ISSUE . 4 3
SOLID AS A BLOCK
Carson Block on rooting out bad eggs and good profits
WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT
O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G
I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y W
I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T
N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H
T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT
O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G
I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y W
I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T
N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H
T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT
O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G
I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y W
I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T
N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H
T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT
I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y W K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT
H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT I T
M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O
W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E
AT I T I S . W H E N I WA S Y O U N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N
N G I T H O U G H T T H AT M O N E Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D
Y WA S T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H AT I T I S . W H E N
I M P O R TA N T T H I N G I N L I F E ; N O W T H AT I A M O L D I K N O W T H
– OSCAR WILDE
I N D U S T RY • L U X U RY • O P I N I O N
E DI TOR'S
L ET T E R
Mark Hedley SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
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Contributors Nick Bayly, Sue Coyne, Alex Dalzell, Siobhan McFadyen, Henry Eliot, Adrian Hailwood, Kathryn Jacob, Matt Jones, Matt Lloyd-Rose, Melissa Scallan, Safi Thind, Sue Unerman, Ben Walker, Owen Walker, Lydia Winter
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Freddie Dunbar, Jason Lyon, Will Preston, Seth Tapsfield, Nick Webb, Nathan Wilgoss
hen Jim Chanos bet against Enron, everyone thought he was mad. The founder of Kynikos Associates is one of the hedge world’s most prolific shortsellers, and has built his career – as well as a $1.5bn fortune – on rooting out rotten fruit. Although short-sellers are never going to be the popular kids in the school of finance, they provide an essential role – acting as financial detectives. These days, Chanos is concentrating his efforts on China, publicly stating that “The Chinese banking system is built on quicksand.” And he’s not the only one who has spotted accounting shortfalls in mainland China. As we learn from Siobhan McFadyen’s fascinating interview with Carson Block [p32], the Muddy Waters founder launched his career by discovering and exposing shortfalls in a Chinese paper company. Choosing to be a short-seller is not an exercise in taking the easy path. As Block discovered, it can even lead to death threats – and having to relocate family. As Chanos summarises: “You’re basically told that you’re wrong in every way imaginable every day. It takes a certain type of individual to drown that noise and negative reinforcement out and to remind oneself that their work is accurate and what they’re hearing is not.” We need people like Chanos and Block to go against the grain – even if it’s just so the rest of us don’t have to.
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△ Cover image by David Harrison
© Square Up Media Limited 2016. 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.
SIMON BROOKE Simon Brooke is an award-winning journalist who writes about the luxury sector, business, and men’s fashion for newspapers including the Financial Times and the Sunday Times. This issue, he talks us through Britain's shoemaking scene. [p88]
SIOBHAN McFADYEN Siobhan McFadyen began her career on her local newspaper in Scotland at the age of 17, and has gone on to work in New York, London and Dubai. For our front-cover feature, she speaks to shortseller and fraud-buster Carson Block. [p32]
MATT JONES Matt Jones is digital features editor for GQ and also contributes to the Times, the Observer, Top Gear and Car. He enjoys fixing his 1970 MercedesBenz 280SE 3.5 until it’s broken. This issue, he travels to Germany to drive the updated Bentley Mulsanne. [p96]
ADRIAN HAILWOOD Adrian Hailwood has more than 20 years’ experience in the luxury watch and jewellery industry, and is currently a director of Fellows Auctioneers. In this issue’s column, he looks at the snowballing trend for bronze watches. [p83]
L O N D O N 4 4 m a ry l e b o n e l a n e , l o n d o n w 1 u 2 d b
f o r m o r e i n f o r m at i o n o r t o a r r a n g e a p r i vat e a p p o i n t m e n t at o u r l o n d o n s h o w r o o m s , p l e a s e c a l l :
0 2 0 7 4 8 7 3 3 9 1 o r e m a i l i n f o @ s t e i n way. c o . u k
“Steinway allows me to unfold the world o f i m a g i n a t i o n .”
YUJA WANG s t e i n way a r t i s t
Contents INDUSTRY • LUXURY • OPINION 16
S HO RT S 16 Open Position 18 My Mayfair 21 Form Chaser 22 On The Market 25 Picture This 27 Columns
F U N DA M E N TALS 32
Chip Off the Old Block
Carson Block on an unexpected career in short selling and the perils of a bad fake moustache.
Taking a More Active Approach
From disrupters to saviours? Owen Walker explores the rise of the activist hedge funds.
Henry Eliot and Matt Lloyd-Rose take a tour through the varied history of trade in London.
Applying the Right Theory
Safi Thind meets Cliff Asness, the man using academic theory to challenge the hedge funds
MAY FA I R 53 Shirtmaker 56 Savile Row 61 Made in Mayfair 66 Art 76 Map .
R EWA R DS 83 Style 92 Travel 96 Motors 100 Golf 105 Food & Drink 110 Design 122 HEDGE Legend
Terence Gilbert has a vast and varied repertoire, including designs for James Bond film On Her Majestyâ€™s Secret Service PICTURE THIS . 25 OPEN POSITION . 16 | MY MAYFAIR . 18 | FORM CHASER . 21 | ON THE MARKET . 22 | PICTURE THIS . 25 | COLUMNS . 27
OPEN POSITION MATTHEW ROSSI
O P E N
P O S I T I O N
Matthew Rossi, Founder, General and Managing Partner, SJL Capital LLC PAST: I started this journey back in the early 1990s with a worn-out mullet and dreams of pursuing my passion and curiosity for the inner workings of the stock market. The thesis I wrote for my masters at UCONN proved that the trading markets are not efficient in terms of information flow. Then, I set out to prove the theory with actual trading recommendations based on an algorithm I wrote, which the firm BLINK Worldwide named MarketDNA. For the next ten years, I back tested the algorithm and in 2006 MarketDNA research was born. I was working in corporate finance for several public and private companies while conducting my research, and eventually found success in NY and CA with other hedge funds purchasing the product. PRESENT: After working for years in
corporate finance as a CFO, I decided it was time to quit and go ‘all in’ – so I launched SJL Capital LLC as a registered investment advisory firm to run the hedge fund SJL MarketDNA based 100% on the algorithm. The fund is an equity long/ short fund – and has been worth all the hard work and sacrifices. The success of the research was extraordinary and it became frustrating trying to educate other hedge funds on a completely original and different way to identify trade ideas. So, I just took the research in house and now we use it for ourselves. We are basically the CSI TV show
of the finance community. We identify those trades that have impending movements that are being traded on based on inefficiencies in dissemination of information. FUTURE: SJL Capital has had great success so far, being ranked number one in the world for equity long/short strategy on a return percentage basis by Eurekahedge for July 2016 YTD, with a 133.3% net return. Our early success will allow us to expand our research to international markets. We are planning a futures research product based on the algorithm as well. We have very ambitious plans to grow to several funds with more than $1bn in AUM with offices in CA, NY and around the world when we expand. All this success is a blessing and has inspired me to do more for others – and also to get a better haircut. H
For more information, see sjlcapital.com
G O I N G
PAUL SINGER, FOUNDER, ELLIOTT MANAGEMENT CORPORATION FUND
L O N G
“EXPERIENCE DOESN’T COUNT FOR MUCH, AND EXTREME CONFIDENCE MAY BE FATAL”
ON THE TABLE Hervé Van Der Straeten’s aptly named Console Origami table is constructed from blue anodised aluminium panels. It’s in a limited edition of 40. See it in the flesh at PAD London in Berkeley Square from 5-9 October. For more info: pad-fairs.com
HUGO BOSS UK LTD. Phone +44 (0)20 7554 5700 hugoboss.com
The Art of Tailoring BOSS Stores 122 New Bond Street 178-180 Regent Street
SHORTS M Y
M A Y F A I R
# 3 6
Gymkhana Gymkhana is the perfect Indian restaurant. There, I’ve said it. In the eyes of my fellow Brits, for whom curry is the adopted son of our native cuisine, such a statement will draw sharp intakes of breath but I’m nailing my colours to the mast right here. Shoot me. Inspired by the members’ clubs of Colonial India, the dining room is clad in dark woods, marble tabletops and vintage photographs of sports teams. It’s a subtle, brooding space where everything from Jaipur wall lamps to original hunting trophies are used not as props but as an integral part of an enthralling and ‘authentic’ journey to south Asia. This, as you might have gathered, is not your average Indian. It’s the astonishing food, however, where patron-chef Karam Sethi – one third of the
Kid goat methi keema is a smokey, rich mince curry to be ceremoniously loaded onto mini brioche sliders with a little raw red onion and bheja – goat brain 18
Sethi family restaurant dynasty that has given us Bubbledogs, Bao, Trishna, Lyles – achieves total equilibrium. Dish after beguiling dish delivers a onetwo punch of exotic spice and chilli heat: kid goat methi keema is a smokey, rich mince curry to be ceremoniously loaded onto mini brioche sliders with a little raw red onion and bheja (goat brain – it’s a must); huge Tulsi scallops are slathered in a fiery basil paste and accompanied by an inspired masala artichoke; and wild boar vindaloo reinvents the curry house classic with a headier sauce that is thankfully less sadistically hot. Elsewhere, the likes of guinea fowl, partridge, and roe deer all feature on a menu that is uniquely game heavy – and all the better for it. The best of the bunch has to be the wild muntjac biryani, with its glorious pastry domed presentation: it’s the most luxurious, delightfully aromatic rice dish you’re likely to find anywhere. Sorry, Bambi. There’s an unfortunate and widespread opinion that good Indian food simply makes fine fodder for excess lager consumption: at Gymkhana, this backward view is put to bed in the most definitive way possible. This is brilliant, haute Indian cuisine – and in the upper echelons of what you can find anywhere in London right now. H – BW. For more info: gymkhanalondon.com
Subscribe If you work in investment and have an office in London, you may be entitled to a FREE subscription to HEDGE. To apply, just fill out the form on hedgemagazine.co.uk
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ANTIQUITIES ANCIENT GREECE
Heads above the rest In the face of ever-changing tastes in the world of contemporary art, collectors are increasingly turning their attentions to ancient art, which has – quite literally – endured. Kallos Gallery is Europe’s only specialist dealer in ancient Greek art. To mark its debut at Frieze Masters, the gallery will be unveiling a remarkable £5m Cretan bronze helmet – one of only two known
This helmet has survived more than 2,500 years. So unusual is its tall crest that this type of helmet was long thought to be a myth from the Heroic Age
to exist – which has survived more than 2,500 years. So unusual is its tall crest, that this type of helmet was long thought to be a myth from the Heroic Age. This is the only one to be engraved with detailed mythological scenes, marking it out not only as an impressive historical artefact but a beautiful artwork in its own right. H Kallos Gallery will be exhibiting at Frieze Masters from 6-9 October. Prices start from £20,000.
ON THE MARKET AUTUMN 2016
SHORTS O N T H E M A R K E T . AU T U MN
It’s show time… Since 2009, SalonQP has established a unique position in the watch industry; it is one of precious few opportunities for the watch enthusiast to get hands-on experience of the world’s finest watchmaking brands, from globally renowned companies such as Urban Jurgensen [pictured] and Vacheron Constantin, to independent brands including Bremont, Roger Smith, MB&F and Urwerk. HEDGE’s sister magazine Square Mile is offering 15% off all tickets for the show, which runs from 4-6 November at the Saatchi Gallery: include SQUAREMILE when you check out. Also, on Friday 4 November, we’re hosting a VIP cocktail reception in the evening – and you’re invited for cocktails and canapés.
