor

Steve Cole accounts

WILLIAM HUTCHINGS Now an editor at Financial News, William Hutchings specialises in asset management, institutional pensions, private equity and hedge funds. He was runner-up to Robert Peston in the 2009 Business Journalist of the Year Awards.

ROBIN SWITHINBANK Robin began writing about watches by mistake after being shipped off to Basel and dunked into the horological deep-end. He now edits watch magazine Calibre and contributes watchrelated musings across the UK press.

JANCIS ROBINSON Wine critic and writer Jancis Robinson OBE was the first person outside the wine trade to become a Master of Wine in 1984. Since then she has kept busy providing advice for the Queen’s wine cellar, writing for the FT and her own site,

Mark Hedley - Editor

Laura Otabor, Claude Alabi



Tim Slee cHairMan

Tom Kelly OBE TINY COMPETITION: Find the dumper truck (below) hiding somewhere in the magazine. Email us with its location to for your chance to win a mystery prize. Terms & conditions apply.

△ Cover image by Matthew Hasteley

© Square Up Media Limited 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All information contained in this magazine is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Square Up Media cannot accept responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Square Up Media a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine. All material is sent at your own risk and although every care is taken, neither Square Up Media nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be held liable resulting for loss or damage. Square Up Media endeavours to respect the intellectual property of the owners of copyrighted material reproduced herein. If you identify yourself as the copyright holder of material we have wrongly attributed, please contact the office.

“Motorcycle” was one of Warren Pole’s first words as a toddler, and he’s been riding, racing, and falling off them ever since. For him, hacking across Namibia on someone else’s BMW (p74) was as perfect as road trips get. When he’s not offroading, he’s writing.



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25 Issue ##

64 26



Contents Hedge magazine . issue 20

S h o rt S



var out, man

F e atu r e S



the sky’s the limit?

Pablo Triana on one man’s quest to rid the financial world of the corrupting and dangerous influence of Value at Risk

William Hutchings goes in search of the commodities of the future – and finds them on land, under the sea and in space



thirty six of the best

Deep in the bowels of Dukes Hotel, Thirty Six is a hidden gem, says Jon Hawkins


picture this

The shape- and space-warping photos of Nathan Walsh come to Mayfair


hedge heartland

All the news from Mayfair and St James’s



writing time

Montblanc has long led the market in luxury pens and now it’s gunning for the watch industry, too. We meet the company’s charismatic CEO Lutz Bethge

who you gonna call?

Repairing the damage inflicted upon the industry by hedge fund fraudsters is a job for the ghostbusters. And we’re not talking about Dan Aykroyd and friends


I n du Stry


a capital fellow

Head of investment specialist Advanced Capital Robert Tomei speaks out on frontier investing, the UK private equity industry and his favourite Mayfair haunts

well i gever

Artist Eyal Gever uses 3D printing to bring his CGI creations to life. The results are as fascinating as they are breathtaking


jazz investment club

Why entrepreneurs should look to the great jazz bandleaders for inspiration



issue 20




87 70

Contents Issue 20

Two things are H


Collectibles and artworks made from million-year-old rocks, fossils and minerals




R ewaR d s


Five-star Zurich and beautiful Beirut

call that an antique?

time to get serious

Robin Swithinbank on Cartier’s bold and brilliant fine watchmaking experiment

topless in croatia

A gastronomic tour of Istria with a Bentley GT convertible for company


Pampering at the Four Seasons Hotel spa


Apsleys: Italian class with a London slant

92 70



Jancis Robinson on the rise of British wine



How to be first to the best property deals


two wheels good

Action-man Warren Pole tackles the brutal Namibian desert on a motorbike



106 endplay How far does a Tube train actually travel?

infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe Albert einstein

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Tel: 020 7236 4560


s h o r t s

When the Numbers Fail

Value at Risk (VaR), a controversial analytical tool, is seen by some as a key culprit in the banking crisis. Here, Professor PABLO TRIANA explains how it encouraged reckless betting on toxic assets On 10 September, 2009, former trader and best-selling author Nassim Taleb did something that he very seldom does: he wore a tie. By so graphically breaking with tradition (Taleb has publicly expressed his distaste for the blood-constraining artefacts, as well as for those who tend to don them), he let the world know that it was a very special day for him, so special that it amply justified the sacrifice of temporarily betraying a sacred personal predisposition. As Taleb entered the US House of Representatives that morning, he must have felt anticipation and, especially, vindication. As he approached the sober room for the start of the House Committee on Science & Technology’s hearing on the responsibility of mathematical model Value at Risk (VaR) for the economic and financial crisis that had caused so much misery, Taleb probably reflected proudly on all those times when, indefatigably, and in the face of harsh opposition, he alerted us to the lethal threat to the system posed by the widespread use of VaR in financeland. Nassim Taleb was in a good position to understand from the get-go that VaR could result in destructive toxic risk-taking if allowed to be influential. As a seasoned and successful options trader who had experienced several market rollercoasters that had been prospectively assumed (by the same theoretical notions underpinning VaR) not to be possible, Taleb quickly realised it is useless to try to measure that which does not lend itself to be measured. Market activity is too untamable, too wild,

too undecipherable. In an environment where everything is possible and where the next unprecedented crash may be around the corner, it is hopeless to try to infer much from the historical record. As a quantitatively educated individual, Taleb knew only too well the rotten maths behind VaR only makes things worse. For him there was no doubt: rather than helping understand, control and reduce risk, VaR will result in higher, worse risks. Bothered by such possibility, in the mid-1990s he embarked on an anti-VaR campaign. At the time, going at VaR was truly heretic but Taleb was first vindicated in 1997 and 1998. As markets everywhere succumbed to the chaos ignited by the Asian crisis first, and the later disaster of mega-hedge fund Long Term Capital Management (LTCM), VaR was revealed as a gravely malfunctioning guide. As real trading losses climbed way above VaR predictions, the hitherto solid reputation of the model began to suffer. Worse, VaR had a large hand in accelerating those losses, by prompting banks to engage in sudden and massive liquidations of positions, fuelling a snowballing debacle. In a rehearsal of what would take place a decade later, VaR not only failed to warn of the upcoming danger but essentially contributed to the realisation of such danger. Despite the temporary tarnishing of its name, VaR was not discarded or abandoned following those nasty episodes. Quite the opposite. Not only did those regulators who had originally embraced the tool

continue to do so, avoiding in the process a much-needed rethink of VaR’s true value, but another, rather significant one decided to join the party. In 2004, the US Securities & Exchange Commission established a rule that allowed large Wall Street brokerdealers to use their own risk management practices for capital requirements purposes, recognising outright that charges were destined to be lower under the new approach. VaR was predictably sanctioned as the main method of calculation. Engaging in unapologetically risky activities instantly became much cheaper and convenient for US investment banking powerhouses. VaR numbers were unrealistically low back then, hiding a lot of real risk. The VaR-transmitted regulatory encouragement was probably too tempting to resist, as a return measured against a tiny capital base makes for very tasty quarterly results. The end result, of course, was a highly levered, undercapitalised financial industry whose fate was exposed to the soundness of subprime securities and other trading plays. Or, a ticking time bomb, which duly exploded not long after. By jumping onto the VaR bandwagon in 2004, the SEC allowed Taleb a second, stronger, vindication three years later. Had the SEC not adopted that policy, which some term ‘The Bear Stearns Future Insolvency Act’, it is probable the crisis would not have happened and Taleb would not have had to don that bothersome tie. H ‘The Number That Killed Us’ by Pablo Triana is out now. (Published by Wiley; £26.99)




S h o r t S

mint Polo in the Park

“If,” to borrow from Rudyard Kipling, “you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs,” you might just become the world’s top hedge fund manager. Which is exactly what Bridgewater Associates boss Ray Dalio has done, his Pure Alpha fund earning $13.8bn for investors in 2011 and taking net gains from its 1975 inception to a pack-leading $35.8bn, according to an LCH Investments report. George Soros’s Quantum Endowment Fund, founded two years earlier, falls to second (with $31.2bn since inception) thanks to 2011 losses of $3.8bn, while John Paulson’s annus horribilis dropped Paulson & Co to third on the list. He, too, might do well to heed Kipling’s advice: “Never look backwards or you’ll fall down the stairs.”

Launched in 2009, Mint Polo in the Park has become a key fixture in London’s summer season in double-quick time thanks to thrilling entertainment, firstclass hospitality and an iconic location in Hurlingham Park. This year, the organisers have beefed-up the action, turned the wick up on the glamour and doubled the amount of bar and garden space, bringing you more chukkas for your buck than ever before.

Cookie and milk time

Lewis Chester’s Pentagon Capital Management faces a $100m penalty for market abuse, including late trading on mutual fund shares. “It does mean you might have to work a little harder... poor souls, working past cookie and milk time,” Chester wrote in a ‘smoking gun’ email to one broker, adding: “You really are a bunch of women of the first order.”

Mint Polo in the Park takes place at Hurlingham Park from 8-10 June; royal asCot

It’s no accident that Royal Ascot is the hospitality heavyweight of the Season, fusing glamour and history with an array of options for dining, viewing and entertaining. Once again, the Bessborough Restaurant pays tribute to the best of British couture with catwalk shows between lunch courses, while a balcony offers panoramic views of the races. If you remain unmoved by the decadence when the bets are placed, you’re clearly stronger than us. Royal Ascot, 19-23 June; ▶

PHOTOgRAPHS (Ray Dalio) by Scott Eells/Bloomberg via getty Images


G o i n G L o n G

#1957 XI ARNO Ferrari Hydroplane Testa Rossa €1–1.5m

#£8mworld-famous This – sold by RM racing Auctions boat, One ofwith fitted onlya22; Ferrari the Testa F1 engine, Rossa became broke thethe world mostwater-speed expensive car ever sold record in 1953. It is up for auction in Monaco on 12 May. See more at

“Economics must pay the price for the fact that politics is the Queen of Sciences. Enter uncertainty, enter resignation, enter government default, all set in a sea of debt and it is no surprise if commerce, trade, finance and industry wither.” Crispin Odey

Bridgewater’s ray of sunshine

S h o r t S

shorts m y

m ay fa i r


# 1 3

ThirTy Six, DukeS hoTel, ST JameS’S Place, SW1a 1Ny

A sommelier recently told me one of the biggest mistakes diners make is to begin a meal with a palette-destroying cocktail like a martini. In which case, you must resist your natural instinct of following the ancient hedge funders’ trail to Dukes Bar for London’s best dry martini and, instead,

▲ The number of carats of the Argyle Pink Jubilee, a coloured diamond discovered by miners in Australia last month – it’s the largest ever unearthed there.


▲ Amount paid by Lawrence Graff for a 24.78-carat pink diamond in 2010 – the most expensive jewel sold at auction.

£3.1m ▲ The amount offered on the black market for Honduras’s Goodwill Moon Rock, originally gifted to the Honduras head of state by Richard Nixon.



head downstairs. It’s where you’ll find Thirty Six, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, and trust us, you’ll want your palette – and faculties – intact. If Dukes itself is elusive (at least it was before you could divine your route by waving an iPhone around), then hidden-away, quietly excellent Thirty Six has an even greater air of the inner sanctum. Nigel Mendham, recruited from The Samling in Cumbria, where he won a Michelin star, is the man at the helm and the menu wears his ‘all about the food’ mantra like a badge. Each dish is listed by ingredient, and I mull over the mechanics of a dish called, simply, “brill, rib of beef, watercress, native oysters.” So that’s brill, as in the flatfish, and beef, as in the cow? “Exactly,” a waiter tells me with a huge grin on his face. “It’s an interesting dish.” And so it is, but we’ll come to that. First a starter of “scallops, cauliflower, smoked eel, sorrel,” far, far prettier than a dish of cauliflower and eel has any right to be, with pillowy scallops and delicate little squares of eel with the tiniest leaves perched on top. The “brill, beef” combo is even better, though far less dainty – the fillet of brill sits on a bed of sticky, unctuous beef that underscores rather than pummels the delicate fish flavours. A beautiful pear panna cotta with dark chocolate is more conventional, and almost the perfect closing act. Almost because, needless to say, we popped upstairs for a martini. As, I suspect, will you. h – JH 020 7491 4840;

Subscribe If you’re involved in the hedge fund industry and work in London, you are entitled to a free subscription to HEDGE magazine. To appLy, EmaIL




Audemars Piguet UK Ltd Tel: +44 207 659 7300

hedge Magazine ISSUE 20

s h o r t s


P i c t u r e

t h i s


As a photographer, you’re restricted to reality. Sure, Photoshop can help things along now and again, but ultimately you’ll never have as much control as Nathan Walsh. Walsh is a British artist who creates spectacular cityscapes, which at first may seem photo-realistic, but are taken to another level by his subtle distortions to reality and shifts in perspective. He

explains, “The work aims to create credible and convincing space which, while making reference to our own world, displays its own distinct logic.” By adopting a variety of perspectival strategies, Walsh controls the nature of the world he presents to the viewer. Whether simply changing the size of a building or introducing a structure found on Google Earth, he likes the idea of inventing another

reality, familiar in some ways to us but fundamentally of his own making. Working at first simply with a box of pencils and an eraser, Walsh will draw and redraw buildings, vanishing points will be shifted and materials rearranged. The end result is a painting into which the viewer can enter and move around. H Albemarle Gallery, 49 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4JR; 020 7499 1616;



Hedge HeArtlAnd Issue 20

S H o r t S

shorts Hedge HeArtlAnd All the news... from Mayfair GAZELLI ART HOUSE OPENING ▲

Contemporary art gallery Gazelli Art House opened its doors at 39 Dover Street for the first time in March. Founder Mila Askarova was evidently not content to start quietly, as the gallery’s inaugural exhibition of sculptures and installations featured umbrellas that appeared to be made of human skin, columns of saliva and fat, and a giant man formed of soldered iron letters by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa (above). The next exhibition, Family Matters, from 24 April–29 May features the work of Jane McAdam Freud. Daughter of Lucian Freud, Jane is an independent artist and established sculptor in her own right.




The boom in London cigar terraces is such that they even have their own acronym: all hail the COSA, or Cosy Outside Smoking Area. In spring, the May Fair Hotel is joining the party with what promises to be the capital’s finest COSA; guests can expect stimulating, cutting-edge design that’s a far cry from the gentlemen’s club-styled norm. For more information go to GO TO AUbAINE-TO-GO ▶

Devotees of Provençal-inspired bistro, boulangerie and patisserie Aubaine can now get their fix in Mayfair, as the popular eatery adds Dover Street to a portfolio that already includes locations on Regent Street, Brompton Cross and Selfridges. Takeaway service ‘Aubaine-to-go’ is unique to the Dover Street site, as is a private room screening cult French films. H

The Artistry of Champagne



THE CHEdi andErmaTT


Our readers were invited to an exclusive introduction to The Chedi Andermatt, a luxurious five-star contemporary hotel and apartment development in the Swiss Alps. The event was held in brand new Rupert Street nightspot Dstrkt, with drinks provided by Louis Roederer champagne, Finlandia vodka and the UK’s newest lager, Saint. H Read more at

shorts 28


photographY by gary Kinsman

rAre eArtH . 32 GHOStBUSterS . 38

F e at u r e s

In my art work, I try to create sublime moments. The moment that fills a person with amazement, awe and terror MAKING A SPLASH . p44

F e at u r e s



commodities RaRe eaRth

Watch this Space Rare earth metals could be a future bonanza for hedge funds, the only problem is some are on the Moon. By WILLIAM HUTCHINGS Private enterPrise oPened up the world for development and trade in the 15th and 16th centuries. True, it was King Charles I of Spain who, in 1518, provided permission and funding for the exploration of a new route to facilitate trade in Asian spices. But it was Ferdinand Magellan who proposed, organised and undertook the journey around the southern tip of Latin America that resulted in the first circumnavigation of the globe. And the fee he charged the king for any gains of travel? Twenty per cent. Sound familiar? Sadly for this 16th century equivalent of a modern-day hedge fund manager, he was

Where there is advanced modern technology, there will be a demand for rare earth metals; owning some would have made investors wealthy in the last 12 months, when stocks fell

killed before his journey was completed. But Magellan, just like Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Sir Walter Raleigh, was well aware that the prospect of reward came with many risks. The world has, of course, become significantly more complex since the days of the great European explorers-cum-traders. But the principle of taking risk in search of a gain is the same. Throw in the idea of the gain coming from mineral resources, from gold through rare earth metals to oil, and the analogy becomes closer. Add in the remote possibility of exploring space for these resources, and it becomes exact. Demand for the so-called rare earth metals has grown exponentially over the last 50 years, as technology has both provided them with a use and made their commercial production more feasible. Lasers, electronics, hybrid cars, powerplant cooling systems, military armour, precision weapons, navigation systems, wind turbines, mobile phones, portable media players and smartphones all use them, according to David Murrin, co-founder of UK hedge fund manager â–ś



commodities RaRe eaRth F e at u r e s

Emergent Asset Management who earlier trained as a geophysicist and worked as a seismologist. “Where there is advanced modern technology, there will be a demand for rare earth metals,” says Murrin. Indeed, owning some of them would have made investors wealthy in the last 12 months, when the stock market was falling. The price of scandium and of dysprosium went up 20% last year, while europium oxide went up 17.6%, according to data provider Naturally, an investor would have had to pick the right ones. The price of cerium fell 42.1% in 2011, while that of lanthanum dropped 37.4% and neodymium fell 23.1%, says. So far, however, hedge fund managers have done little more than skip along the shore of the mineral extraction industry ocean. One placement agent said she had just come across a new firm specialising in the trade in coloured diamonds. The members of the management team each have about 25 years’ experience in the niche trade. In a classic move, they have decided to capitalise on their expertise by taking positions as principals – using their clients’ money – rather than advising others. They want to raise a hedge fund. But this was the only example of a mineral resources hedge fund that a cross-section of London’s hedge fund community could come up with. Phil Irvine, a director of Pi-Rho Investment Consulting, which advises institutional investors, says: “It is obscure, an alternative alternative investment like fine art and fine wine funds. I can’t recall one crossing my desk. But wherever there is an inefficient market, there’s an opportunity for someone nimble and clever to make money.” Trading in rare earth metals, and in gemstones, is certainly inefficient: it is all private. Gemstones, for example, pass

The potential returns are becoming more interesting – rare earth metals are fairly plentiful, despite their name, but tend to be scattered, which makes extracting them expensive

through many hands on their way from mine to end-user, with each party pretty much doubling the price, according to Richard Watkins, founder and chief executive of Liability Solutions, a placement agent for hedge fund managers. “A problem with commodities such as diamonds, sapphires and so on is the valuation,” says Watkins. “I worked for Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia for a couple of years in the 1980s and it is clear that the value of a diamond is as subjective as an illiquid piece of European structured credit,” he adds. “Like art, wine, antiques, the bid offer spread is huge and the potential for fraud or misrepresenting the quality considerable.” If you can get it right, however, there is money to be made. Liability Solutions had one client last year that was seeking funding for a sapphire mine in Madagascar, perhaps the biggest source of sapphires anywhere. As a result of its work, it reckons the price of a rare stone goes up seven-fold en route from the head of the mine to Bond Street. With returns of this magnitude on offer, even at a high risk, it seems only a matter of time before a modern-day Ferdinand Magellan tries to take advantage of it. The potential returns are becoming more interesting as mineral resources grow increasingly scarce while demand for

them goes up. Rare earth metals are fairly plentiful, despite their name, but they tend to be scattered, which makes extracting them relatively expensive. An astonishing 97% of rare-earth metal production comes from China, according to a US geological survey. With demand expected to outstrip supply within years, and the imposition of export restrictions by the Chinese, prices should rise and, with them, the incentive to develop sources elsewhere in the world. Sixty-three percent of the world’s proven reserves of rare-earth metals lie outside China. Money has been going into developing the reserves in the US, Canada, Brazil, South Africa and Australia. Lithium, an essential component in modern electric batteries and anti-psychotic medicines, is already produced in quantity in Chile and Argentina as well as China. Bolivia’s Uyuni Salar, the largest salt desert in the world, is known to possess significant reserves of lithium, but this is a reserve that needs to be developed. Burma is another potential source of mineral wealth that is significantly underdeveloped, largely because of politicallymotivated bans on importing Burmese gems. The Southeast Asian country produces 90% of the world’s rubies, with the Thais buying most of them, but it ▶



commodities RaRe eaRth

F e at u r e s

also has sapphires, pearls and jade. Few Burmese mineral reserves have found their way to western markets in recent years, for two reasons. First, jewellery retailers in the west are sensitive to the fact that conditions for Burmese mine workers are reported to be very poor. Second, the military grip on Burmese power has also discouraged many importers from buying goods from Burma. This appears now to be changing. The military regime has freed civil politician and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, and as a result of this and pro-democracy reforms instigated by the government, the country received visits from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last December and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague in January. Hopes are now raised that European Union sanctions on the country will be lifted. Meanwhile, Japan is looking to develop mining for rare earth metals with the Burmese. Further afield, the lands around the Arctic are also attracting mineral prospectors. The search for new sources of mineral reserves is looking beyond the land, however. Last year, Japanese geologists found evidence of rare earth metals in the



The presence of helium-3 and other minerals on the Moon, and theoretically on other planets, opens the door to commercial extraction – that’s right, mining the solar system mud on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Professor Yasuhiro Kato of the University of Tokyo said hydrothermal vents have extracted the minerals out of the seawater and deposited them on the seabed. He reckoned there was 800-times as much on the seabed as on the land, enough to satisfy global demand for centuries to come. The finding is not without its drawbacks; these Pacific deposits are between 3.5km and 6km beneath the surface of the ocean. Experiments in deep sea mining in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s proved an expensive waste of time. But, as ever, rising prices have made it seem attractive again. A Toronto- and London-

quoted public company, Nautilus Minerals, claims it is well on-track to making oceanic mining happen. According to its prospectus, published last May: “Nautilus plans to become the world’s first seafloor producer of copper and gold by the end of 2013.” Of course, the operation is not cheap. A production support vessel, for instance, costs €127m, according to the most recent management presentation by the company, made in Toronto last July. Moreover, Nautilus is prospecting on a seabed that is 1.6km deep, far shallower than the ocean floor Professor Kato is referring to. But if the price of the minerals is high enough, any exploration will be worthwhile. Which brings us to the final frontier. America’s NASA Apollo space exploration programme not only landed men on the Moon, it also discovered the presence in the Moon’s soil of an element found only in trace form on Earth – helium-3, a heavy isotope of the inert gas which can be used in nuclear fusion. The Moon’s lack of atmosphere allows the solar wind to deposit helium-3 in a way which is not possible on Earth. The presence of this and other minerals on the Moon, and theoretically on other far distant planets, opens the door to commercial extraction – that’s right, mining the solar system. This seems more than mere whimsy (or sci-fi plot device): the Chinese only recently announced their intention of landing an astronaut on the Moon, while the rapid development of robotic technology means a human presence may not even be necessary. The price of space exploration is, of course, extraordinary. The cost of getting a man onto the Moon has been estimated as ten times their bodyweight in gold; to put someone on Mars, their weight in diamonds. But the economic law of price reaching a point where supply equals demand means it cannot be ruled out. The remaining difficulty for space entrepreneurs hoping to make a commercial go of mining Mars, say, is the same as that facing those 15th century explorers of our planet. In the absence of enforceable laws, they’ll need a private army to enforce their rights. And that would certainly be a new twist to the idea of the gun-slinging global macro hedge fund manager. H



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F e at u r e s

Who You Gonna Call? Banging them up is one thing – but burying the ghosts of hedge fund fraudsters is quite another. How can the industry lay its demons to rest? Three hedgie insiders give their unique insights




David Sung launched his first fund, a neutral hedge fund called Betzwood Partners, in 2009. He took the new regime in his stride; using the services of respected services providers and complying with demands is not such a high price to pay. “We have seen that issue [the number of frauds] in particular dissipate quite a bit since Bernie Madoff,” says Sung. “It has highlighted the value of wellknown and well respected third party service providers, which I believe, as long as you’re ticking boxes with a good auditor, with a good fund administrator, that issue resolves itself,” he says. “The days of self-clearing, self-administering for smaller funds, or even bigger funds, are over.” And even if it is not the administrators’ job to detect fraudsters, they have direct access to the fund’s prime brokerage statements and can perform independent third-party analysis in the fund’s activity, he explains. So administrators can make hard confirmation that the capital is there, and they can verify the P&L. Additionally, if being registered with the regulator is not enough to prevent ▶

Now investors, regulators and investigators are more vigilant than ever through more focused due diligence, required registrations and checks; high transparency is the new black

IllustratIons by Ben tallon

“Hedge funds are less encumbered by government regulation, less transparent to investors, play more complex games, take bigger risks, and capture the public imagination in a way that their lesser counterparts have difficulty approaching. These unique features have resulted in an increasing scale of losses due to fraud, with no corresponding increases in safeguards available for investors,” says Bruce Johnson in his book, The Hedge Fund Fraud Casebook. This would mean that emerging managers would be grappling with the “dark side of hedge funds’ secretive world.” This is not really the case any more, however. Now investors, regulators and investigators are more vigilant than ever through more focused due diligence, required registrations and check-ups; a high level of transparency from managers is the new black; and new regulations (such as the sprawling Dodd-Frank Act in the US and the AIFMD in the EU) are being implemented all around to better harness the wild spirits and the bad apples. So the risk of being victim of a hedge fund fraudster is lessening – a little bit, at least. So what does it mean for newcomers to the industry? It is already hard for new hedge funds to raise fresh capital and to meet new demands from investors and regulators. But are frauds of the past haunting their struggling beginnings? According to most of the experts interviewed here by hedge fund news site, the answer is not in a bad way. Frauds of the past can be ghostbusted with more thorough due diligence, better operations and reputable independent service providers.




please savour responsibly


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▶ fraudulent activity, working with an administrator and an audit firm are really positive steps in that direction. “Everyone has stepped up their level of scrutiny, making sure that all those independent checks are in place,” Sung concludes.