Pushing the boat out Sunseeker London and jewellers Boodles have joined forces with The Royal Berkshire Shooting School to launch a new clay-shooting competition called The Sunseeker Boodles Cup. The winner chooses one of two prizes: either a sevenday holiday in the Cote D’Azur on board a chartered Sunseeker, or jewellery of your choice up to a price of £80,000. Entrants need to qualify for one of 20 places, then at the final, shoot 23 or more of 25 birds. If no-one shoots 23 birds, then the next highest scoring shooter will take home £5,000. The competition opens on 1 October and runs until 28 January 2017. Entry costs £50, which includes 50 warmup birds plus two attempts at the sequence.
For more information: salonqp.com
For more information, see rbss.co.uk H
▲ SHOW STOPPER: Urban Jürgensen will be presenting the handsome Reference 1741 in platinum with perpetual calendar, leap year indicator, moonphase and central seconds.
O V E R S EAS Bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, this timepiece is the ideal companion for an extraordinary voyage that reveals a unique perspective on the world. It is the only watch of its kind.
CRAFTING ETERNITY SINCE 1755
OV E RSE AS CH RO N O G R A P H
Geneva official watchmaking certification
London 37 Old Bond Street 020 7578 9500 Discover more on overseas.vacheron-constantin.com
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BRIAN JONES | +44 7766 235280 | firstname.lastname@example.org | GULFSTREAMG650.COM *At the typical initial cruise altitude of 12,497 m
ARTWORK by Terence Gilbert; PHOTOGRAPH by Colin Swain
One-man race While he has become best known for his paintings of horses, artist Terence Gilbert has a vast and varied repertoire, including designs for James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Indeed, the Bond theme continued through much of his early work, and he painted portraits of both George Lazenby and Sean Connery [above].
It wasn’t until he started illustrating the covers of Western novels that his skills as an equestrian artist really surfaced – and he continues to be inspired by the world of horses, in some cases combining them with his portraiture skills, such as a piece he was commissioned to paint of the Queen and Ronald Reagan riding horses at Windsor. In his upcoming show at Osborne Studio Gallery, Gilbert will present a
selection of his new paintings. He has chosen three of his favourite subjects to curate the exhibition around: city, sea and turf, and pieces will depict light-hearted visions of racecourses, romantic views of soft city lights, and tempestuous seas. H Terence Gilbert’s solo show of 36 new paintings is on from 4-22 October at the Osborne Studio Gallery, 2 Motcomb Street, SW1X 8JU. For more information, see osg.uk.com.
GENDER GLASS WALL
What Women Want Women and men are not always treated equally in the City, but there are steps female workers can take to get ahead, suggest SUE UNERMAN and
There are more qualified women entering the work place than there ever have been before. The only area where they are in a minority is in the boardroom
interviewee told us: “Men will dismiss the idea of promoting a woman with a family: ‘I wouldn’t have asked her to do that, she’s got three kids, she wouldn’t be able to manage the department.’ Who are they to decide that without asking the woman candidate? She may have fabulous childcare, she may have a house husband, they’re often not even discussing the situation with the woman involved.” During our research, it became clear that there are two sets of rules at play in most offices. The written rules will say, for instance, that a company’s organogram dictates who can tell people what to do. The real situation will be more complex. If you want to get ahead, don’t assume a title automatically confers either authority or respect. Look carefully at who really makes the decisions and who influences them. They need to be on your radar, and in your circle of influence if you want to succeed. Unwritten rules can be bent to your advantage. What you can’t do is ignore them, and succeed, no matter how unfair or even ridiculous they might seem. Here are some more strategies to give women a fighting chance and for management to ensure a level playing field:
LAST OCTOBER THE Davies report came out, proclaiming some good news: the target for women on FTSE 100 boards had been exceeded at 26%. On closer scrutiny, however, the news was in fact much more mixed. Most of the female board members were part-time NEDs. The percentage of executive women on FTSE 100 boards was actually 9.6%. An FT report in January of this year indicated that only 19.5% of senior roles in the top City firms are held by women and in City banks just 16% of managing directors are women – that’s in a population where 52% are women. When we entered our professions in media 30 years ago, there was optimism about gender parity in senior management. There was a woman prime minister and legislation had made the glass ceiling of previous generations illegal. While women CEOs were rare, that was surely something that was set to change. Fast forward to now and the sad truth is that things haven’t changed enough, despite several recent studies indicating that mixed gender boards drive company profit. The Peterson Institute for International Economics published a study in February which concluded that the correlation between women at C-suite level and profitability is demonstrated repeatedly. It states: “for profitable firms,
a move from no female leaders to 30% representation is associated with a 15% increase in the net revenue margin.” For our book, The Glass Wall: Success Strategies for Women at Work, we interviewed more than 100 people worldwide including City workers and one thing is clear: women in work are still not getting the same opportunities to reach the top as men. There are more qualified women entering the work place than ever. The only area where they are in a minority is in the boardroom. Instead of a glass ceiling there is now a glass wall. Women can see through the glass wall to the meetings that they’re excluded from, or the casual conversations that accelerate careers that they aren’t participating in. Men and women can see each other through the wall but that doesn’t mean they speak the same language or have the same expectations. In our interviews, time and again, senior men expressed their frustration with the failure of women to push through to a promotion when they’d been treated ‘equally’. But as Baroness Helena Kennedy writes in our foreword, any ‘equality’ is almost always attuned to a male norm. It’s not women that are at fault – it is instead the system. One of our interviewees talked about the culture of City firms being at fault here. She said: “Look at the banks, they absolutely take the progression of women seriously, they throw money at it via women’s networks, fast track learning etc. But the culture is not adaptable.” Fitting in, whether based on appearance, old school networks or a drinking culture is still a factor when it comes to rising to the top. Then there’s maternity. One City
On the way up Look at how men around you behave. Don’t be left behind because they selfpromote more aggressively than you do. There are many things to fear in life; failure in a meeting isn’t one of them. Expect to fail sometimes, intend to fail sometimes. If you don’t, you won’t learn. If you hear a no the first time you ask for something, don’t see that as the end. From the top Take the time to spot talent. If you can’t see the talent in the quieter, more modest people (and often that means women), then slow down, try harder, look deeper. Encourage everyone in the team to speak up and consider themselves as creative. And don’t allow an elite team to dominate. Make sure you treat your talent as adults. If you have to say no, have a counter-offer ready for them. H 'The Glass Wall: Success Strategies for Women at Work' by Sue Unerman and Kathryn Jacob is published by Profile Books at £9.99.
WORKPLACE TOXIC ENVIRONMENT
In the Balance Toxic work environments can result in poor leadership and high levels of stress, but with a careful approach you can combat the problem, says SUE COYNE from Connectiveness Ltd
TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENTS are often created as a result of an organisation, and the people in it, operating at low levels of consciousness or development. These organisations are often run like a machine, with the people acting like cogs that can simply be replaced when they get worn out. Sound familiar? You may have been a machine creator yourself, or perhaps you have been a cog, but more often than not, unconscious toxic workplaces often feature the lowest levels of development: The climate and culture in such organisations is often one of fear. As a direct result, negative patterns can prevail such as overcontrol, greed, unethical behaviour, bureaucracy, excessive internal competition between different parts of the organisation, manipulation, a culture of blame, and complacency.
Unconscious toxic leaders This sort of workplace produces leaders who tend to use command, control and pacesetting leadership styles – all of which have a negative impact. Let me introduce you to a classic command and control leader. Ronnie is CEO at a major technology company. Quarter end is coming up on Friday and his mind is in overdrive and he hasn’t slept a wink all night. He strides into the office without acknowledging anyone and heads straight for the sales department. The signs of stress are already visible on the faces of
the sales team and they absorb the pressure from Ronnie as he barks orders at them to get the last deals closed. They all have that worn-down and worn-out look, and they know it is always like this every quarter – year in, year out – without fail.
Unconscious toxic people Organisations that operate at low levels of consciousness are likely to attract people who are themselves lacking awareness and running unconscious patterns. Most of the hardwiring in our brains, which forms the basis of our way of thinking and behaving, is in place by the time we are seven years old. The problem is that we are not taught about the need to update this wiring as we go through life. So, as a result, many of us effectively have a seven-yearold running our adult lives. This is why unconscious patterns and behaviours developed in early family life often get played out within organisations. They can result in parent-child relationships where feelings about a parent are projected onto someone in authority who can be seen as critical or smothering. The person doing the projecting unconsciously plays out the patterns of rebellious or withdrawn child. Owing to the culture of fear, people are afraid to admit mistakes, ask for help, say no or give others feedback on negative inappropriate behaviour. Why are toxic environments bad? Your brain has an overarching organising principle that classifies the world around you into things that will either hurt you or help you stay alive. It senses that the climate at work is dangerous for you and puts you into the away-state, making you move into fight, flight or freeze mode. The pre-frontal cortex, which is the working memory, is subsequently shut down to conserve energy which means you are unable to think clearly and will revert to unconscious, reactive behaviours. We feel negative emotions like frustration, anxiety and anger when in stress response, and the body is flooded with the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Our stress response mechanism is only meant to be short-lived and if we
have the stress hormones in our bodies over a sustained period of time then there is the definite danger that we will become ill or go into total burnout.
What to do about toxic environments Influential leaders can encourage organisations to find a more balanced definition of success. Many organisations have adopted the Triple Bottom Line approach, which incorporates three Ps: profit, people and planet. However, for an organisation to change, leaders must change their style of leadership. They will need to develop into balanced, emotionally intelligent, authentic, values-based, agile leaders whose role is to create a culture in which they and their people thrive. Thriving requires them to have their own wider definition of success, too, based on being a happy, healthy and high-performing leader. As an employee, you can raise your own level of consciousness by identifying limiting beliefs from your childhood and replacing them with more empowering positive thoughts. In the short term, you should also look after your own well-being by making sure you are taking regular breaks, eating healthily, staying hydrated and getting your relationships at work out of parent-child mode. H ‘Stop Doing, Start Leading – How to Shift from Doing the Work Yourself to Becoming a Great Leader’ by Sue Coyne is available now from Amazon, priced £15.99.
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There is no investment product so good that a high enough fee cannot make it bad APPLYING THE RIGHT THEORY . 44 CARSON BLOCK . 32 | THE RISE OF ACTIVIST HEDGE FUNDS . 36 | A HISTORY OF LONDON TRADE . 40 | CLIFF ASNESS . 44
â–² BUILDING BLOCK: Carson Block was photographed excusively for HEDGE magazine by David Harrison at The Blue Bar in The Berkeley Hotel
COVER STORY CARSON BLOCK
Chip Off the Old Block When Carson Block took a business trip on behalf of his father, neither realised it would lead him to a career in short-selling, let alone an education in the art of disguise, finds SIOBHAN MCFADYEN CARSON BLOCK WAS at one of life’s low points when he unintentionally blazed onto the hedge fund scene with nothing short of wild determination. The University of Southern California graduate was 33 years old when his dad William bankrolled a trip for him to go and meet a man about some paper in Hei Bei province, China. At the time, Block was struggling with the grind of life in Shanghai thanks, in part, to a self-storage company called Love Box that he had started, but which was struggling to create the market for selfstorage in mainland China. “It was metaphorical combat every day,” he says of the business that would ultimately set his path to become a corporate standards zhànshì. “It was such a draining place to do business, it was a very difficult thing I was trying to do.” The trip to Orient Paper had been set up by Block’s father, who trusted his son to bring back a fair assay of the NYSElisted firm he’d hoped to recommend to his fund clients. He also had pretty good reason to value his son’s judgement as he’d been taking him to client meetings on Wall Street since he was 13. “The first thing my father did when I went into the city with him to work was give me a yellow legal pad with a blue ballpoint pen, an annual report and three quarterly reports and he basically said ‘make a spreadsheet by hand,’” he explains as we sit down to coffee in the recently renovated Blue Bar located in the Berkeley hotel in Knightsbridge. “He would say ‘start with revenue… I want to see percentage of sales’ – and he encouraged me to make an income statement. I had to calculate each item. And that’s how I really started to understand companies and ratios.” On the Orient Paper mission, Block, a qualified lawyer who speaks Mandarin, was to meet with CEO Zhenyong Liu to
“diligence” the company for his dad who thought it could be a “long.” But almost as soon he arrived on the site it became immediately apparent to him that it was “a total fraud,” he says. Among the red flags were a skeleton workforce, a stockpile of pulpy paper allegedly worth $4.7m in the steamy factory, a nearby roadway that didn’t show the capacity for the claimed truck traffic, and a boss who had no idea what the basic operating metrics were. On that day in January 2010, Block’s firm, Muddy Waters Research – based on the Chinese proverb ‘muddy waters make it easy to catch fish’ – was born. “When I was on my way back to the airport,” he says, “I called my father and I said ‘it’s a zero, it’s a total zero, and we definitely have to short this.’ “My father said ‘I am not interested: I don’t know how to short a stock; I have never shorted a stock.’” For a few weeks Block was absolutely convinced the Orient Paper was what he calls a “classic pump and dump.” He put the feelers out for investor appetite on his idea to author a ‘short report,’ but there was sceptical interest at best, so he shelved the idea. In April, after Orient Paper’s annual report had been made public, he went on Yahoo, looked up the price, and couldn’t believe his eyes. “They had filed their 10-K,” he said, “they had an unqualified auditor’s report
I guess if my self-storage business would have been going somewhere I probably wouldn’t have done this, but there is a power in feeling you have nothing to lose
and they were trading at the same price as they had been in January. “I was shocked, I thought ‘how could this be?’ This was the beginning of my learning about what auditors don’t do. Auditors do not catch fraud. They are there to maybe catch accidental mistakes.” In debt and trying to monetise the trip, which had cost his father upwards of $10,000 to facilitate, Carson eventually said “fuck it” and he began his exercise in unbridled due diligence. On 28 June, he sent out what he now terms his ‘project’ in an unsolicited email to around “25 people” who he knew from law school and a few good finance contacts who knew him as “Bill Block’s son.” This damning report said $30m had been misappropriated from Orient Paper in eight months. “I guess if my self-storage business would have been going somewhere I probably wouldn’t have done this, but there is a power in feeling like you have nothing to lose,” he says emphatically. “I worked on a report exposing it as a fraud. We did a load of work, it was eventually 30-something pages and it had 80 or 90 footnotes. I then sent it out in an email that said, ‘Hey this is what I’ve been up to – some crazy shit in China.’” The magnitude of his decision was not immediate, rather it was about 24 hours before his enlightening advice had cast its shadow over coming events. And as he watched the stock tumble on a computer screen across the North Pacific; it became apparent that his decision to go with his gut had his contacts hooked. “Within one-anda-half trading sessions the stock was off 55%,” he said, “I mean I was scared shitless when it fell that much.” “The whole China-to-US fraud thing was new to me. I had come up on Wall Street in the 1990s and at that time there was a lot of mafia micro-cap fraud. I thought this was US-organised crime meets ▶
COVER STORY CARSON BLOCK
Chinese-organised crime and that was frightening. “At that time there were these construction workers who were showing up at my office attempting to threaten me; I was scared.” Not long after, Block and his wife, two cats and one dog all headed back to the USA in what you might call a hurry. The following year and a half saw him struggle to maintain his storage firm remotely, which he eventually off-loaded to a local investor, keeping his 200-something clients happy in the process. But a furious Orient Paper made public attempts to destroy his and his father’s character. “I was watching CNBC one day and all of a sudden Jim Cramer was on slamming me,” he added. “He was bashing me saying I must be a fraud, the company’s response was that my father and I had been trying to extort money from them.” To address the allegations Block put out a second report, which he maintains was more personal and designed to ensure he was vindicated but the whole fall-out was not limited to him. Ironically, Carson didn’t make anything out of this first short at all. He personally had $2,000 of put options on the trade and over time did the maths and when push came to shove he says he lost around $600. The experience, however, has been absolutely essential as a learning curve and now, six years later, he is a true iconoclast of a fraud-busting enterprise that requires boots on the ground for fact-finding missions all over the world. Part of Muddy Waters’ ingenuity is a method of investigation known as ‘pretexting,’ or in layman’s terms the extraordinary lengths the core team of six and their consultants go to in a bid to source information to help them paint a clear picture of their intended target. The firm has gone undercover to investigate fraud at global corporations and produces three types of research product: business fraud, accounting fraud, and one which looks at fundamental issues with the business. They employ a range of tactics including crafty yet ingenious fishing expeditions in the form of surveys but not all of their escapades go according to plan. “The day I was going to meet with an analyst in Singapore who followed Olam,” he said of the Singapore firm he warned ran a high risk of failure owing to its ▶
“asset heavy” strategy in 2012. “We didn’t want it getting out that Muddy Waters was researching Olam. I asked the makeup artist to come in and make me look somewhat older. “She tried to make me look like I was 70, and put on eyebrows and a moustache made from cotton balls. “I had no idea she was doing any of this until I saw it in the mirror. My hands were not the hands of a 70-something and I realised I looked like a freak show. “At the meeting I thought this is bad. Let’s sit at a long table, on opposite ends. I sat with my palms facing outwards most of the time because I was really conscious. “I was trying to speak really slowly and move really slowly as a 70 year old might. But as I would inhale, strands of the cotton ball moustache would go up and down. “I thought this is the worst disguise.” Block says that he’s cut back on some of the more bizarre strategies to uncover information, and particularly now because he is easily recognised, but he adds: “I would love to be able to meet with some of these people face to face.” Operating on a global perspective requires planning and Block does have some good advice for anyone thinking they might be able to join a growing band of hedge fund activist virtuosos. This year Muddy Waters Research took on its first German target in the form of billboard operator Ströer. But even before he began his investigation, he was on guard. Block added: “Another activist short seller asked me if I had looked at Germany, and I asked why? And he said ‘well, you know they have a crazy law there that you can go to jail if you say something bad about a company publicly?” “I looked into it and was incredulous, but he was correct. The legal framework there is pretty intimidating for criticising companies but if what you are saying is true you are not going to go to jail.” While the idea of starting off on a venture may appeal to some people, life as an activist investor is certainly not stress free – and is laden with pitfalls. “We always assume with a new jurisdiction that the regulators will be hostile,” says Block, who is careful never to ‘overstate’ anything. “We don’t want to give anyone opportunity to give us a speeding
ticket infraction and look to blow it up.” “You have to get to a certain level financially where you know you can defend yourself. Making enough money to deal with the cost of litigation, that’s the cost of doing business, and you have to have lawyers to pay for that.” And when it comes to targets, it’s usually just one piece of information that sets the ball rolling. He continues: “It’s a combination of us looking and scouring the world and talking to investors, reading things, sometimes looking at one company will lead us to others. “One way to find problems in companies is to follow people involved in promotions and frauds, especially lawyers. One of the guys who is really big on following people is a fund manager named John Hempton at Bronte Capital. John is fond of saying ‘fraud lawyers are eternal,’ because it’s very hard for a lawyer to go to prison.” In the end, whether he meant it as a career move or not, Block has channelled his energy into an incredible company that is determined, he says, to do the right thing. But that integrity does come with a price. “We have had email death threats to me and my family,” he adds with a heavy sigh, revealing that he’s had a number of security scares, but in the end he is still adamant his attempts to bring truth to a very opaque global market has proved worthwhile. H For more info, see muddywatersresearch.com
CAPITAL GAINS Muddy Waters Capital, Block’s hedge fund, received regulatory clearance in January to operate as a money management firm – and started with about $100m in capital. The fund focuses on an activist long-short strategy with an emphasis on betting against companies. Muddy Waters has hired Matijn Rasser, who spent more than ten years as an intelligence officer with the US government as the firm’s chief of staff. It also hired Jamie Brown, formerly of Standard Pacific Capital and PwC, as CFO and COO. In May, Muddy Waters also hired senior credit specialist Terrence Ing from Pimco.