Investors are more vigilant than ever. They know that fraud will happen in some cases. They just have to keep their antennas open to make sure they are not victims in what could be a jungle-like environment. “There is definitely an increased list of fraud, given the small size of newer hedge funds,” explains Alissa Douglas, director of hedge funds and public market for the Cha Group’s California-based family office CM Capital Corporation. When the firm looks at new managers, it makes sure those managers have dedicated the right amount of resources to making sure that their operations are institutional. For example, Douglas is now seeing a lot of new managers hire not only senior investment people but also senior operational people, which shows they are taking the operations side of the business as seriously as the investment side. CM also checks the service providers indicated in the DDQ are correct. “A small percentage of people out there do not have good ethics and will continue to try to cheat the system,” she notes. “It’s our job as fiduciaries to make sure we’re investing with people who have high ethics. And that we are doing our due diligence to make sure that not only they have hired the right people, but also that we’ve met with those people, gone through their processes and procedures, and are comfortable they’re taking steps to alleviate any problem in their organisation.” ▶

A small percentage of people out there do not have good ethics and will continue to try to cheat the system. It’s our job to make sure we’re investing with people with high ethics 41



F e at u r e s

with their investigation of the manager, Goldman notes. “As legal counsel to many institutional investors, they would ask us to look more closely at their legal rights, particularly if they want to withdraw capital. For instance, if they hadn’t done so previously we may also assist them with reviewing regulatory filings made by the manager and to look to see if managers have had any regulatory violations.” But emerging managers are clever. Bingham McCutchen LLP is seeing an increase in the number of quality emerging managers who are launching funds with a team larger than those seen several years ago. Indeed, nowadays managers recognise that institutional investors expect to see a reasonably good infrastructure in place, even though their assets under management are relatively small. “Unfortunately, we often only hear about the negative activities in our industry,” he concedes. “We see that managers are much more focused on compliance matters and adopting best practices, not only to provide investors with comfort, but also because they recognise it is the proper way to run an investment management firm.”


Rich Goldman, a partner at the Bostonbased investment management group of international law firm Bingham McCutchen LLP, believes that frauds are deterring investors. Although the latter, once-bitten, twice-careful – but still attracted to the new talent – are now being more diligent and taking more time before they invest. There are many investors who want to invest with new managers launching hedge funds, but the number of financial frauds has required institutional investors to do a lot more due diligence before investing, Goldman says. The investment process is consequently slower. “Investors are certainly doing more due diligence not only on a manager’s investment process, but on the operations as well, such as conducting background checks on the investment manager’s key personnel,” he explains. “They have to do more work to confirm that the management is who it says it is. But there is a healthy appetite in the institutional community for investing with emerging managers.” Private high net worth individuals (HNWIs) are also investing with emerging managers, he notes, although more of the asset flows into hedge funds in the last few years have come from institutional investors – sovereign wealth funds, pension plans and endowments. The HNWIs recognise that emerging managers, smaller and sometimes more nimble, can have benefits. However, as those investors often have fewer resources to conduct comprehensive due diligence, they may instead invest in emerging managers through funds of funds, or use third parties to perform due diligence on those managers.

Managed accounts provide a good way to access both emerging hedge fund managers as well as established funds while minimising fraud concerns for investors 42


Goldman also notices that some investors are asking for more transparency from emerging managers and want to be able to call on certain independent third parties for information. “One important factor for investors is to consider who are these independent third parties – the accounting firm, the administrator, etc – to make sure they are themselves reputable,” he continues. “This was not the case in the Madoff situation.” Bingham itself sometimes conducts due diligence on managers. The due diligence that investors conduct can be quite extensive, according to Goldman. In addition to asking a manager to fill out a questionnaire, investors will want to meet the manager and his or her front and back office teams, examine the systems and really feel comfortable that there is a viable operation and infrastructure in place. Investors who are suspicious of a fund manager they have invested with may make use of service providers to assist them


“As a result of a number of high profile investment frauds occurring over the previous several years, we have seen a significant increase among institutional investors in utilising managed accounts for their investments into hedge funds,” reveals Dr Dennis Heskel, Lyxor Asset Management’s head of hedge fund research in New York. According to Heskel, managed accounts provide a good way to access both emerging hedge fund managers as well as established funds while minimising fraud concerns. This is because managed account platforms offer segregation and control of assets. The assets are segregated from the benchmark manager and subject to third party oversight and valuation. He concludes, “Together, these elements act to help mitigate the risk of fraud or the misappropriation of assets.” H For more hedge fund news, analysis and expert market briefings, go to

F e at u r e s

Making a Splash From a background in military simulations, CGI graphics expert Eyal Gever has turned his talents to art, employing a ÂŁ215,000 3D printer to create, well, destruction. By MARK HEDLEY




Eyal GEvEr is a living paradox. He’s a computer programmer who makes art. A creator who is obsessed with destruction. A geek who is as hard as nails. An Israeli national, Gever began his compulsory national service as a paratrooper. But a serious kidney injury led to his redeployment to a computer unit. His mission: to produce electronic simulations of catastrophic events such as explosions It was here he became an expert in his craft, which, on leaving the army, he applied to more commercial ends. By 2000, he had built a £108m computer graphics company called Zapa. One year later, Gever suffered another type of disaster when the dotcom bubble burst. The crash wiped millions off the value of his business and forced him to lay off more than 80 members of staff. This led him to refocus his efforts on his art. Employing a decade of expertise, Gever uses his computer simulations to create real-life sculptures. The frozen moments of catastrophe are then realised as sculpture by using a £215,000 Objet 3D printer. “In my art work, I try to create sublime moments,” Gever explains. “The moment that fills a person with amazement, awe, terror, astonishment and silence. It is an in-between state, a state where rest and motion can exist together.” So, just like the man himself, his art is a contradiction. H For more information go to

Employing a decade of expertise, Gever uses his computer simulations to create real-life sculptures. The frozen moments are realised as sculpture by a £215,000 3D printer



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Give us a break Here, Gever has simulated the break-up of solid blocks in response to catastrophic forces. The simulations track each visible particle’s trajectory. Gever then takes a freeze-frame of the most compelling moment which is then converted into one of his sculptures. Created from polymer jetting technology, these can take up to 60 hours to print.







F e at u r e s

Go out with a bang Gever’s simulations allow you to see the world through the eye of a high-speed virtual camera. “It provides us with the ability to see something we normally cannot see, the moment of suspension in time,” he explains. “I provide a way to see this action as tangible, frozen-in-time objects.”



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I n d u s t ry

The Art of Perfect Timing

Think Montblanc, think beautiful pens. Here, however, boss Lutz Bethge discusses the brand’s strategy of diversifying into other luxury goods such as fine watches, leather goods and jewellery

writing instruments with me, but this one I always carry, for leisure or business.” With roots stretching back to 1906, when a Hamburg banker and a Berlin engineer decided to produce fountain pens, the Montblanc of today is as recognised for its watches, jewellery and leather goods as for its writing instruments. For the past 20 years, the company has presented the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award to individuals around the world. In 2011, the UK award went to HRH The Prince of Wales for his long-standing support of the arts. On MOntblanc’s clOse affinity with arts and culture

When Lutz Bethge joined Montblanc in 1990, he signed his contract with the Montblanc pen his wife had given to him for his birthday the year before. More than two decades later, Bethge is still with the Hamburg-based luxury good manufacturer – since 2007 as the company’s CEO – and that first pen continues to go everywhere with him. “It’s my lucky pen, so to speak,” Bethge explains. “I always have a number of

You could probably say that reading and writing form the backbone of civilization and culture – and, of course, Montblanc has its roots buried deep in the written word

You could probably say that reading and writing form the backbone of civilization and culture. And, of course, Montblanc has its roots buried deep in the culture of the written word, so we have always felt an affiliation to arts and culture. I also believe that, in today’s world in particular, we need to broaden our minds. When you talk to artists, with their different views and takes on society, when you visit a gallery or go to a museum, you can open your mind, widen your views and feel inspired; this is extremely important. In a world where governments have so many pressures to handle that there is no longer the support that arts and culture require, the creative community relies on committed individuals and corporations to provide this support. One thing’s for sure, there would have been no artists like Mozart or Michelangelo without the unconditional support of patrons, and this is why I believe Montblanc has to play its part as well. On why writing by hand still Matters in the MOdern wOrld

If I write you a letter I’m giving you the most precious gift that I can – my own time. Today writing has become very much a functional thing, but if you really want ▶



LUXURY Montblanc

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cultured lifestyle. Today, I believe we are the only brand in the luxury pens sector really trying to develop and grow the market. We do a lot to continue developing the writing implements business, but the growth rate in this category is lower than the growth rates that can be achieved in watches, jewellery and leather goods, where you have a large number of different brands investing a lot in different markets. Writing instruments still represent the largest share of our business, but we believe that in the next five years, without seeing a decline in sales of writing instruments, we have a chance to grow watches to become our biggest category. It’s certainly the fastest growing category for us right now. On why chrOnOgraph watches are the cOMpany’s best sellers

▶ to show someone how much you love them, how much you care, how important they are, you write them a letter by hand. I like to explain this when I’m at a university talking about Montblanc and I’m asked why I believe a company like ours can succeed in the writing instrument business in today’s climate. I say, “I’m sure you’ve all received love emails or texts, but one question: does any lady keep those emails or texts in a little box with a ribbon around it?” They look at me like I’m crazy. “And now for the brave ladies: who still keep handwritten letters from boyfriends in a box with a ribbon around?” You wouldn’t believe how many raise their hands. This is the difference between the function of writing and the emotion of writing; you open your soul to the person you’re writing to. It will always be the case.

On MOntblanc’s diversificatiOn intO Other prOduct areas

Montblanc was seen as the pinnacle of writing tools, and we believed the craftsmanship component could be extended to other products, so we started with leather goods and watches. Even



though this was, perhaps for some people at first, a daring thing, our customers didn’t doubt us; they believed we could excel in the same way we had excelled in writing instruments because of our manufacturing competence. Of course, it required us not just to label the products but either to build our own factory or buy a factory where we could then make our own products, because deep in our hearts we are craftsmen. On the reMarkable grOwth

One of the things we discovered when we were looking into the watch business was Nicolas Rieussec, the inventor of the chronograph and a man who was writing time with ink. We thought, “Wow, that’s a sign!” And we decided to develop a movement that somehow resembled his original idea [which used needles filled with ink, and when pressed they marked finishing times in horse races on rotating discs]. We couldn’t use ink so we took inspiration from the rotating discs and implemented it on the watch. It was not intentional that we sold more chronographs – it was more intentional that we started to develop the Rieussec chronograph because we liked it as a concept – but in the end it was our customers who decided. Today, of our ten best sellers, nine are chronographs.

Of the watch industry

Writing instruments are the core of our brand, our roots, because this is where we create our values, those of a successful and

It was not intentional we sold more chronographs but in the end it was our customers who decided – today, of our ten best sellers, nine of them are chronographs

On the challenge Of balancing quality with vOluMe

Quality has to come first, whatever product you make. It was my predecessor who started the process of diversification into new areas and in the mid-1980s he saw that the only way forward was to aim for the premium part of the market. In a very brave move, he stopped 70–80% of the volume of the business to concentrate on the highend, because he could not tell his people to work extremely diligently and be extremely careful in the morning, and in the afternoon to work as fast as possible. Ever since, this has influenced the way we work. H


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I n d u s t ry

The Hedge with an Edge

Robert Tomei is the supremo at highly-rated asset management group Advanced Capital. He tells HEDGE about expansion into the UK, frontier market strategies and collecting fine art for charity do you see current mArket conditions As An opportunity for investors, or A cHAnce to step bAck And consolidAte?

I suppose for some it’s a time to take a step back and lick their wounds, but we’ve got an investor base which is keen for us to press on doing what we do best – generating strong risk-adjusted returns. Obviously, market volatility augments both risk and reward, and our focus has been on identifying pockets of opportunity which can go against the trend.

market conditions, we (and without overgeneralising, most of our clients) feel we’re the most sensible place for their money. We were the first southern European fund to offer such a wide range of private equity investments, so we have a long track record of helping our investors put their money into prospects which are uncorrelated with the ups and downs of Italy’s own economy. it wAs reported tHAt you relocAted AdvAnced cApitAl from milAn to london lAst yeAr,

RobeRt tomei is President and CEO of Advanced Capital, an alternative asset management group with €1bn assets under management ranked by research consultancy Prequin as the second best performing private equity fund of funds manager in 2011.

do tHese conditions of volAtility

A decision tHAt migHt surprise

fAvour tHe innovAtors?

some in tHe wAke of eu politicAl

Absolutely – but only for those who have made the right innovations. Our investment attitudes are constantly evolving, but never in the name of change for its own sake. The evolution of Advanced Capital is driven by a desire to capture the best investment opportunities at any given time, whatever and wherever they may be. In the depths of global stagnation in the US and Europe this meant investing more widely, launching niche funds investing in areas with the most growth potential.

criticism. wHy did you decide to

crisis Hit your investor bAse,

wHAt’s your personAl Assessment of

pArticulArly in itAly?

tHe HeAltH of tHe uk’s AlternAtive

Our investors, both in Italy and elsewhere, recognise the balance we strike between generating strong returns and our focus on wealth-preservation – in tough

investment scene?

cApitAl And its vArious funds And

Advanced Capital is an innovative, alternative investment firm, with European roots but an ever more global outlook. We’ve been successful with our pure private equity funds of funds, and we’re now building a series of niche funds exposing our investors to a series of promising opportunities, across many different sectors and geographies.

I should make it clear that we maintain a strong presence in Milan – I spend a great deal of time there – and it remains a major office. Our expanded presence in the UK was a natural extension of Advanced Capital’s increasingly globalised nature, both in terms of the investments which we are making, and our investor basis. In order to introduce ourselves to new UHNWI and institutional clients, London was an important place to be.

How HArd HAs tHe eurozone

How would you describe AdvAnced Activities?

mAke tHe move?

I’ve been watching the east London technology start-up scene with interest; it went through a hype patch last year – the media and government getting caught up in the frenzy

There’s a great deal of potential – I have been watching the east London technology start-up scene with interest, after it went through a patch of hype last year, with the media and government getting caught up in the frenzy of attention. After this time in the spotlight, there’s been a sense that these firms have been buckling down and getting on with the hard graft of growing their businesses and adding value. Acquisitions of firms like Saffron Digital and Tweetdeck show the potential of the area and the next step for it is to move from exiting on values in the tens of millions, to exiting on values in the hundreds of millions. ▶




I n d u s t ry

How successful Has tHe joint

seed investment into tHe mcapital special situations fund last year been so far?

As you probably know, mCapital is a new manager that launched its first fund just over a year ago. The team has over 185 years of investment experience with the managing partners having run banks and investment managers in their careers, giving it a very mature and open but controlled feel. The fund has done very well with positive returns so far and we believe there is more to come before that first fund liquidates in 2013; they have beaten their peer group which had negative returns of 13% in 2011. This is in line with their history; the team, led by industry veteran Mark Devonshire, came from the Merrill Lynch/Principal Credit Group, which had no years with negative returns and indeed had averaged 22%+ IRRs (unleveraged) in their time there. With our backing, and that of APG’s IMQubator, we have also seeded the second fund in October of last year and they are now launching the third fund in the series. Investors really appreciate this combination and the structure of their fund which looks at stressed, distressed, turnaround and rescue finance opportunities with just a two-anda-half-year lock-up making it unique in its European and Asian focus. There is no doubt that these guys should be running a billion-plus of assets in the near future.

phase of our frontier markets strategy and have just made a major new hire who will be spearheading our activity. I’m not sure that patronising views come into it. When developers look at promising developing economies like the frontier markets, their only focus is on how to get involved in their explosive growth potential. If anything, I’d say the emotion is closer to admiration. Those emerging economies which manage to go some way towards following the example set by China over the past 10–15 years – and it has to be said that not all of them will be able to achieve this – will be setting the pace of global economic growth.

investments in tHe pipeline as ac continues to expand?

Certainly in terms of investment themes; mCapital represents an exciting investment opportunity taking advantage of a specific scenario. We will continue to seek out unique pockets of opportunity in often out-of-favour sectors and geographies. Currently, we are working on two new funds… watch this space! you’ve recently written about frontier markets – wHicH advanced capital Has invested in. do investors in tHe developed world Have a patronising view of developing countries (beyond tHe brics)?

We are currently in the due diligence



arts organisations. wHat seeded your interest in contemporary art (and tHe arts in general)?

Art has been a passion of mine since my university days and I’m just glad to be in a position where I can act on that passion, both in terms of buying art for myself and by acting in an advisory capacity for others. I have now been collecting artwork for more than 20 years and I can tell you that it is never enough. wHen you invest in art personally, do you only buy pieces you expect to profit from in tHe future?

wHere are tHe best places to look for profitable frontier markets?

As ever, it’s just a matter of weighing up opportunities and risk. The investor who correctly identifies that the market’s concerns about political risk are overstated can pick up assets at a discount. But getting it wrong can be disastrous – and even a correctly gauged level of risk can prove to be of no use if that 30% chance of nationalisation comes about and turns the investment into a write-off. We’re looking towards Southeast Asia, Kenya, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Colombia and Venezuela. and does tHe fact tHat you’ve now publicised your interest in frontier markets mean it’s too late for otHer investors to get in on tHe act? Has tHe boat sailed?

and can we expect to see similar

you sit on tHe board of several

We’re ahead of many but behind some – we certainly aren’t the first to dip our toes into the emerging economies beyond the BRICs. However, we do feel that this is the opportune time to be getting in on the action and being an early mover makes it easier to secure access to the best investment opportunities.

Those emerging economies which manage to go some way towards following the example set by China over the past 10–15 years will set the pace of global economic growth

I think the line between investing for pleasure and along the lines of one’s own taste is sometimes a blurred one. In something as personal as art, it’s hard to invest with any finesse by simply identifying objective trends. Naturally, those who try to invest solely with their head have a tendency to end up investing in what they see as sure-fire bets, but the art market can be rather capricious when it comes to that sort of thing. Naturally, most art investors will be most informed in, and therefore best equipped to invest in, areas of personal artistic interest. I’d say my approach is mixed; I tend to buy pieces around an area of interest, which I also expect to increase in value. For example, when I started collaborating with my friend and advisor Simon de Pury, we decided to build a collection of work created in the last decade by artists who emerged in the 1990s. Then I make each individual purchase through a combination of my personal preferences and where I think its value will go. does advanced capital still Have any arts investment funds?

Yes, we continue to manage the Libra arts fund, advised by myself and Simon de Pury. wHere do you eat, drink and sHop wHen you’re in london?

As a member of the Dover Street Arts Club, I tend to spend a lot of time there both on business and pleasure when I’m in London. For food and drink I’m a regular patron of Scott’s of Mayfair, Claridges and the Connaught. Apart from that, I’ve been known to drop into Santa Maria Novella in the Piccadilly Arcade. H

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I n d u s t ry

Blow Your Own Trumpet

Entrepreneurial business leaders are advised to take note of great jazz musicians who dealt with complex structures, highly-strung egos – and liked a sharp suit, too. Jon Hawkins is hip to that



Bandleaders went by nicknames – Count Basie, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Duke Ellington, Cannonball Adderley – by which measure ‘Sir’ Fred ‘The Shred’ is practically jazz royalty

moved to Philadelphia in the 1960s because “to save the planet I had to go to the worst spot on Earth”. And while no one’s suggesting the 2008 financial crisis was caused by a bum note in an improvised vibraphone solo or a particularly dissonant chord progression, there were plenty who saw jazz as a genuine threat in its early days in 1920s America. An expectant mothers’ group in Cincinnati even prevented a jazz venue being built in their neighbourhood on the basis this ‘Devil’s music’ endangered foetuses. The academic paper, led by Warwick Business School’s professor of entrepreneurship, Deniz Ucbasaran, has started making an impact already, winning a best paper award at last November’s Institute for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship conference. Such success might be expected to pave the way for a slew of similarly themed papers in the world of business and beyond, which might include Risk Management: Advice from the Great Circus Leaders; Energy Derivatives Trading: Learning from Scottish Third Division Goalkeepers; and Competition Law: Lessons from Erect Crested Penguins. Obviously, until these papers are written, peer reviewed and absorbed, entrepreneurs, and the City’s big swinging dicks (that’s swinging in the Louis Armstrong sense, of course), will have to continue to draw inspiration from Davis, Blakey and Ellington, men who, as Ucbasaran told the Guardian, were expert managers of “the disparate egos of highly talented people”. There are plenty of signs the City is primed to take the principles of jazz band leadership into its bosom, but one stands out. Bandleaders often went by nicknames that suggested nobility – think Count Basie, Nat ‘King’ Cole and Duke Ellington – or dynamism – Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderley, by which measure ‘Sir’ Fred ‘The Shred’ Goodwin is practically jazz royalty. We’ll let him keep the ‘Sir’ – for jazz purposes, obviously. H

PhotograPh by Ebet roberts/redferns

There are any number of apocryphal stories about maverick jazz genius Miles Davis, but one of the most memorable supposedly took place during his ‘lost years’. From 1976 to 1980, Davis was holed up in his wreck of an apartment, indulging in cocaine, cognac and sex benders that left him in such a state that one day he saw snow falling on his Ferrari and, mistaking it for cocaine, tried to snort it off the car. It’s worth bearing this story in mind (along with the fact it’s probably made up) when considering that the trumpeter’s leadership technique is cited in an academic paper called Leading Entrepreneurial Teams: Insights from Jazz. While the paper, which analyses the leadership styles of three great jazz band leaders – Davis, Art Blakey and Duke Ellington – and draws lessons from them to be used by entrepreneurial business leaders, almost certainly doesn’t recommend filling your house with hookers and narcotics and bashing out a few client conference calls, jazz does seem like rather an odd place to start if you’re looking for sound business advice. But dig a bit deeper and some parallels between business, particularly big City finance, and that great bastion of chinstrokery and self-indulgent noodling begin to emerge. Frighteningly complex structures that only those creating them actually understand and leave everyone else scratching their heads? Sounds familiar. Misunderstood and ridiculed by the majority of the public? That, too. A predilection for sharp suits? My God, jazz and business are practically the same thing. How has no one made this connection before? In fact, from a leadership perspective there are plenty of further similarities. It’s easy to imagine the RBS leadership team tasked with the acquisition of ABN Amro in 2007 were channelling notorious bandleader Sun Ra, who claimed he was from Saturn and had been sent to save the people of Earth, wore Tutankhamun-style Egyptian headgear and space suits, and

There’s one thing you’ll never need to

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R e wa R d s

We were tearing up a dune in third gear tipping 80mph, whooping and hollering inside our crash helmets GOOD DIRTY FUN . p74


Poppy Jasper Sphere £3,500 Jasper is a crypto-crystalline quartz, a relative of citrine and amethyst, except in the case of jasper there are many tiny quartz crystals joined together and layered creating a host of different varieties, colours and patterns. This particular piece is impressive not only because of its unique colour and patterning but also because of its size – 28cm in diameter. As most jasper pieces are cut down into smaller pieces for jewellery, this grand statement piece is quite unique.



All examples are available from Dale Rogers Ammonite;


Out Of This World Filling your home with antiques is no longer enough – you need properly ancient collectibles, millions of years old. DALE ROGERS specialises in space rocks, fossils and mineral artworks to complement ultra-modern interiors

Fossil Wood Sphere £8,000 Coral Sphere £2,800 This 30cm sphere is carved and turned from a single piece of Indonesian fossil coral, a natural stone formed from ancient corals, not to be mistaken for today’s protected and endangered reef coral. Corals have grown in Earth’s oceans for almost 500m years and exquisitely detailed fossilised corals from the mountains of Indonesia are the most unique and beautiful. Buried in sediments, temperature and compaction resulted in them becoming rock.

This interesting large sphere has been worked from a petrified wood log from Arizona which is 180-220m years old and is known for being the most colourful petrified wood in the world. A unique set of geological circumstances, a few hundred million years and the skills of the finest craftsmen have come together to create this unique and beautiful natural work of art. Pieces of this stature and quality are highly sought after and are often sold soon after arriving in our gallery by art collectors and high profile interior decorators alike.




Fukang Meteorite Slice £1,600 This little survivor endured tremendous atmospheric and impact forces to carry its rare olivine crystals to Earth. The nickel-iron matrix in which the space gems are embedded is classified as medium octahedrite based on the size of the crystalline structures. These ‘Widmanstatten patterns’ are diagnostic of extraterrestrial nickel-iron metal. For crystals to form, the metal cooled at only a few degrees per million years. Meteorites are named after the region they fell in; this one was found near Fukang, Xinjiang Uygar Province, China, in 2000. This is essential to any serious meteorite collection.

Lapis Lazuli £7,500 Red Jasper Free Form £1,400 Polished red jasper free form from Madagascar has a lovely rich lustre. Named from the Old French jaspre meaning ‘spotted/speckled stone’, it is particularly popular within the world of crystal healing. A strong protection gemstone, red jasper is known to protect against hazards of the night and red jasper is deemed to be very lucky for actors and is said to promote calmness. Leaving the metaphysical aspects aside, it is a truly stunning natural stone.



This opaque, deep blue stone was among the first gemstones worn as human jewellery. Excavations of ancient Mediterranean sites have unearthed decorative items made from it, proving clearly the stone was very popular with the cultures of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome. It is said Ur, the legendary city on the Euphrates, traded in lapis lazuli as early as 4,000BC, the stones sourced from the famous Afghanistan lapis deposits. Owing to the location of these mines, it has become increasingly difficult to obtain good quality large pieces.


Muonionalusta Meteorite Cube, £12,500 This is a stunning cube cut from a huge Muonionalusta meteorite found in Northern Sweden. It is composed primarily of various alloys of iron and nickel, and derived from a molten planetary core that was broken apart billions of years ago. It features crystalline Widmanstatten patterns which can only form in the vacuum of space where there are very few molecules with which the molten chunks of planetary core could come into contact. These require millions of years of cooling to form – it has been estimated it took some 1,000 years for them to cool down by just 1°C.