Taking a More Active Approach They’ve gone from being perceived as a disruptive force to widely regarded as a catalyst for key changes within big businesses, but how? OWEN WALKER explores the rise of the activist hedge fund ON THE AFTERNOON of 10 October 2014 boardrooms across America were in a state of shock. Mobile phones vibrated and tablets flashed. News was spreading across the country that for the first time, an activist hedge fund had managed to take over the whole board of a blue chip corporation. Directors and CEOs from America’s biggest companies stared at each other in stunned silence as they digested the news while all thinking exactly the same thing: could we be next? The boardroom coup at Darden Restaurants, the largest mid-market restaurant company in the US and a constituent of the S&P 500, was yet another high-water mark for activist hedge funds. These event-driven investors had spent much of the previous two decades operating mainly from the fringes of the business world. On the rare occasion they made the headlines it was usually due to a particularly acerbic letter one of their number had sent to a hapless and hitherto unknown CEO of a small company. But in the years since the financial crisis, they have emerged as some of the most feared and revered investors in the US thanks to their
ILLUSTRATION by Ben Jennings
In the years since the financial crisis, activist hedge fund investors have emerged as some of the most feared and revered investors in the United States
success in targeting ever bigger companies. Activist hedge funds are an evolution of the corporate raiders of the 1980s. They identify companies that they believe are fundamentally strong, but for a certain reason are underperforming. They then buy a stake in that company, typically 5-10%, and then pressure its management team to make the changes they believe are necessary. Activists will often focus their campaigns on trying to get board seats for themselves or their representatives so that they can have a more direct role in overseeing and running the company. Today the likes of Carl Icahn, Bill Ackman and Nelson Peltz are held in nearly as high regard as investors such as Warren Buffett and George Soros. Often, even a mere rumour that one of these hedge fund heavyweights or someone of their ilk plans to invest in a company is enough to make that business’s share price pop. Since 2009 more than 40% of S&P 500 companies have had an activist on their shareholder register and 15% have faced them in a public standoff, according to research company FactSet. These have included some of the biggest and bestknown companies in the world, from Microsoft and Apple to McDonald’s and PepsiCo. Increasingly, the rise of activist investors is not only a US phenomenon – the likes of Sony in Japan, Samsung in South Korea, Volkswagen in Germany and Rolls-Royce in the UK have all been targeted. At the same time, their assets under management have subsequently grown to around $200bn. So how did activist hedge funds become such major players in the business world? ▶
INDUSTRY ACTIVIST FUNDS
INDUSTRY ACTIVIST FUNDS
America suffered two periods of intense trauma in the first decade of the 21st century that have resulted in an environment where activists can thrive. The first was a series of corporate scandals in the early 2000s, culminating in the highprofile bankruptcies of the likes of Enron and WorldCom. These brought huge embarrassment for boards of directors, who were accused of failing to carry out their fiduciary duties in overseeing the management of their companies, and for large institutional shareholders who were said to have disregarded their stewardship responsibilities as the ultimate business owners. US policymakers responded by bringing in a wave of provisions that were aimed at improving the way companies were run and making corporate leaders more accountable to shareholders. As a result, activist investors found that it was easier to get access to company directors and received wider support from other shareholders when they challenged the way that companies were being run. Rather than being seen as rabble-rousers who were much more interested in disrupting target companies for short-term profit, activists now emerged as potential agents for much-needed change. The second major trauma to hit US companies was the 2007-8 financial crisis. This initially hit activist hedge funds hard. Their portfolios suffered and their own investors started to pull out money. Several funds were forced to close to meet the redemptions. But once the dust had settled, those activists remaining were able to prosper. There were plenty of cheap stocks waiting to be bought. The crisis also exposed significant problems at many of their target companies, and so activists found it easier to persuade other shareholders to support them in their efforts to get board seats. The media and general public became more concerned with tackling what they perceived to be egregious pay packets for CEOs, and activists were given another stick with which to beat their target companies. In the years since the financial crisis, activist funds have been one of the better performing hedge fund categories. Despite losing more than 40% on average in 2008,
the largest activist funds have certainly had some stellar years since, according to research provider HFR. In 2009 they averaged close to 30% returns, while in 2012 and 2013 they averaged 21% and 16%, respectively. Certain activist funds have made headlines by having particularly standout performance. In 2014, Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square returned more than 40%, making it one of the top performing hedge funds of any strategy that year. Other activists have managed to maintain consistently high returns. ValueAct, for example, averaged 17% return between 2000 and 2014. As word of these performance levels spread, more and more investors chose to entrust activists with their money. The amount of capital managed by the biggest activist funds doubled between 2012 and 2015. As more money flowed into the category, more funds launched. Globally in 2011, there were 118 activist investors involved in campaigns, according to research provider Activist Insight. By 2015 this figure had risen to 378. With the scores of newer entrants, activists found it increasingly hard to fund enough viable small and medium size companies to invest in. Meanwhile, as the largest funds’ assets under management grew, they needed to find bigger target companies to invest in. As a result, the median market value of companies targeted by activists quadrupled between 2011 and 2015, from just under $200m to around $800m, according to FactSet. So by the time activist Starboard Value targeted Darden Restaurants in 2014, corporate America was waking up to the fact that activist investors felt emboldened enough to go for the very
Since 2014, US boards have been much more welcoming to activists – especially the hedge funds most popular with the wider shareholder base
biggest companies. The Darden campaign was a story that moved beyond the business pages and into that national spotlight. But this was not only due to the scale of the hedge fund’s victory. A month before Starboard won all 12 board seats, its plans to rejuvenate Darden were being discussed on America’s late-night talk shows. What comedians such as John Oliver found so interesting about Starboard’s plans was the level of detail the hedge fund went into when criticising the food served at Darden’s best-known restaurant chain, the Italian-themed Olive Garden. Starboard’s presentation had featured unappetising pictures of food served in Olive Garden restaurants, identified menu items that were not authentically Italian and claimed the chain’s policy of not using salt in the water when boiling pasta resulted in a “mushy, unappealing product”. But what really stirred the chat show hosts was Starboard’s claims that Olive Garden was too generous with its all-you-can-eat breadstick policy, which was costing Darden $5m a year. In the end, the Starboard victory had next to nothing to do with its detailed critique of the service at Olive Garden restaurants and much more to do with its opposition to Darden selling another of its well-known chains, Red Lobster. But the scale of the Starboard victory was enough to make corporate directors and their advisers completely change their approach to responding to activist investors. Since late 2014, US boards have been much more welcoming to activists – especially the hedge funds most popular with the wider shareholder base – and more willing to offer them board seats rather than going to a full-fledged proxy fight and shareholder vote, as Darden did. In 2015, more than half of all activist campaigns ended in a truce, usually with the target company offering the activist board representation. This is up from around a third of campaigns in 2012. The boardroom coup at Darden Restaurants put activist hedge funds firmly on to the main stage and brought fundamental changes to the way activist investing is carried out. H Owen Walker’s new book on activist investing – ‘Barbarians in the Boardroom’ – is out now, published by FT Publishing.
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Trade Secrets Tin, sugar, coffee and stocks: HENRY ELIOT and MATT LLOYD-ROSE explore the varied history of trade in the City and beyond
1. TIN Marvel at the Battersea Shield in room 50 of the British Museum. This elegant, 2,500-year-old object, decorated with swirling roundels and red enamel circles, was found in the Thames near Chelsea Bridge. It is made of bronze, the tin and copper alloy that underlaid European culture for three millennia. Southwest England has rich seams of tin, and the valuable metal formed the basis of London’s earliest international trade, attracting Phoenician merchants. Tin is still a valuable commodity, traded at the London Metal Exchange on Leadenhall Street. 2. GARUM When you next go for a coif at Nicholson & Griffin barbershop on Gracechurch Street, ask to see the remains in its basement. Downstairs is a brick arch, a remnant of the enormous forum-basilica that once stood at the centre of Roman Londinium. An important import was garum, fermented fish sauce, which gave Roman recipes their umami oomph. A first-century amphora discovered in Southwark, and now on display in the Museum of London, bears the strapline ‘Lucius Tettius Africanus supplies the finest garum from Antibes’. Today’s equivalent might be HP Sauce. 3. WOOL Legend has it that old London Bridge was ‘built on woolpacks’. These spongy foundations are metaphorical: the bridge was paid for by taxes imposed on the wool trade. Wool was London’s prime export in the middle ages, and when he wasn’t writing about fartyng and thakkyng, Geoffrey Chaucer was the highly responsible controller of the wool customs. Visit the House of Lords and examine the speaker’s chair: it’s a red cushion known as the ‘woolsack’, symbolising wool’s erstwhile importance to the economy. In 1938 it
was discovered that the woolsack had been mistakenly stuffed with horsehair; it was hastily refilled with wool, gathered from across the Commonwealth countries.
4. CLOTH Raw wool is all very well, but its value trebles when it is spun into cloth. Cloth manufacture in London took off when Edward III-imposed restrictions on imports of foreign fabric, encouraging skilled Flemish weavers to immigrate and set up their spinning wheels in the city. Soon the Company of Merchant Adventurers was selling British cloth across Europe. The domestic market was dominated by a cloth fair at Smithfield, which was held every Bartholomew’s Day. John Betjeman lived in rooms at 43 Cloth Fair. Today, his apartment is managed by the Landmark Trust; look out for a last-minute online deal and sleep in the fine Georgian house that still sports his William Morris wallpaper. 5. COFFEE Attend a free public lecture by the Professor of Commerce at Gresham’s College, Holborn. This philanthropic institution was founded in 1597 under the will of Sir Thomas Gresham, the man who built the Royal Exchange. Gresham’s Exchange was an open trading courtyard where merchants from around the world gathered to haggle over sacks of sugar, spice, cotton, coca and coffee. In 1652, Pasqua Rosee, a Sicilian Greek trader in Turkish goods, cashed in on the exotic beans available at the Royal Exchange, and set up London’s first coffee house in the warren of back streets nearby. The Exchange burned down twice, and the current iteration was completed in 1844, with the figure of commerce at the centre of its pediment. Today it is a high-end shopping mall, but it still bears Gresham’s personal emblem, the golden grasshopper. ▶
TEA After an aromatic pot of Assam in the V&A’s lofty café, go to South Asia room 41 to see ‘Tipu’s Tiger’, a life-size automaton of a tiger savaging a European. When you turn the crank handle, the tiger growls and the man screams in panic and waves his hand. This gruesome toy was made in the 1790s for the amusement of Tipu, Sultan of Mysore, who was holding out against the East India Company as it gradually tightened its grip over the whole Indian subcontinent. The East India Company was one of the world’s first joint-stock corporations, with shares owned privately by wealthy merchants and aristocrats. Its trade empire was governed from its City headquarters, known as the ‘Monster of Leadenhall Street’: East India House contained a library of every book ever published on the subject of Asia – a collection that now fills nine miles of shelves at the British Library – and a threestorey museum of eastern souvenirs. The most popular exhibit was ‘Tipu’s Tiger’. 7. SLAVES In 1698, in Jonathan’s Coffee House on Change Alley, a broker named John Casting published the first list of company share prices, the progenitor of the FTSE 100. Speculation spiralled out of control in the early 18th century, most spectacularly in the case of the South Sea Company, whose main commodity was African slaves.
Encouraged by extravagant rumours and corrupt politicians, share prices shot from £100 to more than £1,000 in August 1720. In reality the company’s finances were disastrous and the ‘South Sea bubble’ burst suddenly and violently, plummeting to the original flotation value. Investors were bankrupted and suicides became a daily occurrence. Book an appointment to view Hogarth’s South Sea Scheme print in the National Portrait Gallery archive on Orange Street. The centrepiece of this riotous image is a raised merry-goround of investors, including a clergyman, a prostitute and a boot black, and a sign asking ‘who’l ride’. The South Sea Company continued to exist, mainly to manage the government’s debt in the scheme, which was only fully paid off in 2015.
8. OMNIA Take the Grade II-listed escalator up six floors in the Egyptian Hall in Harrods. Above you in the zodiacal ceiling, three bright orbs mark Orion’s Belt, the constellation that dictated the position of the Pyramids of Giza. Charles Henry Harrod, a grocer from Stepney, founded Harrods on its current site to cater for the crowds who flocked to the Great Exhibition of 1851. The motto of the now world-famous department store is Omnia Omnibus Ubique (‘everything for everyone everywhere’). Legend has it that Ronald Reagan called up to buy a baby elephant in 1967 and the operator enquired, “Would that be African or Indian, sir?” And in 1921, when A A Milne dropped in to buy a present for his son Christopher Robin, he came out with a stuffed bear that is now more famous than the shop. 9. BEER Southwark Street is dominated by the blueandwhite hulk of the Hop Exchange, built in 1866. Today the Hop Exchange is mostly converted for office use, but rustic figures continue to pick hops above the iron gates. Behind the Exchange, in Borough Market, you can sit in the Market Hall indoor garden, amidst mobile orchards and screens of hops, intended one day for Borough Market Beer. If you can’t wait, make for the Rake on Winchester Walk. This tiny speciality bar serves over a hundred beers.