Time for a Revolution

The prolific design team at Cartier Fine Watchmaking are close to unleashing a new revolution in timepieces. Their boss, Carole Forestier-Kasapi, spares a few minutes for RObin SwithinbanK

VERY FEW pEoplE have changed watchmaking forever. You can pick out a few names from history – Christiaan Huygens in the 17th century, John Harrison in the 18th, Abraham-Louis Breguet in the 19th and the British watchmaker George Daniels (who sadly died last year) in the 20th. Getting on a list that prestigious takes some doing. That won’t stop people trying, mind. Watch brands talk endlessly of innovation and pioneering new technologies and techniques. Much of it is one-upmanship, and finding real advances that could have a genuine, long-term impact on how watches are made is tricky, to say the least. Which is why all due caution should be applied to what’s being reported from inside Cartier’s Fine Watchmaking department. It is possible – and this is where you can trade caution for all-out scepticism, if you want – that Cartier is within touching distance of industrialising the manufacture of watches needing no adjustment or regulation, either during production or in their lifetime. This is a considerable claim – we’re talking unprecedented levels of accuracy in mechanical watchmaking and greatly reducing servicing intervals – but not strictly a new one. Cartier first showcased the technology behind it in the IDOne



concept unveiled in 2010, but since then, everything has gone a little quiet. A moment therefore for a quick look at the back story. Cartier has form with watches and has been making them since the late 19th century. The original Santos watch of 1904, produced for dashing Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, is often cited as the watch that popularised wristwatches over pocket watches. In 2006, many significant Cartier watch designs later, the brand announced it was to start making its own highend complications through the Fine Watchmaking division, an operation made possible when Cartier’s parent company Richemont bought Roger Dubuis’s manufacturing facility and cordoned off a vast chunk of it for the project. Its first watch, the Ballon Bleu de Cartier Flying Tourbillon, appeared in 2007 and in the years since, the collection has grown with esoteric masterpieces like the Astrotourbillon, the Astrorégulateur and this year’s Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon. It’s no exaggeration to say these pieces will go down in history. Cartier has invested heavily in its Fine Watchmaking division (although as is Richemont Group policy, no one is allowed to say just how heavily), leading to a massive shift in perceptions of the brand. Yes, it still makes a lot of commercial pieces powered by outsourced ETA movements, and sticks resolutely by its Cartier d’Art collection (more jewellery than watchmaking), but these new additions to the collection have positioned Cartier as one of today’s great horological innovators. Behind this impressive lurch up the horological hierarchy is the brand’s head of movement creation, Carole ForestierKasapi. “Cartier is not a brand with a technical past,” she says, when asked where the ideas for the watches came from and how they’ve been executed so swiftly. “When we started working on this project in 2004, we had to propose new

movements to make headway in the haute horlogerie market. We had to find new interpretations of things in the market. We had to be different,” she says. She has a team of 32 behind her, which, she says, makes it quite possibly the largest fine watchmaking development team in the world, and is the simple explanation for how Cartier has managed to crank out 19 movements in eight years (plus the Calibre 1904 automatic). Nonetheless, this is some record, considering Patek Philippe has fewer base calibres in its whole collection. It’s all very impressive but what clearly excites Forestier-Kasapi more than any of this, and could yet earn her and her team a place in the history books, is what follows the IDOne. Talking about it, she leans forward but pinches her hands between her knees as if trying to suppress the urge to blurt something out. “We are working on this,” she concedes. “If you push this technology to the point where you can industrialise it, then you can use it in commercial products,” she says. She adds she’s already working on pieces we won’t see until 2017, but yes, there’s a chance we might see IDTwo as early as next year. And then, who knows? She smiles – a smile that says that’s all she can reveal for now, one that shows she’s glad she didn’t let the cat out of the bag. For now, we’re left to guess, but it begins to seem likely that one day, the name of Carol e Forestier-Kasapi may just be one to add to the list. h

Cartier is within touching distance of industrialising the manufacture of watches needing no adjustment or regulation, either during production or in their lifetime


TIME IS MONEY: The Grand Complication Skeleton pocket watch calibre 9436 MC (to be precise) is a limited edition piece by Cartier. You’ll need (very) deep pockets, though – last time we checked, the price for this 59mm marvel was €500,000...




Chariot of the Gods

Bentley has updated the chic, sleek Continental GTC with more power and extra refinements. JON HAWKINS drops the top and unearths Roman ruins and giant truffles in Istria, Croatia




The King of truffles holds court in the hilltop town of Motovun. It’s a sleepy medieval relic full of cobbled streets lined with shops selling nothing but truffles and truffle-related products, and dotted with the odd rusting Fiat 500 that appears to have been strategically placed for rustic, aesthetic appeal. Even in the achingly pretty peninsula of Istria in the northwest of Croatia, the town sticks out like a particularly beautiful sore thumb. There are restaurants in Motovun, too, predictably specialising in truffles, and one of them belongs to the king, Giancarlo Zigante. A stocky, serious-looking man with suspiciously treacly black hair who speaks his English as any King should – through a beautiful interpreter – Zigante found fame in 1999 when he unearthed a white truffle weighing a then world record 1.3kg in the forests of nearby Buje. Though the original was served at a banquet for friends, the king keeps a model of the giant, brain-like fungus to show off to the visitors who make their way up the narrow and winding road to Motovun. It’s a road that, by rights, shouldn’t suit a car as large and powerful as Bentley’s revised Continental GTC. But it does. The big convertible pummels the short straights and devours corners thanks in no small part to the 6.0-litre W12 and a body the Crewe manufacturer claims is the stiffest of any soft-top tourer. Slicing through the glorious Istrian countryside, it’s hard to imagine a better seat in any house than the one behind the wheel of the latest droptop Bentley. As a coupé, the Continental has always been a handsome and devastatingly effective grand tourer, even more so in its latest guise, but the convertible undeniably serves up the greater drama, offering panoramic views and visceral, hood-down thrills with little compromise by way of refinement. ▶

The big convertible pummels the short straights and devours corners thanks in no small part to the 6.0-litre W12 and a body Crewe claims is the stiffest of any soft-top tourer 71




The Bentley GTC disguises its continenteating pace in a cocoon of exquisite craftsmanship and unparalleled composure, without sacrificing any driving enjoyment

MaGICal hIsTory Tourer: Croatia’s Istrian peninsula is full of nautical and classical sights such as rovinj’s’s old fishing port and roman arena

▶ With the hood up, you’d be hard-pressed to tell you weren’t in the coupé, so good is the sound-muting and the ride, though with superlative wind-protection and a neckwarming air-flow system your only excuse is torrential rain or an Antarctic road trip. Outwardly, the new GTC – which replaces the 2006 original – is more evolution than revolution, with sharper lines, a wider track (by 48mm at the rear and 41mm at the front) and jewelled headlights. But the changes run deeper than the muscular surface. Power is up 15bhp



to 567bhp, a revised transmission slashes shift times by half and the four-wheel drive system’s torque split has been given a 40:60 rearward bias (from 50:50) to minimise understeer when cornering hard. There’s also a revised touchscreen infotainment system using Google Maps, and a ten-speaker Naim audio system every bit as punchy as it should be in a convertible car capable of travelling at 195mph and accelerating to 62mph in 4.5secs. Those figures, though, somewhat miss the point; the GTC is effortlessly, breathtakingly fast, but its real skill is its ability to disguise its continent-eating pace in a cocoon of exquisite craftsmanship and unparalleled composure, without sacrificing any driving enjoyment. That much is clear on Istria’s billiard table-smooth tarmac, which wraps around a peninsula so full of natural and man-made beauty it’s hard not to feel it was dealt an unfair hand when these things were being handed out. Which isn’t to say Istria has had an easy run of things; in the last 100 years alone it has passed from the Austrian Empire to Italy (post-WWI) and from Italy to Yugoslavia (post-WWII) until the latter’s breakup in 1991 and the recognition of Croatia as an independent state. Long before it became the subject of an international game of pass the parcel, Istria was in the hands of the Romans, and there are spectacular reminders in the town of Pula. We park the GTC alongside the town’s magnificently preserved

amphitheatre and walk into an arena that, almost two millennia ago, hosted gladiatorial battles, and today is home to a film festival and musical concerts. Quite what the Romans would make of blood, guts and thrilling glory being substituted for the likes of Sting is anyone’s guess. If the influence of the boot-shaped country across the Adriatic can be seen in ancient ruins and an undeniable geographic similarity (they call Istria ‘the little Tuscany by the sea’), it’s even more obvious in the cuisine. You’ll find pasta, risotto, polenta, a local prosciutto and other Italian staples on Istrian menus, along with a superb Prosecco-besting sparkling wine made by Misal in the tiny village of Peršurici. The wine’s only downside is you’ll struggle to track down a bottle in the UK. And, of course, there are truffles, though you’ll have to go a long way for one like the king’s 1.3kg behemoth. Just make sure you’ve got a Continental GTC for the trip. H For more information go to

Get The Watch… Bentley for Breitling GMT V8 To celebrate the launch of the Bentley Continental GT V8, Breitling has produced a 250-piece limited series of the Bentley GMT chronograph. Its signature feature is the mobile inner city bezel finished in metallic red.

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Experience another World

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Good Dirty Fun

On the ultimate adventure ride, Warren Pole pilots a BMW enduro bike 1,000 miles through the hot, harsh Namibian desert Adventure riding is a seductive thing. First, there are the bikes, epic offroad monsters just as comfortable cruising French autoroutes or attacking Swiss Alpine passes as they are battering through filthy jungle swamps in the middle of nowhere. Second, there’s the gear; from sat-navs to repair kits and carbon-fibre helmets to monstrous motocross boots, tooling up for a trip like this is half the fun. And finally, there’s the adventure. With a go-anywhere motorbike, you can live and breathe the environments you’re hacking through in a way no other vehicle will allow you to. You become a part of the landscape and the culture around you on a bike, and the pleasure’s in soaking it all up. But adventure riding’s also bloody hard work. It requires a huge amount of organisation from sorting out visas, to clearing motorbikes through Customs and spending days at remote border crossings en route trying to bribe your way across. And what if you crash? Having a bust bike and a broken femur in deepest Bogota doesn’t bear thinking about and suddenly makes adventure riding look a little bit, well, difficult. But it doesn’t have to be this way because, if your pockets are deep enough, there are a host of companies worldwide who’ll do all the hard work for you, letting riders pay and play for the adventure ride of a lifetime. All you have to do is turn up with a crash helmet, a valid bike licence, and a vague idea of how to ride on the dirt.

We were tearing up this beast of a dune in third gear tipping 80mph, turning and surfing back down, whooping and hollering inside our crash helmets – an all-time riding high 74


Big players in this market are BMW and when the overall boss of the company’s motorcycle division and keen enduro rider Hendrik von Kuenheim wanted a tough and exotic riding holiday he had his people arrange just that. Being the boss, he also made sure the hotels, restaurants and wine lists along the way were the best money could buy, and then he invited a select handful of journalists to join him. Given the trip involved a week tearing across Namibia aboard a brace of F800GSs, I couldn’t pack quickly enough. On day one, riding out of the Namibian capital Windhoek, there was inevitably tarmac to deal with but 70 miles later we hit the dirt which was pretty much where we stayed for the rest of the trip. This first day’s ride was a gentle one, with the trails wide, open and predictable which meant ample opportunity to soak up the sights, smells and sounds of wild Africa as they floated around us. With our previously pristine bikes now suitably sand-blasted, we rolled into the Erindi private game reserve that evening in time for ice cold sundowner beers on their viewing deck. The lodge is remarkable for not only being in the middle of the surrounding savannah, but also for being alongside a large watering hole meaning you can slake your own thirst while idly watching crocodiles, hippos and other animals at work just feet away. It makes London Zoo look decidedly secondhand. After a night’s deep sleep in Erindi’s palatial individual bungalows with their terraces opening directly onto the plains and the wildlife wandering by, we hit the trail again heading for Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast. Swakopmund itself is unremarkable, a sort of Namibian Margate, and wouldn’t be worth staying in if it weren’t for the riding to get there which was something else. Following 150-odd miles of trails to get into the groove, we had left the town of ▶

Travel NamiBia

photographs by Jon Beck



Travel NAmIbIA


▶ Uis

and joined an arrow-straight dusty trail heading for the coast. For 70 miles this track never kinked or curved an inch, remaining resolutely, mind-bendingly, hallucinatingly straight. Above us a giant blue sky stretched from across the horizon, and ahead the road narrowed to a point shrouded in a heat haze where the sky melted into the earth. We chased that point for what felt like an age, speedos swaying around the 90mph mark, rev counters dancing as back wheels endlessly slipped, gripped, slipped, gripped. It was as close to an out-of-body experience as I’ve come on a motorbike, and more than made up for the impending night in Swakopmund’s drab, grey mire. Which we gladly left the following morning for what turned out to be the most amazing dune riding session. Dune Seven, just outside of Swakopmund, may have a dull name, but don’t be fooled because this 200m natural sand bowl could just be the greatest thing you’ve never ridden. Sand riding is an acquired skill, but the basics are simple. Lots of gas, and look way ahead – never anywhere near your front wheel, no matter how many knots it’s tying itself in. Follow these basics and you’ll be fine, forget either and you’ll be wearing

The heavens opened in grand African fashion… the previously dusty, sandy trails became oily slimy swamps in minutes as the bone dry ground struggled with the water pouring from the sky

RIDE OF HIS LIFE: An ice-cold beer at the end of a long day’s riding on dusty and rutted tracks, up and down sand dunes and across the wide savannah grasslands is a welcome reward. Along the trail, adventure riders sleep each night in various hunting lodges and camps in the middle of the Namibian wilderness.



your bike before you know it. On a giant dune like this, the only additional tip is to add even more throttle, which meant we were tearing up this beast of a dune in third gear tipping 80mph, turning for the base again just as the momentum ran out and surfing back down to terra firma, whooping and hollering inside our crash helmets. This was an all-time riding high. Our journey’s final destination this day was the Sossusvlei Lodge in the southern Namib desert. A peach of a place, the lodge is located in the heart of big dune country and lies at the end of a huge, snaking dirt track bordering the Namib-Naukluft national park. A stellar dinner served in the middle of the vast and empty desert was a standout of our visit here, as was a tour deep into the park itself where the views are spellbinding, especially if you’ve got the legs to tackle some serious dune climbing. The final day was the trawl back to Windhoek and the going got tough. We’d crossed the Tropic of Capricorn that morning as the sun blazed high in the sky, and the weather was just as scorching as we scaled the Spreetshoogte Pass which climbs up off the desert floor offering stunning views back across this beautiful landscape. However, as we took a breather to enjoy this very wonderful outlook, our vantage point also allowed us a grandstand view of the massive bank of filthy black rain clouds headed directly our way. We may have been riding 800cc bikes with plenty of punch, but they would be no match for the natural forces coming towards us and within half an hour the clouds had settled above us and the heavens opened in grand African fashion. The previously dusty, sandy trails we were on became oily, slimy swamps in minutes with river crossings springing up all over the place as the bone dry ground struggled to cope with the massive amount of water pouring from the sky. So it was a soaked, filthy bunch of riders who arrived back in Windhoek that night as the trip drew to a close, but there wasn’t one person who wasn’t grinning from ear to ear. Like I said earlier, adventure riding’s a seductive thing. H Go to for all organised BMW tours which cover everything from learning to ride, all the way through to circumnavigating the globe.

Abercrombie & Kent now offers tailor made journeys throughout North America. To talk travel with people who’ve been there, call

0 8 4 5 6 1 8 2 1 76 or visit us in Harrods

lifting off in the land of the Free.

TAilor-mAde TrAvel • villAS • CHAleTS • CoNCierGe

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Travel Zurich


Zurich: Your First Resort Need pampering? With fine wining and sightseeing, too? The Dolder Grand five-star hotel is a onestop de luxe package offering it all in a Swiss hilltop hideaway. HannaH Berry has spas in her eyes

Submerged in a steaming hot whirlpool, my body toasty beneath the waterline and my head above it in the crisp winter night air, looking over one of the world’s greatest financial cities, I felt an innate sense of calm that everything was right in the world. And it was. Zurich, despite having a modest population of 385,000, is a hub of activity. With one of the busiest train stations in Europe, it is the pivot around which many financial institutions balance so well. The city is clean, approachable and is to be enjoyed. Set in the hills above the city looking over the verdant land is The Dolder Grand, a five-star hotel and spa steeped in history. Dating from 1899, it

underwent an extensive four-year, £346m renovation and rebuild by Norman Foster, reopening to guests in 2008. Happily, it was where I was to stay for a weekend. The Dolder thrives on the efficiency one expects from the Swiss. Met off our flight and whisked to the hotel, the road journey was picturesque, painless and a mere 15 minutes long – in effect, effortless. After being systematically checked in, I was shown to my room. The door opened and before me lay an expansive white space, with floor to (high) ceiling windows that offered a view of everything Zurich had to offer. Having a candlelit hot tub, with that vista, encouraged me to clock up a somewhat eyebrow-raising six baths in just two days.

At lunch in the Garden Restaurant, it was unsurprising, though refreshing, that as a vegetarian I was well catered for. In fact, every dietary desire is well catered for, be you vegan or just plain particular. ▶

The Dolder thrives on the efficiency one expects from the Swiss. Met off our flight and whisked to the hotel, the ride was picturesque, painless and a mere 15 minutes long – effortless 79


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The Swiss wine turned out to be some of the most light and palatable I’ve ever tasted. Perhaps it is because the Swiss realise this that they only allow one per cent of it to be exported ▶ I opted for a champagne risotto with vegetable spaghetti with shavings of Belper Knolle cheese, and was content with my choice while those around me were equally taken with their more meaty dishes. Then came a surprise as our group was offered some Swiss wine. “Swiss wine?” I repeated, sure I had misheard. I politely prepared my best “Mmmmm” face. But it turned out to be some of the most light and palatable wine I have ever tasted. Perhaps it is because the Swiss realise this that they only allow one per cent of it to be exported. As darkness fell, we enveloped ourselves in our warmest attire and sauntered up the hill to the ice rink for a spot of eisstockschiessen (ice stock), a game akin to curling but without the need for brushing frozen water with the gung-ho energy of an Energizer bunny. Let’s just say that I lacked any natural flair for this sport but it is definitely one to be tried. We moved into the warmth of the rink’s restaurant to gorge on cheese fondue and more Swiss wine, as synchronised skaters were regimentally drilled on the ice before our mesmerised eyes. Next day, we headed down the incline to join the mere mortals of Zurich. Our tour guide, Sandra Claus (stop sniggering in the back), was fervent in her duty to show us around this great city. Though small, it has over 1,000 fountains, numerous churches including the inspiring stained glass works of Fraumünster, while Péclard – a multisalon restaurant and sweet-treat boutique – is the sort of place you’d expect Willy Wonka to be holed up in. Ravenous, we stopped off at Hiltl, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Europe. Stumbling back out onto the street satiated but sleepy, we embarked on a whistle-stop tour of the new, up-andcoming Zurich West area – including ▶

HILLTOP RETREAT: (Top) The Restaurant at the Dolder Grand has two MIchelin stars for its fine dining menu and offers views across Lake Zurich, the city itself and the Alps; (above) the Aqua Zone spa, set in natural surroundings, features outdoor whirlpools, a sanarium, steambath and a ‘snow paradise’ for cooling off





▶ the

impressive conversion of the Schiffbau factory. Largely maintaining its industrial feel, the factory looks like an abandoned site from the outside but inside it houses a theatre, restaurant, bar and Moods jazz den. Finally, we were ready to leave the mortals behind us and return back up the hillside to the resplendence of the Dolder, where our Amala spa treatment was waiting to rejuvenate our tired bodies. Robed and slippered, we waited, and no sooner were we all gathered than a door opened and therapist after therapist stepped out, before promptly calling out a name and disappearing as quickly as they’d appeared with a client in well-moisturised hand. Amala, a 100 per cent natural and premium spa-only line, is new to the Dolder Grand and my therapist (as do all who come in contact with it, it seems) swears by it. Given several choices, I select a relaxing oil for my massage. I’m struck by how subtle the scent is and on being gently stirred after what I am sure can only be five minutes, I discover I have in fact lost the past hour to relaxed slumber. I leave the spa not only perfectly dopey but also without the sensation I have just swallowed the contents of a perfume bottle, which certain other high-end products appear to make their mission in life. That night, dinner was served in The Restaurant, an acclaimed two-Michelin star establishment, with 17 Gault Millau points to boot. But it’s not just the food which is something to take note of (but really is spectacular) – on entering the dining room we were greeted by silver-leaf walls on which hung the Femmes métamorphosées – Les sept arts by Salvador Dalí. In fact, art is rife throughout the Dolder, as over 100 fine pieces adorn the walls, lobbies and pretty much every flat space imaginable, inside and out. These pieces

Art is rife throughout the Dolder, over 100 pieces adorn walls, lobbies and every flat space inside and out; they form the private collection of the owner, Urs E Schwarzenbach 82


DE LUXE DESIGN: (Top) The Dolder’s Gentlemen’s Spa includes a sauna, steambath, footbaths, aroma pools, steampots and stand-up sunbeds; (middle) the Garden restaurant terrace; (bottom) in the modern Dolder Grand Bar, candle-style ceiling lights are suspended in midair – like something from Hogwarts’ assembly hall

form the private collection of the spa hotel’s owner, financier Urs E Schwarzenbach. The day of departure dawned and once again I found myself slipping into something more comfy as I descended to the spa, to make the most of what precious time I had left. And after making my rounds of the kotatsu footbath, hauling myself out of the sanarium and plunging my, understandably shocked, body straight into the ‘snow paradise’ (yes, a room laden with snow), and lolling around in the hammock chairs of the chillout room, I found myself in my favourite place of all; soaking in a hot whirlpool, with the Woman With Fruit by Fernando Botero looking over my shoulder as I sat back and took stock of the perfect world that lay before me. Whoever said Switzerland was dull? H; Swiss operates 35 flights daily from Heathrow, London City, Birmingham, Manchester and Dublin to Switzerland and, via its hubs, to the world. Fares start from £89 return, including all airport taxes. For reservations call 0845 601 0956 or visit



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Beirut’s Beloved Beacon

Bombed, burnt-out and derelict for 25 years, the twice-rebuilt Phoenicia Hotel is an iconic landmark and powerful metaphor for the resurgence of the Lebanese capital, enthuses Martin Deeson

The Phoenicia hoTeL is a Beirut institution. Built by Lebanese businessman Najib Salha and opened in December 1961, the hotel has recently hosted an enormous party to celebrate its 50th anniversary and the US$50m renovation, which was completed at the end of last year. Wherever you go in this city – which has seen so much more than its fair share of suffering and war – mention that you are checked in at the Phoenicia and people react as if you had said you were staying with someone they knew. The hotel is held

Mention that you are checked in at the Phoenicia and people react as if you had said you were staying with someone they knew; the hotel is held close to the heart of the Lebanese

close to the heart of the Lebanese precisely because the fortunes of the hotel have so closely mirrored the fortunes of the city. It became a battlefield during the vicious civil war that tore the city apart from the mid-1970s onwards and was left as a burntout shell. After almost a quarter of a century standing derelict, the hotel was re-built in the late 1990s by Mazen and Marwan Salha. After re-opening in March 2000, the hotel was again ravaged, this time by the enormous bomb (equivalent to 1,000kg of TNT) which was detonated in 2005 as the motorcade of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri passed on the seafront in front of the building, killing the business tycoon and philanthropist and triggering a series of political upheavals which led to the Cedar Revolution and the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. This time the damage to the hotel was less extensive, however the hotel was still closed for three months for repairs. Now, the Phoenicia has been once again returned to its former glory with Levantine

influences evident in its high ceilings, sweeping staircases and palatial pillars. Eau de Vie on the 11th Floor of the Phoenician Tower offers seafood, for which this Mediterranean hub is rightly famous, with a Middle Eastern twist (try the langoustine soup with stuffed dates), as well as superb beef cuts such as the Australian Wagyu strip, which would restore the most jaded traveller after a busy day of meetings in this regional financial centre which rivals Dubai. The wine list gives ample opportunity to try some of the great wines being produced in the country’s Beqaa Valley, where there has been a tradition of wine-making going back more than 6,000 years. Lebanon, through no fault of its own, will for the foreseeable future always find itself standing on one of the great fault lines of geo-politics, sandwiched as it is between Syria and Israel. But perhaps for that very reason, it is also one of the most captivating countries in the world and Beirut is its cosmopolitan heart. And at the heart of Beirut? The Phoenicia Hotel. H InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut Hotel, Minet el Hosn Beirut 846, Lebanon;

HEIGHT OF LUXURY: (Top) A penthouse balcony’s sea view; (Above) the hotel’s Amethyst chill-out bar



Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa and Urban Retreat are delighted to present...

The Mauritian Retreat

A festival of detoxifying and relaxing treatments exclusive to the Urban Retreat at Harrods 8th October – 5th November 2012 Urban Retreat at Harrods is a pioneer in luxury hair and beauty. It has developed a reputation as the ultimate destination for health and beauty services. One of the largest salons in the world, it offers the most innovative techniques, progressive therapies, excellent customer service and some of the worlds’ finest brands, all whilst maintaining devotion to tradition and perfecting the artistry behind the ancient beauty practices that have stood the test of time. Throughout October and the beginning of November, set within the luxurious haven of the Fifth Floor of Harrods, Urban Retreat will become a lush Mauritian paradise when it launches ‘The  Mauritian  Retreat’ in association with Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa. A month-long festival offering a holistic and detoxifying range of treatments which harness the ancient spiritual power of Ayurveda. The Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa is situated on the west coast of Mauritius. Overlooking the peaceful, turquoise lagoon of Tamarin Bay, it is the only resort in Mauritius to offer a glorious villa-only setting, stretching across 27 lush acres, complete with private pools and butler service. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, their beautiful Indian spa is nestled in several acres of gardens with private pools and a meditation room.