The East India Company was one of the world’s first joint-stock corporations, and its trade empire was governed from its headquarters on Leadenhall Street 10. SUGAR Naked and musclebound, with a beard of flowing ringlets, Father Thames points to the horizon with an outstretched left hand, and grips his trident with his right. He stands at the summit of an Edwardian turret on Tower Hill, and his eyes reflect far-off trading posts, ships and cargoes converging on London. Completed in 1922, this river god stands on the former Port of London Authority building, 10 Trinity Square. At its peak in the 1930s, the PLA oversaw 713 acres of docks in inner London, but when large London factories lost their trading privileges with Commonwealth countries in the 1960s, the inner-city docks went into terminal decline. The PLA still regulates the tidal river, which begins near Teddington Lock, indicated by a slim stone obelisk on the south bank, and extends along to Gunfleet Lighthouse, six miles off the coast at Frinton-on-Sea. 11. STOCKS Standing at the junction of Newgate Street and King Edward Street, you can see a large coat of arms: two black griffins grip a shield above the motto Dictum Meum Pactam, or ‘my word is my bond’. This is the London Stock Exchange, the direct descendant of Gresham’s trading floors. By the late 1800s, the exchange was using telephone, ticker tape and telegrams to speed up its transactions. In 1972, Queen Elizabeth II opened a state-of-the-art, 26-storey Stock Exchange Building on Threadneedle Street. The open-outcry sessions were a popular visitor attraction but the public gallery closed after an IRA bomb threat in 1990. In 2004, the LSE moved to its new site on Paternoster Square. H ‘Curiocity: In Pursuit of London’ by Henry Eliot and Matt Lloyd-Rose (£30, Particular Books) is out now.
cretan bronze helmet with high crest and incised mythological decoration c. 660â€“625 BC. H: 43.1 cm Said to be from the collection of Joseph Weller (1872â€“1926), Essen, Germany
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Applying the Right Theory Cliff Asness, co-founder of AQR, isn’t afraid to challenge typical hedge-fund models by using academic theories, finds SAFI THIND
CLIFF ASNESS, CO-FOUNDER of AQR (Applied Quantitative Research), has brought the ideal of academic theory into the practical world. Asness met AQR’s other three founders – David Kabiller, Robert Krail and John Liew – at the University of Chicago where he was taught by Nobel prize-winning financial theorist Eugene Fama, chief proponent of the efficient market hypothesis. At Chicago he wrote a dissertation on momentum investing using principles in opposition to his mentor’s theory. He went on to head up Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s quantitative research team – building the Global Alpha Fund, one of the first high-frequency quant funds in the world – but left to set up AQR in 1998, age 31. Within four years the firm had drawn $3bn in assets which has ballooned to its current $153.6bn. AQR’s success has been rapid and based on its strong academic foundations. The company currently has 52 PhDs among its 600 odd staff and has set up awards to promote academic excellence. Asness is also one of the more honest appraisers of the hedge fund world and indeed his own business. He is a long-term critic of the hedge fund fee model and
What is AQR’s guiding philosophy? AQR operates at the intersection of financial theory and practical application. Our investment philosophy is based on core principles informed by decades of research and experience. We are big proponents of portfolio diversification to include incorporating strategies with positive expected returns but with low correlation to traditional asset classes as a complement to existing portfolios. Diversification can be used to reduce overall risk of investor portfolios and improve risk-adjusted returns. We diversify across multiple dimensions – asset classes, geographies, strategies and time – to minimise uncompensated risks and achieve ▶
PHOTOGRAPH by Matt Furman
AQR diversifies across multiple dimensions – asset classes, geographies, strategies, time – to minimise uncompensated risks and achieve consistent results
has attacked high charges in the industry on the basis that much of the underlying performance of hedge funds comes simply from the stock market going up rather than from the skill of individuals. He also admits that the company’s strategies have not always done well. Like most, AQR was hit in 2007 and 2008 when money under management declined from $39bn to $17bn. But over time the strategies make money more often than they don’t (Asness says a car working along the same principles would lead to the mechanic being fired). AQR has launched liquid alternative funds which use generic investment strategies such as merger and convertible arbitrage, long/short equity, and trendfollowing futures, but at a much lower cost to the investor. Asness says it was always AQR’s intention to branch out beyond the hedge fund world into a broader market which it has done with some success.
Q&A CLIFF ASNESS
Q&A CLIFF ASNESS
Most hedge funds are too correlated with equity markets and too expensive given that too much of their return comes simply from equity markets rising ▶ more
consistent results for our investors. We also believe in offering the best investment products at fair fees. If I ever get an economic law named after me, which I know is pretty doubtful, I would like it to be: There is no investment product so good that a high enough fee cannot make it bad.
What are your thoughts on the present state of the hedge fund business? I’ve long been saying that, as a whole, most hedge funds are too correlated with equity
What are the biggest risks you see on the horizon? My biggest concern is the future of retirement. In the US, we have not saved enough for the retirements that have been promised to people, public or private. Assumptions about future returns on retirement savings are too high, and savings too low. Until the looming retirement crisis is dealt with, one way or another, retirements are not secure. How different is it to manage AQR now compared to when you began? I think AQR is best described as a global investment management firm. When we launched AQR in 1998, our first product was a hedge fund, but it was always our plan to offer traditional strategies, and we’ve have been doing that since 2000. We listen to our own advice about diversification. Not all of our strategies do well all the time of course. But they’re all steeped in research and economic intuition, so over time and on average, we believe
they work. And by ‘work’ I mean statistically, ie: a little more often than not. If your car worked like this you’d fire your mechanic. On the other hand, if your investments worked all the time, you might need to turn your manager in to the authorities. What is your current involvement in Europe? We opened our office in London over four years ago, and more recently partnered with the London Business School to establish the AQR Asset Management Institute. We’re committed to growth in Europe, as well as in the Asia-Pacific region. How do you support academia? AQR has strong ties to the academic world; many members of our firm are from the academic community. So we’re very supportive. Both the Insight Award, which recognises the best academic papers that have applications in the real world, and our partnership with London Business School, go back to a very simple goal of advancing knowledge. Our hope is that the research from these partnerships helps solve some of the bigger issues facing the investment world, like the retirement crisis. What is your main passion outside of the business? Spending time with my family. H For more information, see aqr.com
PHOTOGRAPH by Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images
What is your view on traditional finance theories like the efficient market hypothesis and how did Eugene Fama guide your investment philosophy? I was never a person who thought markets price things perfectly – nor is anyone, by the way. The Nobel committee recently decided to recognise work on the EMH by splitting the prize between EMH pioneer Eugene Fama and EMH critic Robert Shiller. I am somewhere between Fama and Shiller on EMH. I tend to think the market is more efficient than Shiller and most practitioners do, but I also probably think the market is less efficient than Fama does. Gene Fama is one my heroes and likes to shock classes at the University of Chicago by saying “markets are almost certainly not perfectly efficient.” Coming from the godfather of efficient markets, you would hear the gasp of surprise. But, he’s making the point that it’s a very extreme hypothesis. With that said, one of the scariest moments was telling him I wanted to write a dissertation on price momentum. I mumbled the second part, “and I find it works really well.” I was scared, because the opposite, having momentum failing to work, is a perfect Chicago, Gene Fama, efficient markets dissertation. To his credit, he immediately said to me, “If it’s in the data, then write the paper.”
markets and are too expensive given that too much of their return comes simply from equity markets rising, something that isn’t bad but is available for nearly no fee. I haven’t changed my views, and also believe that hedge funds tend to set expectations too high, especially for the tough times that occur from time to time.
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From the tailors of Savile Row to the gentlemen’s clubs of Pall Mall, this celebrates London’s most historic neighbourhoods ALL OVER THE MAP . 076 STYLE . 053 | SAVILE ROW . 056 | MADE IN MAYFAIR . 061 | ART . 066 | MAP . 076
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Dressed to Kill Sean Connery’s Bond is still the best dressed. JAMES SHERWOOD reveals how Turnbull & Asser helped turn 007 into a style icon
PHOTOGRAPH by Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
IT IS NO secret that James Bond creator Ian Fleming was distinctly underwhelmed about the casting of working class Scotsman Sean Connery in producer Cubby Broccoli’s first 007 film Dr. No (1962). “What was it he called me?” Connery asked in a Daily Express interview in 2008, “that over-developed stuntman. He never said it to me. When I did eventually meet him, he was very interesting, erudite and a snob.” Actors including Cary Grant, James Mason and David Niven turned Dr. No down but Connery won the support of Broccoli’s wife Dana and bore an uncanny resemblance to the James Bond comic strip Lord Beaverbrook commissioned in 1958 for the Express with illustrations by John McLusky. Dr. No was a critical and commercial success, grossing $6m with a modest ▶
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PHOTOGRAPHS by Mario De Biasi/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images; (colour) Popperfoto/Getty Images
production budget. Connery would reprise the role of James Bond in From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and the independently produced Never Say Never Again (1983). Turnbull & Asser dressed 007 in all seven of these films. Dr. No director Terence Young introduced Sean Connery to his Conduit Street tailor Anthony Sinclair and his shirtmaker Turnbull & Asser to craft a masculine, minimal wardrobe to suit his bodybuilder’s physique. Lois Maxwell, who played Miss Moneypenny, said: “Terence took Sean under his wing. He took him to dinner, showed him how to walk, how to talk, even how to eat.” The actor’s Pygmalion moment at T&A was recorded in a series of photographs with Michael Fish fitting Mr Bond’s shirts. Clearly visible is the two-button turned-back cuff, also known as the cocktail cuff, that Young recommended having admired David Niven’s Turnbull & Asser shirts. It is the only touch of flamboyance in an otherwise rather sober wardrobe. All of James Bond’s Dr. No shirts are white or pale blue Sea Island poplin and his ties are all dark blue grenadine. “The Bond look was quite bold,” says Paul Cuss who cut Connery’s shirts. “Up
until then collars had been quite shallow. For Bond we made them much higher with a medium spread. I think the first order was for 72 shirts made from Sea Island cotton. For every scene we made six identical shirts for Sean Connery. The production company paid. Turnbull & Asser wasn’t credited for the Bond films but word of mouth got the message around.” “Ian Fleming never actually mentions Turnbull & Asser in any of the Bond novels but he does say 007’s shirts are Sea Island cotton and made on Jermyn Street,” says James Cook. “Fleming only names brands such as Cartier, Dunhill and Anderson & Sheppard in relation to his villains because he thought the bad guys liked to flaunt it. Bond never does.” Turnbull & Asser New York’s senior bespoke manager and James Bond connoisseur Rob Gillotte explained the complexity of making shirts for Sean Connery to Esquire in 2014: “If you look
For every scene in his Bond films, Turnbull & Asser made six identical shirts for Sean Connery
▶ RAKING IT IN: [above] Sean Connery in classic black-tie Bond mode in a casino scene from Thunderball; [below] Connery off camera, preparing for action in Thunderball.
at pictures of Sean Connery in Dr. No and From Russia With Love, I don’t know if people know this but he was a 46-inch chest with a 33-inch waist and over sixfeet tall. But when you look at him you don’t really notice it at all. That’s what a good shirtmaker and a good shirt can do.” Without the benefit of the tailor’s canvas and padding, the shirtmaker has to use all the tricks of his trade to fit to a gym-toned body such as Connery’s. James Bond style has been the subject of Nick Sullivan’s excellent book Dressed To Kill (1996) and definitive websites such as Matt Spaiser’s The Suits of James Bond, which examines every thread of every costume made for all six actors. With the exception of a startling T&A sugar-pink tie that Connery’s Bond wears in the Las Vegas sequences for Diamonds Are Forever, Turnbull & Asser’s services to Sean Connery’s 007 are unimpeachably elegant and fit for purpose. There has never been a better-dressed Bond. H ‘Turnbull & Asser: Made In England, 130 Years’ by James Sherwood is out now priced £50. For more info, see turnbullandasser.com
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Savile Row’s most distinguished tailor, Huntsman, is staying a step ahead with the help of a fund manager, finds SAFI THIND IT’S THE DAY of the Brexit referendum. Dark clouds hang low over London. Stockmarkets are plunging. The pound is in freefall. My own brow is furrowed, however, because I’m going to Huntsman – probably the priciest and some would say the classiest tailor on Savile Row – and there’s a button that’s missing on my jacket. As I walk in through the doors of number 11, picking up the sound of a 1920s jazz ditty tootling through the walls, I detect a certain odour. It’s the smell of Bertie Wooster. Rex Harrison. Winston Churchill and David Niven. Character, refinement, class and above all, tradition. My own jacket wilts under the weight of this prestige. The missing button stares out like an offending jailbird. Popping out of his office to meet me is Philippe Brenninkmeijer, a 30-something Dutchman and the current chief executive of Huntsman. I’m taken to a space at the back which has tweed-lined walls and drink-lined cabinets and resembles a sort of gentleman’s den. Hanging on a wall are David Bowie’s suit patterns. Further along I see a rail of Gregory Peck’s jackets – he commissioned a total of 160 suits from them. To top it all off, the table I’m sitting at reverses to a pool table complete with Huntsman-check baize. Indeed, this area has been designed specifically for customers to rest easefully and decide on their suits in tranquil privacy. It’s charmingly old school and soothing enough to settle any nerves.