For more information on the festival and to book your treatments, please call 020 7893 8333 or visit

Urban Retreat Fifth Floor, Harrods Knightsbridge London SW1X 7X

Travel SPA


Come Over to the Park Side Splash that hard-earned cash on a private session in the rooftop London Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel at Park Lane and feel your stress waft away across Hyde Park, writes Laura HammersLey ChanCes are that if you find yourself shuffling around the Spa at the Four Seasons, Park Lane, in your ‘zendals’ (spaspeak for sandals), you’ve lucked out with your bonus this year (or your husband has). You see, this spa is on the hotel’s tenth floor, instead of in the basement with the fusty meeting rooms and dodgy nightclub like most hotel spas. So, the fabulous views and natural daylight justifiably come at a price. But London views and all the daylight in the world wouldn’t tempt me inside unless I was guaranteed a faultless facial. I had ESPA, but if you’re in the yoghurt-knitting brigade you can opt for Organic Pharmacy, too. The spa also has exclusive London rights to the Vaishaly facial – favoured by Elle Macpherson, Sophie Dahl and many a woman with fluffy hair and red-soled shoes. My face was thoroughly cleansed before a neck, face and shoulder massage with a fragrant oil. An effective, gentle exfoliation came next, before I was enveloped in a beautifully light moisturiser I could still feel nourishing my skin two days later. After the treatment, my heated electric bed was

elevated to a seated position, the automatic curtains opened on a 180° view of our city, and I curled my toes in smug appreciation while being served a little pot of jasmine tea. After an OPI file and paint, which lasted chip-free for a week, my three friends and I enjoyed a wallow in the warm plunge pool. When wrinkly fingers beckoned, we decamped to the sauna, which again boasts fabulous city views, and lay in the fading sunlight like a quartet of soporific cats. Just when we thought we couldn’t possibly achieve a higher state of relaxation, our supremely helpful therapists showed us through to the ‘pods’ – individual curtainedoff rooms with a day bed, fluffy blankets, headphones and magazines. If you’re with a friend, you can draw a curtain to see them in their adjoining pod – but you might be too busy doing absolutely nothing to engage in anything as taxing as conversation. The crowning glory of this tenth floor gem came in the form of the changing rooms where we ended our visit. These were airy and light, and equipped with everything from volumising spray and

GHD straighteners to deodorant and vats of Organic Pharmacy moisturising lotion. If you did really well with this year’s bonus (and were allowed to keep it), you could treat yourself and your partner to the ‘Sky’s the Limit’ package. For £6,000 you’ll get breakfast for two in a suite, bespoke treatments, afternoon tea, manicures and pedicures, cocktails and a three-course dinner in Amaranto. Drop an extra few hundred quid to stay overnight, and you’ve got a romantic, zen-like experience like no other. Take note, Mr Hammersley. H For more info go to

The Four Seasons spa also has exclusive London rights to the Vaishaly facial – favoured by Elle Macpherson, Sophie Dahl and other women with fluffy hair and red-soled shoes 87


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PhotograPh Maradiva Villas resort & Spa

Paradise By NumBers When it comes to an idyllic holiday destination, everything about mauritius simply adds up: the spas, the beaches, the golf courses – and the mojitos. Jack Donne says it’s more than the sum of its parts

205: the miles of talcum powder-white coastline. Eight: the number of 18-hole golf courses. Five: the number of stars of my hotel (naturally). Four: the number of mojitos I can take before starting to slur. And one: the island that has it all. Mauritius is as close to a paint-it-bynumbers paradise as you’ll ever find. It has everything you could want from a holiday



destination. Although, there’s still no magic fix for a mojito hangover but a day in one of the island’s spas should help. The jewel of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius even has its own crown – a coral reef barrier that encircles almost the entire island, just a few hundred metres from the shore. This stunning natural wonder frames a rugged but beautiful

interior, featuring dormant volcanoes, tumbling waterfalls, pockets of dense, green rainforest, tea plantations, colonial mansions and field upon field of rich, green sugarcane (now you see where all the rum comes from). The island was quick to realise the ‘well-being revolution’ too, offering a cornucopia of spas. Asian massages and

Promotion MaUritiUS

ocean-inspired treatments might be mixed with age-old African and Creole remedies, or courses in eastern meditation. They also make the most of internationally renowned companies – Clarins, Givenchy, Guerlain, La Prairie and Shiseido all have a home here. For example, The Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa (pictured left) is home to an award-winning Ayurvedic spa that specialises in yoga and Indian treatments. In the same way that spas are mixing local with international, the food scene is equally diverse. Visitors can expect to be tempted by a realm of delicious, multi-cultural dishes, ranging from Creole rougailles, Indian curries and Chinese sweet-and-sour pork to the finest French haute cuisine – Alain Ducasse even has an outpost on the island. Talking of international names, the island teems with Hollywood movie stars, fashion icons and famous pop stars all gracing the island’s ivory shores. Of course, one of the real appeals of Mauritius is seclusion – and when you want to escape, there are plenty of opportunities: private secluded gardens, dining terraces for two, even uninhabited islets off the coast to which you can decamp. One hotel, Le Touessrok, even has an island that’s been turned into a golf course. Over the last few years Mauritius has blossomed as a world-class golfing destination drawing big names such as the Ernie Els course at Anahita and hosting the prestigious MCB Mauritius PGA Open at Constance Hotel’s Belle Mare Plage. Besides the famous Gymkhana

Competition Win a Wellness Getaway to Mauritius this is your chance to win the ultimate wellness getaway for two to Mauritius including flights with air Mauritius, airport transfers and a seven-night stay in the fivestar deluxe Maradiva villas resort & Spa. During your stay you will experience a full wellness package including two personalised spa treatments, a yoga session, a full ayurvedic consultation and a personalised diet plan for your stay created by the executive Chef and the ayurvedic Doctor. this prize is for two people on a half-board basis staying in a magnificent Luxury Suite villa complete with a private terrace and plunge pool. runner-up prizes have also been kindly provided by Urban retreat at harrods, including a two-hour Urban retreat at home experience worth more than £150; a £100 Beautique voucher for you to spend in store; and a Beauty Basket. Please visit before 31 May 2012 to enter the competition. terms and conditions apply.

The island was quick to realise the ‘well-being revolution’ too, offering a cornucopia of spas to enjoy; Clarins, Givenchy, and La Prairie have a home here

Club – the oldest golf club in the southern hemisphere – Mauritius boasts a grand total of eight 18-hole golf courses and four nine-hole courses. Each one of them is internationally rated and all offer different challenges against a stunning backdrop. So, there are only three things for you to decide on. When are you going to go? Where are you going to stay? And how many mojitos can you manage? H Visit to see Mauritius holidays from the following tour operators:

Fairway to heaven: (above) Mauritius boasts a grand total of eight 18-hole golf courses and four ninehole courses; (opposite, left) the infinity swimming pool at the five-star deluxe Maradiva villas resort & Spa





Escoffier’s Legend Lives Few things can come close to upstaging the overwhelming opulence and infinite luxury of the Ritz Hotel – unless, says Martin Deeson, you consider The Restaurant’s exquisite crêpes suzette

Often described as one of the most beautiful dining rooms in Europe, The Ritz Restaurant features so many chandeliers that the ceiling had to be specially reinforced to cope with their weight. The décor features so much pink and gold that Sir Elton John would feel right at home hiring the room to host a baby shower. However, despite all the brocade, drapes and gilt, it works. The room is beautiful and after Sir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay’s Ellerman Investments spent more than £50m on a ten-year restoration of the entire hotel, everything glitters in a way it hasn’t done since César Ritz opened the international institution on 24 May, 1906. But how does the food stand up 106 years later? Can it match the incredible standards set by the restaurant’s original chef, that legendary pioneer of modern French cuisine, Auguste Escoffier – referred to in his lifetime as ‘roi des cuisiniers et cuisinier des rois’ (‘king of chefs and chef of kings’) and famously lauded by Kaiser Wilhelm II, with the words, “I am the Emperor of Germany, but you are the Emperor of Chefs.” The first thing we did on sitting down was order pudding. This is essential if you want to try the crêpes suzette (you do). A starter of seared scallops with smoked eel, bacon and watercress was superb, the eel sublime. Squab pigeon, apple, date and walnuts was a robust taste of winter. My main of Romney Marsh lamb was as sweet as salt marsh lamb can be and smoked aubergine added a hint of the Middle East. My partner’s sea bass with langoustine and cocoa beans allowed this unusual ingredient to make something memorable of a fish which is otherwise too familiar. And then, finally, those crêpes. Supposedly accidentally invented by 14-year-old assistant waiter Henri Charpentier in 1895 at Monte Carlo’s Café de Paris after the dish unexpectedly caught alight when he was serving the Prince of



The dining room features so many chandeliers, and the décor so much pink and gold, that Sir Elton John would feel right at home hiring the room to host a baby shower

Wales and Princess Suzanne. The Ritz’s crêpes suzette is one dish of which I still dream. Its creator claimed, “one taste of [it], I really believe, would reform a cannibal into a civilised gentleman.” Well, if the hotel’s crêpes suzette failed to reform an errant leg nibbler, The Ritz Restaurant certainly would. H The Ritz Hotel, 150 Piccadilly, London W1J 9BR; 020 7493 8181;

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Stellar Tastes of the Med

Award-winning superchef Heinz Beck perfected his innovative fine Italian dining in Rome, and in London earned a Michelin star in record time for his sublime fare at Apsleys. By Mark Hedley EntEring thE LanEsborough feels more like walking into someone’s house than a five-star hotel. Admittedly, someone’s bloody big house, but a house nonetheless. There’s no grand atrium, bustling concierge desk or lobby bar rammed to the rafters with Louis Vuitton holdalls and Vertutoting Russians. Instead, it’s understated, old-world class, as if a country house had been craned over from a National Trust estate and dropped on Hyde Park Corner. And in the centre of this house is one hell of a conservatory. Apsleys restaurant is the Lanesborough’s showpiece. Thanks to its arching glass roof, it’s a solarium during the day and an observatory at night – the glass panels twinkling not with stars (we’re still in London, remember) but with the light from three prodigious chandeliers. The interior is most succinctly defined as ‘Venetian art deco’ – suitably plush, but without falling into the overly flamboyant. Not dissimilar, then, to the food. Apsleys is the first restaurant outside Italy created by renowned chef Heinz Beck (who is German but don’t let that put you off). Holder of three Michelin stars at Rome’s La Pergola, Beck soon worked his charm on the Michelin men, earning Apsleys its first star within months of opening becoming, in fact, the quickest such bestowment upon any London establishment. The menu has a reassuringly Italian foundation – sea bass cannolo, slow-braised veal cheek, Beck’s signature carbonara fagottelli – but enough Mediterranean flair and variety to ensure this culinary heritage doesn’t become laboured. While my wife exclaimed her scallops to be the best she’d eaten in London, my foie gras terrine was a masterpiece, served with smoked apple and crushed amaretti it was as sweet as a tarte tatin, especially when paired with a feather-light brioche. A zuppe e primi of risotto with langoustine carpaccio was one of the most indulgent things I’ve eaten in a long while, but worth every fork-full. And the Segovia

The menu’s reassuringly Italian foundation – sea bass cannolo, slow-braised veal cheek, carbonara fagottelli – has enough Mediterranean flair and variety to ensure it doesn’t become laboured

suckling pig to follow was possibly not the best tactical decision given how rich my meal had been so far. But we were well past the point of no return, a superb Castello del Terriccio Tassinaia 2006 (basically, an Italian claret) helping us on our way. Which might explain the decision to tag-team a cheese and dessert combo. While my wife waited for her chocolate soufflé (accompanied with Tahitian vanilla bean cream) we dived into the cheese trolley. It was here we discovered Testun al Barolo. Made from the mixed milks of ewe, goat and cow, this incredibly complex mountain cheese is veined with a nebbiolo grape must, having aged for at least four months in small oak barrels. By the end of this expansive Italian feast, the only question was, did we still have any room for the petits fours and chef’s liqueurs? Well, when in Rome… H Apsleys, The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, SW1X 7TA; 020 7259 5599;





In Praise of Grape Britain Don’t choke and turn up your nose – but British still wine is coming of age and ready to hold its head up internationally, as Jancis robinson discovers at the Stopham Vineyard in West Sussex It’s a pleasure to travel around the world and no longer have to apologise for the quality of English wine. For some time now, I have defended our better sparkling wines quite robustly to any audience anywhere, but it has been more difficult to cite still English wines that can stand up to international competition. They tend to be thin and tart – and occasionally poorlymade (although I was impressed by the 2009 vintage of Biddenden Gamay that was one of my selected ‘wines of the week’ on Purple Pages.) But Stopham Pinot Gris 2010 England seems to have come to the rescue of British wine writers everywhere. It really is a thoroughly respectable rendition of this grape variety, albeit with much more obvious acidity and less alcohol – a refreshing 11% – than any example I have encountered from Alsace. It does have the trademark relatively heady perfume and notable fruit. However, it tastes dry – thanks to the relatively high acidity – is as clean as a whistle, and would make a thoroughly satisfying aperitif or cooking wine (by which I mean a wine to drink while cooking). This is the debut vintage from Simon Woodhead’s Stopham Vineyard, situated on a gentle sandy slope between Pulborough and Petworth in West Sussex in the South Downs National Park. Woodhead once worked for the McLaren F1 team but it was while subsequently teaching in Spain that he got the wine bug and decided to enrol as a student at Plumpton College near Brighton. According to the Stopham website: “Simon used to design automotive sensors at TAG McLaren F1, but now the only sensor he is concerned about is the carbon dioxide sensor measuring the fermentation rates.” He certainly seems to be on the right track and claims that the 2010 is not just down to first-vintage syndrome (whereby first vintages often shine, perhaps partly



down to low initial yields). He is even more pleased by the as-yet unfined and unbottled Pinot Gris 2011 whose flavours have been accented by a particularly poor flowering and resulting concentration. He is also reassured by his increased level of experience and by the good late season that finally ripened the grapes. This is still such a small enterprise that Woodhead measures the vineyard by the number of vines planted (21,000) and its output of pinot gris by the number of bottles (4,000 in 2010). He spotted the slope while a student at Plumpton and is now a tenant farmer. Pinot gris represents 40% of the plantings, pinot blanc 30%, bacchus 10% and he also has some dornfelder for rosé and the widely planted (in England) pinot noir and chardonnay for fizz. A barn on the estate was refitted as a winery in time for the 2010 vintage. While Simon is the head winemaker, he is assisted in the winery and vineyard by fellow Plumpton student Tom Bartlett and in the vineyard by harvest manager Kivlan O’Brien who, according to the website, “has always been a top gardener in Hampstead”. Too top for me to have encountered him, alas. Very many congratulations to all of them anyway, and to Liberty Wine for having spotted the potential and taken on the agency. H To buy a bottle, go to To read more from Jancis Robinson’s tasting notes, sign up to her prodigious Purple Pages at:

Stopham Pinot Gris 2010 seems to have come to the rescue of British wine. It really is a thoroughly respectable rendition of this grape variety – it tastes dry and as clean as a whistle



Described as ‘the best shirt on Jermyn Street and hence the world’, our Hilditch & Key shirts are produced to the highest standards using only the finest two fold fabric with real shell buttons. Since 1899 we continue to create our shirts using the same techniques and attention to detail every step of the way. The result is a truly remarkable shirt that has to be worn to be appreciated.

Hilditch & Key Ltd, 37 & 73 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y, UK Tel +44 (0) 20 7930 5336

In February 2010, two great English companies with a combined trading history of 220 years were brought together. The esteemed and much-loved hatter Bates acquires a new home within the flagship Hilditch & Key store on Jermyn Street. Hilditch & Key and Bates are now able to offer customers arguably the finest shirts and hats in the world. c Bates have supplied the discerning gentleman from their enchanting Jermyn Street shop in London since 1898. Today Bates continues to thrive from its new home within the Hilditch & Key flagship store, offering a personal and friendly service to customers from throughout the world.

Edward Bates Ltd at Hilditch & Key 73 Jermyn Street, St. James’s, London sw1y 6np Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7734 2722


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when wealth needs stealth how do you guarantee to be first to hear about the most desirable properties before they even come on the market? Call simon Barnes, the discreet estate agent with a hotline to the capital’s key players Simon BarneS iS something of an undercover agent – but in the property world not the secret service. As a longestablished property consultant, Barnes knows a lot about buying houses, it’s just that he can’t talk about it in any detail, bound by a strict bond of confidentiality on behalf of his clients. The property that Barnes seeks out and deals with is largely ‘off the radar’; in fact, sometimes it is never actually on the market. So how does an estate agent find out about property which is not actually for sale? Barnes is clear: “The bedrock is having a solid relationship with the capital’s key agents built up over many years. Transacting several deals with serious high net worth individuals ensures access to the best properties both on and off the market. I will often be the first person an agent calls with their ‘off the market’ properties.” Distinguishing Simon Barnes from other top estate agents is the fact that he only deals with perhaps three or four buyers at any one time, each with different requirements, meaning there is never a conflict of interest. “When registering with a conventional agent, you may be one of 200 buyers looking for the same property, some are serious, some are not.

The bedrock is having a solid relationship with key agents built up over years… I will often be the first person an agent calls with ‘off the market’ properties

If you happen not to be available when the agent calls you to offer a particular property, you may simply not be called again. As far as the agent is concerned, if he can sell a property making one phone call, that’s usually good enough, they won’t always contact other buyers.” In this business some ‘off the radar’ deals take longer than others. “Depending on the circumstances of the deal, time spans vary hugely,” Barnes explains. “We completed an ‘off market’ deal in the summer within ten days of the buyer seeing the property. But in another case, it took nine months to complete the deal because the seller needed time to find an alternative property.” In Simon Barnes’ world, patience and decisiveness wins the prize, one example being a successful purchase in 2011. “We bought a house for a client once. He was incredibly specific on the address – in prime Belgravia – and the type and style of house. Unfortunately, the house was rented so we couldn’t get to see it. Had we waited until the tenant vacated, the house would have been available on the open market and the interest would certainly have pushed the price up. We made the decision we wanted the house, so we bought it without seeing it.” As the property market in prime central London continues to remain competitive, a lack of new development over the past four years has exacerbated the increase for houses which are ‘turn key’ and ready to move into instantly. An acute shortage of these properties means they are likely to be snapped up before ever coming on to the open market. It is these properties, which Barnes envisages being asked to secure over the coming months.

Having got to the point of exchange, when the deal is almost done, what can jeopardise the whole process? “Details of the deal being leaked present the biggest hiccup,” says Barnes. “Either other buyers finding out that a property is coming to the market and trying to offer a higher price. Or details of the buyer being leaked, resulting in other properties being offered to them and the promise of a better deal.” To protect against either scenario, Barnes ensures that his purchasers are represented by dynamic, efficient solicitors, capable of dealing with transactions swiftly and coolly, sometimes in a matter of hours, eliminating the risk of details and information being leaked. “We ensure all our ducks are in a row before entering into the deal. When we act for buyers, their identity is confidential with details only ever being given to the deal’s key people,” he says. “You will not find details of the property splashed across the pages of the tabloids.” ■

For more information call 020 7499 3434 or 07831 465414;




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THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS London location but more greenery than you can shake a stick at? Welcome to Putney and a penthouse that’ll make you think twice North or south of the river? Almost everyone in London has a snap answer to that question and chances are you’re fairly set on your response. so, for those of you that said ‘north’, prepare to suspend your disbelief for a minute or two. I defy you to find somewhere in the ‘norf ’ that has the space and appeal of this £1.65m Putney penthouse on Upper richmond road. the luxury apartment

Regardless of the northsouth divide, this apartment would stand up anywhere. I defy you to find somewhere in the ‘norf’ that has the appeal of this penthouse 98


boasts more than 2,000 sq ft of floor space and embodies the very best south London has to offer – it’s bright, airy, green and there’s not a recruitment consultant (“I’m actually a headhunter, yah”) in sight. Regardless of the north-south divide, this apartment would stand up on its own merits in any city. The huge open-plan dining room and reception area welcomes you into the house – swathed in cream upholstery and finished with American walnut flooring. And the Eggersman kitchen offers Corian worktops which will withstand even the worst cooking disasters and still come up shining. the two bedrooms are both spacious doubles, with the master bedroom featuring an en-suite, as you’d expect. Yet, while the inside of the property is certainly slick, it’s the penthouse’s three separate roof terraces (one private to the

master bedroom) that will really sell it. You’ll scarcely believe you’re sat in the middle of London when you’re enjoying one in the heat of summer (and not just because the sun is actually shining). When you do venture out beyond the apartment, Putney Common, Wimbledon Common, and Richmond Park are all on your doorstep. And if you’re hankering for something a bit more exclusive the historic roehampton club and golf course are also just down the road. Your move, north London. ■

For info: 020 8246 5959;

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LIVING WITH STYLE Since Chaplins opened its doors almost 20 years ago, it has showcased and delivered the very best in style, quality and service to a long list of discerning clients… OCCUPYING MORE THAN 25,000 sq ft across three floors and two buildings,  the Chaplins showroom displays more  than 180 of the biggest and most exciting  European furniture and lighting brands,  including B&B Italia, Cassina and Ligne  Roset. It’s an inspiring, one-stop solution  for your entire home furnishing needs. Managing director Simon Chaplin is the  second generation to take control of the  family-run business. His fascination with  furnishing stems back to his youth. “I was  fortunate enough to grow up in a furniture  family so even though I was not working,  I was learning through osmosis,” he says. Simon’s vision when taking over at  Chaplins was not only to showcase the  largest retail space showing high-end  contemporary furniture and design in the  UK, but also to build a concierge service  around it, offering clients a fully tailored  package from the property building stage  to the finishing decor touches. As he explains, “Running a business  enables me to build a team that I value  who share the same design ethos.  Furniture runs in my blood. It is not a  business for numbers – although they  always have to add up. It is a business that  has to be led by passion or the end result  will reflect this.” As an independently-run store, all  Chaplins staff have a background in design  and are qualified to give you the fullest 

100 Hedge

possible assistance, which is friendly,  expert and efficient, taking your personal  wishes into account. Simon says, “The love of design can be  seen in every element of our customers’  lives, from the cars they drive to the  watches they wear to the houses that they  live in. It is our skill of interpretation,  using and relating to these outward signs,  which enables us to connect with our  client base.” When asked what makes Chaplins  unique from other furniture stores,  Simon explains: “Working with more  than 150 design houses allows us to edit  collections rather than be dictated to by  a single brand, as many furniture stores  around Europe are. This reflects in the  individuality of our displays and crosses  over to our clients’ homes.  “At Chaplins, we enjoy a freedom to  express our love for design and to push  boundaries and trends quickly, without 

Working with more than 150 design houses allows us to edit collections rather than be dictated to by a single brand, as many stores around Europe are

having to run through and constantly  analyse figures.” If all the fabulous pieces on display in  this design heaven prove too much for  you, Chaplins also offer a Home Design  Service, as many of its elegant storage  systems for bedrooms and offices require  an expert level of planning, which naturally  it provides. This includes full floor plans,  delivery and installation which is always  carried out by the store’s team of trained  fitters who know how to handle furniture  and realise the importance of each piece,  protecting and caring for it throughout  delivery and installation. As well as projects throughout the  UK, Chaplins works all over the world,  liaising with designers and architects on  various sized projects. Recently, these have  included a €40m home in Cap Ferrat in  the South of France and a 68,000 sq ft  mansion in Dubai. However, the team are  just as at home working on a hi-tech TV  room in more modest suburban residences. So what does Simon predict will be the  next big trend in contemporary furniture  design? “I’d like to think great interiors  are timeless. An interior should reflect an  individual’s personality and lifestyle more  than current trends.” ■

Chaplins, 477–507 Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, Pinner, HA5 4JS. For more information about Chaplins please call 020 8421 1779, email sales@; or visit

3,600 sq ft of luxury living. 1,600 sq ft of private terraces. 2,000 hours of glorious sunshine. 30 miles of stunning beaches. 55 minutes to London. 20% income tax, capped. 0% CGT, VAT, IHT.

The spectacular view from a Royal Terrace penthouse.

Only five of these exceptional freehold penthouses remain in the Channel Island’s most prestigious new development. For more information: ■ +44 (0)20 7016 3740 ■ +44 (0)1481 728722

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Instant residency Panoramic waterfront views Bespoke layouts and interiors designed to your specification (up to 4 ensuite bedrooms) Includes a world-class spa, gym, pool, retail, restaurant and secure private parking Private jet transfers can be arranged Prices from £6m


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Well connected...

Connecting you TO the city

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live london › live central park


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With only a short walk to Lewisham Station and a 17 minutes DLR journey to Canary Wharf, Central Park is ideally located for getting into the city. The development offers a range of high spec 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments, within a modern urban park with secure parking and concierge facilities available.

Prices start from ÂŁ179,950* Estimated rental yield 6%. *Price based on 1 bed apartment.

Lewisham Station

London Bridge 8 Mins

Canary Wharf 17 Mins

London City Airport 29 Mins

Train times source: TFL website

Visit our website Text

CENTRAL3 to 60123 Call Our Sales Line

020 7089 3917

Shared ownership available on selected plots. Prices correct at time of going to print – Jan 2012

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■ aVerage Daily JourNeys


Bakerloo 3,744km

Circle & Hammersmith 3,405km

Victoria 6,070km

Waterloo & City 530km

Metropolitan 7,675km

Jubilee 7,849km

District 10,089km

Northern 12,630km ■ MaxiMuM traiNs useD DuriNg Peak serViCe (aM)

Piccadilly 12,052km

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Central 13,174km

Lay It On The Line Circle line to Greenland? Piccadilly to Jakarta? Next time your train’s late on the way home, just remember how far it’s travelled. Pictured here are the daily peak time travel distances on London’s Tube network… 106 Hedge

Hedge - 20 - 'In Your Element'