As I walk through the doors, I detect an odour. It’s the smell of Bertie Wooster and Winston Churchill. Character, refinement, class and above all, tradition 56
GET THE HUNTSMAN LOOK
Huntsman was founded in 1849 as a breeches maker. The store prides itself on its individual house style, built up over many years. The Huntsman suit jacket has a longer skirt, slightly pinched at the waist, and more dominant shoulder with a single button to fasten, giving it an hourglass effect – an optical illusion designed to shed a few pounds off the wearer. This has proven a draw for many of the great and good. The likes of Laurence Olivier, Ronald Reagan, Lucian Freud, and, er, Elizabeth Taylor, as well as the aforementioned Peck and Bowie all number as clients of this prestigious tailor. Yet amid all the tradition, the 167-year old company with the most expensive suits on ‘The Row’ has taken recent steps into the modern era. The man behind the revamping of the store is Belgian-born hedge fund manager Pierre Lagrange, one of the initials in the $33bn GLG hedge fund, who bought the place in 2013 along with his then partner, Roubi L’Roubi. OPENING UP
Though he is not involved in the day-today operations, Lagrange has been steering Huntsman’s high-level business. In 2015, he appointed head cutter Campbell Carey as creative director and the pair helped to reintroduce a Huntsman ready-to-wear collection. The company also introduced online buying under his stewardship as well as expanding its position overseas, carrying out its first trunk shows in Asia a year ago and opening a US store in March. “It’s not true that change hasn’t occurred,” says Brenninkmeijer. “Huntsman opened a store in New York recently – the first Savile Row tailor to do so. We have a pied-à-terre there. For our US customers, it is a home away from home.” But Lagrange has not always been viewed fondly by the Savile Row set. Eyebrows were raised on his arrival, an ▶
TAILORING SAVILE ROW
TAILORING SAVILE ROW
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I touch some of the fabrics, one of which feels like butter in my hand. The finest is Opus cloth from Australia: a suit cut from it would cost £20,000 ▶ outsider
and finance man getting into the most traditional of British traditions. L’Roubi’s experimental tinkering was disliked, too – Huntsman and chinchilla do not go, they said. Indeed the general manager and head cutter left soon after. But three years down the line things have settled down. L’Roubi has left. The staff appear happy and sartorial perfection remains uncompromised. Speaking of sartorial perfection, I suddenly notice Brenninkmeijer looking at me strangely. His gaze is fixed on my jacket. It’s the missing button which I’ve been trying to hide. Not batting an eyelid he asks if I’d like it replaced. I nod and hand over my jacket and it’s passed to one of the guys behind the cutting table who is asked to replace all of the buttons. “It’s all part of the service,” says Brenninkmeijer kindly. For the future, there are discussions of opening the place to wholesale. Products will be sold through other luxury retailers, but quality control will be maintained. “We want to be very careful to ensure we can deliver the same quality that is embodied in house,” says Brenninkmeijer. “We’re not boxed in with our thoughts. It is a logical step for Huntsman to take.” A FAMILY AFFAIR
I’m curious to see behind the scenes, so Brenninkmeijer takes me on a tour of the cutting room downstairs where I get to witness the experts doing what they do best. It’s a professional workshop but also looks quite intimate – like a big family. It is also very busy. Generally, it takes more than 80 man hours to produce a bespoke suit. I touch some of the fabrics, one of which feels like butter in my hands. This is the Infinity 3 luxury cloth, probably the best wool in the world, from New Zealand Saxo Merino farming and
Dormeuil’s woollen mill in Huddersfield. The company only has 17 suit lengths of the fabric which is described on the website as the ‘Petrus’ of fabrics. But it’s not even Huntsman’s finest – that was the Opus cloth from Australia. A suit cut from that would set you back £20,000. Brenninkmeijer takes me back to the shop upstairs and offers me a ready-to-wear jacket to try. I feel like Rudolph Valentino – who was also a Huntsman client – as I stand in the changing room looking at myself. I ask Philippe the price and he tells me it’s £2,000. He enquires if I might like to buy it. I choke as I hand it back to him.
It’s not all serious, however. He shows me some of the “fun” stuff they have done, including a two-piece dinner suit for a dachshund. “Bespoke is a serious trade but we also have fun,” says Brenninkmeijer. And my own jacket’s now been repaired. The buttons, I learn, are two-eyed, made from horn, a Huntsman speciality. My old ones were plastic. I like the new ones better. As a parting note I ask Brenninkmeijer if Brexit might shift things for the store. “We are 167,” he answers. “We’ve lived through two world wars and one cold war.” Roll on the next 167 years. And hopefully I’ll be back one day – suitably attired. H
▲ BEST DRESSED: [clockwise from above] David Gandy at a Huntsman event; chief executive Philippe Brenninkmeijer; actor Hu Bing with Hunstman investor Pierre Lagrange.
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Made in Mayfair Bespoke shoes by Gieves & Hawkes, personalised watch cases from Jaeger-LeCoultre… there’s a lot to discover in this neighbourhood
WARDROBE GIEVES & HAWKES
PHOTOGRAPHS by Firstname Surname
The best don’t stand still. (Apart from this model, who is doing a cracking job.) Although feted as one of the finest tailors in the world, Gieves & Hawkes isn’t confined to the suit business. As well as its array of predictably ravishing threads, No 1 Savile Row is happy to provide bespoke coats and shoes to its customers. The latter require a bit of waiting but patience is rewarded. The first pair can take up to six months as your chosen style is meticulously crafted down to the last shoelace. Only once the fit is perfect will the shoemaker sew the design into life. For more info: gievesandhawkes.com
LEADING THE NOBLE PURSUIT O F F I N E W I N E S S I N C E 174 9 Justerini & Brooks. Portfolio, expertise and personal service. Justerinis.com/discover
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WATCHES JAEGER-LeCOULTRE The Reverso from Jaeger-LeCoultre has become one of watchmaking’s most iconic timepieces. Conceived in 1931, the reversible face was requested by British Army officers to prevent their wrist-wear shattering while playing polo. The result was an instant classic that is celebrating its 85th birthday this year. Now this timeless design has been updated with the ‘Atelier Reverso’, which allows the buyer to engrave the case of the watch with an inscription or design of their choosing. From the family crest to your initials, the watch can be truly personalised for the first time. If you need some inspiration from a mind perhaps more creative than yours, check out designer Christian Louboutin’s latest collection for the brand. For more info: jaeger-lecoultre.com
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GUNS PURDEY Forged from more than a hundred layers of damascene steel, Purdey’s Damascus guns redefine the concept of sharp shooting. The twisted metal dates back to ancient Syria, where to reveal the forging method was punishable by death. Now that’s product protection. Unlike other Purdey guns, the Damascus carries minimal engraving to accentuate the patterning of the steel, unique to each model. Purdey fits customers at the West London Shooting Ground to ensure every aspect of the firearm is meticuously tailored to its owner. The entire crafting process can take up to two years. Well, you know what they say about patience… For more info: purdey.com H
PHOTOGRAPHS by Rory Dennis
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Falling Head Over Heels Some of the world’s best artists and photographers are represented by Mayfair’s superlative art galleries. Here, MELISSA SCALLAN introduces five whom she just can’t get enough of…
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ART MAYFAIR GALLERIES
TYLER SHIELDS American Tyler Shields is best known for his controversial photographic work that includes celebrities naked, bloodied and bruised; a nude black man hanging a cloaked Klansman; two nuns kissing; and the wanton destruction of luxury items. The latter ranges from a six-figure Hermès Birkin bag chain-sawed then set alight to a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow engulfed in flames to a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes hacksawed and then set ablaze. The controversy does him no harm. He delivers mainstream advertising campaigns for organisations such as Nike, Adidas and the luxury Swiss watch maker Gergé but also produces fine art. ‘Train Tracks’ is from the Suspense series, which includes figures leaping, falling, tipping and flying. A self-portrait, Shields explained that he didn’t want to ask anyone else to do it because they would land on rocks; having been a professional inline skater Shields’ knowledge of how to land was undoubtedly key. The monochromatic, minimalist image of the clothed figure falling onto (or vaulting across) train tracks is unusual in that it’s not colourful, violent, sexual, shocking or provocative – hallmarks of so many of Shields’ images – and that might be why it’s a personal favourite of the photographer’s: “It’s one of the photos that I can honestly say I love.” For more information, see maddoxgallery.co.uk
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◀ TRAIN TRACKS: Tyler Shields (2013), museumquality photograph, 101.6cm x 152.4cm. Edition of three. Courtesy of the artist and Maddox Gallery.
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ART MAYFAIR GALLERIES
JULIAN OPIE Graphic images of thick black outlines and bold colours are the hallmarks of British multidisciplinary artist Julian Opie. Early inspiration came from male and female lavatory signs resulting in stylised line drawings of single figures, distinctly posed, with feet missing and separate circular heads. However, in 2013, while waiting at the school gate, Opie observed the passersby and how much more interesting they looked than his models: these people talked on phones, smoked cigarettes, carried bags and were purposeful. His work shifted. As seen in the Runners series, Opie’s recent portraits are often of groups of people presented in detail. They have accessories – earphones, beards, glasses, hats; clothes and footwear have logos and branding; oblivious to being observed, their postures vary as they stride forth; their carriage and bearing imply that some are fitter than others. Although they remain faceless, Opie manages to capture the small nuances and traits in his characters that make them human. Opie’s work can be found in museum collections including the National Portrait Gallery, the Tate, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Julian Opie’s work will be on display with Alan Cristea Gallery at the IFPDA print fair (International Art Fair for Prints & Editions) in New York, 3-9 November 2016. For more information, see alancristea.com
▲ RUNNING MEN: Julian Opie (2016), screen print in 23 colours on Somerset Satin tub sized 410gsm paper, presented in brushed aluminium frames specified by the artist, framed 152.8cm x 156.1cm. Edition of 50. ▶ RUNNING WOMEN: Julian Opie (2016), screen print in 21 colours on Somerset Satin tub sized 410gsm paper, presented in brushed aluminium frames specified by the artist, framed 152.8cm x 156.1cm. Edition of 50. Both images courtesy of the artist and Alan Cristea Gallery, London.
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ART MAYFAIR GALLERIES
SIMON McCHEUNG Having parents who emigrated from Hong Kong to a deprived part Cleethorpes in the late 1970s led to a sheltered childhood for fine-art photographer Simon McCheung. Rarely being allowed out, he daydreamed and imagined life elsewhere; however, it is that desire to escape that has significantly informed his work. Enchanted by his first visit to Tokyo in 2015, McCheung also saw the downside of living in the city – long working hours, minimal annual leave, extortionate cost of living – and that people simply assumed brave faces and got on with life. ‘Happy Hour’ symbolises the few hours of the night when it’s possible to go out and escape from normal life before it’s time to get up again: “No matter how crazy life is, how stressful your job is, you can always find peace somewhere. Even if it’s a flat cold road.” ‘Insomnia’ reflects the exhaustion from working long hours and the desire to fall into a deep sleep – even if it is on slabbed concrete: “I didn’t care where I was. All I wanted was to escape.” His fatigued body propped up by the wall, but sliding inexorably towards the pavement, is beautifully conveyed in this composition. The surreal ‘Somewhere That Matters’ was taken on the empty, bleak sand dunes of Cleethorpes and reflects McCheung’s childhood wish to be elsewhere. The umbrella – an homage to Mary Poppins, the video he regularly watched as a child – and the birds symbolise his ‘getaway’ (“My ticket to fly anywhere I want”) that will take this solitary figure somewhere – anywhere – that matters more than this. For more information, see beauxartslondon.uk
◀ HAPPY HOUR: Simon McCheung (2015), C-Type matt photo paper print, 28 x 28 inches. Edition of 25. ▲ INSOMNIA: Simon McCheung (2012), C-Type matt photo paper print, 28 x 28 inches. Edition of 25. ▶ SOMEWHERE THAT MATTERS: Simon McCheung (2012), C-Type matt photo paper print, 28 x 28 inches. Edition of 25. Each image £800. All three images courtesy of the artist and Beaux Arts London.
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ANTONY GORMLEY In 2014, British sculptor and artist Sir Antony Gormley exhibited Expansion Field – 60 large-scale, dark, figurative steel sculptures grouped in one room. Monumental and imposing, they were based on 3D pixelated scans of Gormley’s body in 21 different poses, which were then duly translated into towering, stacked, hollow steel boxes. ‘Hold’ is from the Woodblocks print series and reflects specific block figures within Expansion Field. The seven different standing poses in the series – the body to attention, arms stretched up or out, slightly tilted to one side – recall Michelangelo’s crucifixion drawings. They were created using inked-up square and rectangular sheets of low-grade plywood; the number of impressions made on a particular spot affects the density of the ink and creates shaded imagery similar to an X-ray. Alongside the Woodblocks print series, Gormley also created the Body Prints series. For these, Gormley’s body was covered in crude oil and linseed oil mixed with petroleum jelly; he then fell on sheets of paper laid on the floor. Gormley is widely acclaimed for his sculptures, installations and public artworks including the iconic ‘Angel of the North’ in Gateshead and ‘One & Other’, a public art project in which 2,400 members of the public occupied the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square in 2009 for an hour each over a period of 100 days. Antony Gormley’s work will be on display with Alan Cristea Gallery at Expo Chicago art fair, 22-25 September 2016, Booth 611 and the IFPDA print fair (International Art Fair for Prints & Editions) in New York, 3-9 November 2016 For more information, see alancristea.com
MITCH GRIFFITHS British hyper-realist artist Mitch Griffiths produces perfect renditions, covers serious – often historic or political – subjects, creates thoughtful compositions steeped in symbolism, uses a single light source to create highlights and shadows, positions his subjects against deep dark backgrounds and paints in oils. In doing so, he creates stunning images echoing the works of Old Masters. But Griffiths’ narratives are wholly contemporary and include the power of brand names. He also investigates patriotism and identity, explores society’s fixation with appearance, and reflects on the current refugee crisis. By setting ‘Call of Duty’ against a backdrop of burning oil fields with oil dripping from the soldier’s fingers, Griffiths challenges western military involvement in the Persian Gulf and questions the morality and motives for going to war. Commenting on the propaganda used in war to identify the perceived enemy as religion, Griffiths modified the sight of the rifle to resemble the Islamic star and crescent. The personal struggle of the soldier – as well as his role in the conflict – is reflected in his stance and open hand, while the Wilfred Owen tattoo seared into his neck acknowledges the horrific reality of war. In 2016, Griffiths was invited to show 21 works at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. An exhibition of Mitch Griffiths’ work will be on display at Halcyon Gallery, 144-146 New Bond Street, London, W1S 2PF during September and October 2016. For more information, see halcyongallery.com H
▲ SHOW: Antony Gormley (2016), crude oil, linseed oil and petroleum jelly on paper, 237.1cm x 134cm. ◀ HOLD: Antony Gormley (2016), woodcut on Saunders 190 gsm smooth paper, 237.1cm x 134cm. Edition of five. Courtesy of the artist and Alan Cristea Gallery, London.
▶ CALL OF DUTY: Mitch Griffiths (2014–2015), oil on canvas, 150cm x 119.5cm. Courtesy of the artist and Halcyon Gallery.
ART MAYFAIR GALLERIES
ART FAIR LAPADA
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More Than Meets the Eye Once a year, the LAPADA Art and Antiques Fair at Berkeley Square brings more than 100 prestigious exhibitors showing pieces as intriguing as they are aesthetically pleasing. Here are our picks from 2016
Between the Shores Through her powerful figurative sculptures, Anna Gillespie has in the past attempted to capture a feeling of immersion in nature, often incorporating natural objects into the bronze she works with. In her new work ‘Between the Shores’, Gillespie’s focus shifts to the way in which humans are influenced by man-made environments and the way in which we interact with the planet. The piece, depicting two almost ethereal figures, is available from Beaux Arts Bath.
Infinity Pool Laurence Jones’s hyperreal pieces incorporate elements of both fiction and reality – the artist starts with a pool of images that are digitally edited, and creates models and sets as reference materials. The resulting scenes deal with the nature of the postmodern gaze, and how this is affected by fabricated spaces. ‘Infinity Pool’ is a classically striking piece by the artist.
£8,800; Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery; rebeccahossack.com
The Special Relationship Phil Shaw is a ground-breaking digital print-maker, whose signature ‘bookshelf’ prints on paper interrogate the changing place of the printed world in a digital age. The book jackets merge to create unexpected images, as seen here in ‘The Special Relationship’.
Silver Harley Davidson As well as high-octane road-riders, Harley Davidsons are pieces of art in their own right, particularly models such as this – a classic from the 1980s. £4,850; hamptonantiques.co.uk H For more info on the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair, see lapadalondon.com
PHOTOGRAPHS (Harley) by Matthew Lock
£6,500; Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery; rebeccahossack.com
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M AY FA I R
All Over The Map 76
MAP by Stephen Walter
Whether you work, live or simply shop in Mayfair, this work of artistic cartography may not be as handy as Google Maps, but itâ€™s way more stylish
MAPPING IT ALL OUT STEPHEN WALTER For this year’s Masterpiece art fair, Shapero Rare Books and Shapero Modern commissioned Stephen Walter to produce a large-scale pictorial map of Mayfair and St James’s. The map celebrates two of London’s most historic neighbourhoods, and features many of the institutions it is famous for – from the tailors of Savile Row to the gentlemen’s clubs of Pall Mall; from world famous hotels such as the Hilton and The Dorchester on Park Lane to landmark restaurants like Scott’s, Le Caprice and The Wolseley. Like any areas of London, Mayfair and St James’s are constantly changing, so while the map includes venerable businesses such as barber Geo. F Trumper on Curzon Street and tailors Turnbull & Asser on Jermyn Street, it also includes the wine shop Hedonism just up from Berkeley Square. On the square itself is the casino The Clermont Club (one-time haunt of Lord ‘Lucky’ Lucan), and the famous nightclub Annabel’s (named after the late Sir James Goldmsith’s wife). There are also clubs of a more recent vintage, such as Soho House’s Mayfair branch (also on Curzon Street), The Arts Club on Dover Street, 5 Hertford Street and Mark’s on Charles Street. Walter explains: “All the source imagery for this work came from my own photography. I walked every inch of both Mayfair and St James’s, marking off every road and alleyway in the area. The most striking architectural features that I noticed were the doors, windows and lamps that adorn many of the grand townhouses. St James’s Palace, built in 1531 for Henry VIII on the site of an older women’s Leper hospital is a real gem in what is surprisingly still a reasonably hidden part of central London.” Situated among all this are the businesses that give the two neighbourhoods their life forces, a mixture of high-end real estate companies, auction houses and, of course, hedge funds. None of the latter feature on the map, however. So, if your office is based around here, you might need to get your fine-liner ready… H An unframed edition of this map is available for £1,750 from Shapero Rare Books. For more info: shapero.com
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Time to Test Your Metal Bronze has often been overlooked in the world of watchmaking, but all that’s changing with the introduction of some great new pieces, and they’ll only get better with age, says ADRIAN HAILWOOD
THE METALS COMMONLY associated with modern watchmaking tend to be steel, gold and platinum, with the possible addition of some new high-tech alloys. Humble copper tends to be forgotten, but in its alloyed form it crops up in the vast majority of watches. Copper and zinc make brass – and this alloy makes up the plates and wheels of most watches, both antique and modern. Brass has great resistance to corrosion, is thermally stable, cheap and easy to work; making it a perennial choice. Low-cost watches use brass for the case too, although it is usually covered with gold, nickel or chrome plate. The alloy du jour, though, is brass’s darker sibling – bronze. Traditionally a mixture of copper and tin, this metal has been employed by humans since 3000BC for a variety of uses but until recently, rarely in watchmaking. Gerald Genta, ever the innovator, produced the first in 1998, but the current trend can be traced back to Panerai’s 2011 Luminor Submersible 1950 Bronzo. The maritime connection continued with a number of micro-brands producing bronze dive watches, but it took the metal’s adoption by the current cool kid in class – Tudor, with its Black Bay Bronze – along with a nice limited edition from Oris for a new bronze age to be declared. The pairing of bronze with the sea is a natural one as bronze is a marinegrade metal meaning that it doesn’t
PHOTOGRAPH by Marian Gerard
It took the adoption of bronze by the current cool kid in class – Tudor – along with a limited edition from Oris for a new bronze age to be officially declared
corrode under water; rather it develops a patina which acts as a protective coating for the metal underneath. Just as importantly, if you are making propellers and other machine parts, the high copper content inhibits organic growth such as barnacles. While not retro in the watch-making sense, these bronze dive watches hark back to vintage marine equipment. Not all bronze watches are water babies, though; Genta’s original expresses the aesthetic qualities of the metal and the same could be said of Zenith’s Pilot Type XX Extra Special which uses bronze
to suggest a vintage feel. 2016 novelties from Hautlence and Urwerk have more of the ‘steam-punk’ impression about them, mixing the cutting-edge with a distinctly Victorian ‘Captain Nemo-esque’ look. Schofield’s Bronze Beater celebrates the accumulation of patina along with dings and scratches as a true ‘everyday wear’ piece. Patina is really what bronze is all about, adding to the endless discussion of dials and lume we can now debate the virtues of case discolouration. The alloy of bronze that your brand chooses to use will have implications for the development of patina as some age faster than others. Aluminium bronze, as used by Tudor, darkens slowly and in a limited way as the aluminium component oxidises to produce a tough outer layer than slows further corrosion. Pure tin bronze allows more creativity as it darkens to the deep brown hue much beloved of sculpture collectors. Schofield kindly give its Beater watch a head start with a secret recipe acid treatment before sale but the internet is full of recipes and instructions for how you can colour your case. Too aggressive a treatment and you end up with touches of verdigris, the green oxide produced by copper, which may or may not be what you want. It is too early to see if bronze watch cases are prone to that terror of the coin collector – ‘bronze disease’. This little understood condition seems to occur when water gets into the structure of the metal combined with oxygen and chloride (air and salt). Unlike verdigris, bronze disease eats away the underlying metal and if the green flakes fall onto other bronze items, it can be contagious. Sadly the only cure is to scrub away that hard earned patina and start again; maybe the reason most nautical bronze that doesn’t live underwater is polished so lovingly by its owners. H For classic watches at auction, see fellows.co.uk
STYLE DOLCE & GABBANA
Daring to be Different
Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Sartoria collection isn’t just a range of clothing: each unique piece tells a style story that will not only turn heads, but place you way beyond the rest of the fashion set, too ORDINARY AND MEDIOCRE are out; elegance and individualism are in. Or that’s the message that Dolce & Gabbana’s ultra-exclusive and wonderfully stylish Alta Sartoria collection screams loud and clear. The distinctive range of menswear is playful while taking style seriously, and will immediately place you way ahead of the fashion pack: not only is it made-to-order, but all pieces are completely unique with absolutely no replications, and available on
a first come, first served basis only. What makes the whimsical range even more covetable is that every piece tells a tale. Despite the fact that each item is completely individual, the actual designs are based around well-known historical style stories, namely the ancient tradition of Neapolitan tailoring, which dates back to 1351 when Naples was the hub of fashion for the nobility of Europe. Distinctive features carried through
from this period into the exclusive collection are most apparent in the jackets, which feature wide-peaked lapels, double handmade backstitching, a soft deconstructed shoulder and a partial lining that allows the wearer to move uninhibitedly. Whether you use that extra flexibility to strike a pose or not is completely up to you, but we imagine that you’ll almost certainly want to… H For more information, see dolcegabbana.com
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In Full Force The new Full Canvas collection is another sartorial winner from BOSS, but as it’s limited edition, better get measured up fast, says MAX WILLIAMS
FULL CANVAS HUGO BOSS It’s time to make some room in your wardrobe. BOSS has launched a limitededition Full Canvas suiting line for AW16 and, with only 1,500 on the market, you don’t want to hang around. Stitched from the finest Italian fabrics, the collection is named after its canvas lining, specially engineered to be completely clean and unbroken. Crafted from natural camel hair, the suits are comfortable without ever compromising on style. Essentially, the touch is soft, the look is sharp. The suits are available in regular and slim fits, as well as a range of fabrics. With a bespoke finish provided in-store, this is the way to Boss your look. H Prices range between £1,000 and £1,300. For more info: hugoboss.com
Step Out of the Shadows From bespoke brogues to the ultimate Oxfords, something’s afoot in the world of men’s shoes, says SIMON BROOKE. He meets the British designers who are leading the way, one step at a time HERE’S A LITTLE game that you could play next time you’re sipping a coffee or having your lunch in the City. Put down your phone for a moment and take a look at the footwear of the men around you. Their suits might be from Savile Row (or, at least, doing a damn good impression of one that is) but what about their shoes? Does their sartorial sophistication end at their ankles? The answer, all too often, is ‘yes’ – although it shouldn’t be, of course. In fact, these days there’s less of an excuse for this omission than there ever has been before.
British luxury footwear is on the march, with traditional manufacturers enjoying a new lease of life and exciting young talent breaking into the market. According to Euromonitor International the value of the men’s designer footwear market in the UK rose from £117.5m in 2010 to £144.3m last year, increasing by 8.40% between 2014 and 2015 alone. Exports as well as domestic consumption are buoyant according to Mario Ortelli of Bernstein. “The ‘made in the UK’ label is very attractive at the moment and in
the formal luxury sector men’s shoes are showing a major spike,” he says. Newer entrants are adopting the best of both worlds by using traditional skills and exploiting the brand image of British heritage while introducing more relaxed fits and contemporary styling, he explains. Three years ago Selfridges unveiled what it claims is the largest men’s shoe department in the world at over 15,000sq ft, featuring more than 250 brands plus bespoke brand boutiques and a made-toorder shoe section. Shoe sales are up 200%
Everyone wants to have something bespoke nowadays, and more men are realising that their choice of shoes is a great way to express their personality since the department opened, according to buying manager Luke Mountain. Gaziano & Girling, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in September, brings together the traditional technical expertise of Northampton shoemaking and the creativity of London’s bespoke shoemakers, according to co-founder Tony Gaziano. “It’s about style and knowledge,” he says. He and Dean Girling established the business by selling 25 pairs of bespoke shoes to Japanese customers that they’d recruited from their previous employers. The company has recently expanded its factory in Northampton and opened a shop in Savile Row, as opposed to Jermyn Street, home of so many footwear retailers. “We chose Savile Row because we wanted to be alongside the tailors and we’ve always taken a different approach to shoemaking.” Gaziano & Girling has made shoes for Ralph Lauren – that’s the man himself – and a number of renowned Italian designers as well as Elon Musk. The brand’s British identity blended with the spice of Gaziano’s name has been key to its international success, he believes. “Everyone wants something bespoke these days and more and more men are now realising that their choice of shoes is a really great way to express their personality. The trick is to create something that people will notice but that doesn’t scream at them.” Longstanding manufacturers have also been enjoying new creative stimulus. September will also see the expansion of the shoe department at New & Lingwood with the classic British brand’s growing footwear offering being given greater exposure in the Jermyn Street store. This is in part, according to product and marketing director Simon Maloney, because of the rising profile of shoes in a thoroughfare with a worldwide reputation for luxury
British men’s clothing and accessories. “It’s important to keep some of the classic features but not to offer the same as everyone else – you constantly need to add some kind of extra refinement,” says Maloney, who has designed this latest collection himself. Around 90% of New & Lingwood’s formal shoes are made in the UK. “It’s great to see that the skills are still here and that craftspeople are still upholding the same high standards. I think customers have a greater knowledge now and more of an interest in how something is made. It’s the same phenomenon that we’ve seen over the last few years in tailoring.” Peter Reed, Sales Director at Crockett & Jones, which has been making shoes in Northampton since 1879, believes that the international markets kick-started the trend. “It’s been driven by the Japanese initially,” he says. “They’re very demanding when it comes to quality, originality and authenticity and so they appreciate the best British shoes. Then we saw the French and Italians pick up on it and they started
wearing them in a different context – with jeans, for instance. More recently the British themselves have started to look again at the shoes we make here.” Product knowledge is another driver. “Bloggers have been informing people about how shoes and fashion more generally are made and what they should be looking for,” says Reed, who has spent his working life in the industry. “People like my son are willing to pay extra for top-quality Japanese Selvedge denim jeans, for instance, because they know all about how and where they’re made. It’s the same with shoes.” Marc Hare – Mr Hare to you – launched his eponymous Mayfair store in 2009 after running a store called Low Pressure, which he described as “London’s only proper surf shop,” from 1992 to 2005. The dreadlocked Londoner sums up his ethos as: “We make incredible shoes for men who care.” The inspiration for Mr Hare came, he says, when he noticed the footwear of an elderly gentleman at a roadside tapas bar in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Spain and ▶
▲ SOLE SEARCHING: [clockwise from above] Cavendish uppers from Crockett & Jones; classic New & Lingwood; handmade brogues from the craftsmen at Gaziano & Girling. ◀ SUM OF ITS PARTS: John Lobb’s new By Request service has been introduced this autumn with its new Create Your Own Levah service.
▲ THINK ON YOUR FEET: Crockett & Jones’s Newquays. ▶ Hand-stitching at John Lobb
that he could improve on them. Just a year later his first creations were retailing at Dover Street Market and a new career suddenly beckoned. Over the last decade Grenson, founded in 1866, has been refreshed under the creative direction of Tim Little. New stores have opened and the brand has collaborated with Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon and Lou Dalton among others. Last year it launched a new collection in conjunction with Private White VC, the clothing label that has recently been re-launched by the great-grandchildren of the founder and whose creative director is Nick Ashley,
Family-owned John Lobb Ltd operates on a bespokeonly basis, with a pair of shoes starting at around £3,800. They can, however, last for up to 30 years 90
former head of Dunhill menswear and son of interior designer, Laura Ashley. Somewhat confusingly there are two branches of John Lobb following a split in the family firm. The larger company is now owned by Hermès and over the last five years it’s opened stores in Dubai and Beijing as well as further expansion in the US. In June 2014 it appointed designer Paula Gerbase, known for her understated, sharply cut men’s and womenswear label 1205, as its first artistic director. “I am honoured to have been entrusted with the artistic vision of the brand and to be a part of its future and preserving its ethos of purity and innovation,” she said. Gerbase is subtly updating the collection of classic Oxfords, Derbys, loafers, buckled shoes and boots while John Lobb’s new, more contemporary look is illustrated in her range of high-end sneakers. John Lobb has recently re-launched its By Request service and will introduce this autumn its new Create Your Own Levah service. Levah is the brand’s casual plimsoll shoe, inspired by a pair of bespoke tennis shoes found in its archives from the 1920s.
The brand also looks forward, too. As part of its new creative direction Gerbase is overseeing the introduction of sleek contemporary interior designs across all of its 125 stores and concessions featuring organic elements such as wood and stone. John Lobb Ltd, which is still owned by the family, operates on a bespoke-only basis with a pair of shoes starting at around £3,800 plus VAT at its shop in St James’s. However, points out Jonathan Lobb, the fifth generation of the family to continue the tradition, these will last quite a while. “We have people bringing them back for repair after 20 to 30 years,” he says. “We’re seeing a new generation of customer, often from the Far East who really appreciate the connection with London and the fact that we have two royal warrants.” The craftspeople who create the lasts, in other words the individual wooden models for the shoes as well as the closers who make the upper parts work off site, often at home. “It’s still very much a cottage industry,” says Lobb. “There’s a growing interest again among young people in this sort of work. I think making something with your hands is very satisfying and it certainly beats looking at a screen all day.” With more British shoemaking talent entering the market and a renaissance among the long-established names there’s really no excuse these days for any guy to settle for second-rate shoes. So, chaps, when it comes to footwear now is the time to put your best foot forward. H
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The Sky is the Limit Art deco architecture and a party spirit that’s second to none make Miami a must-visit. Ten Group’s ALEX DALZELL recommends the places to eat, drink, party and, if you must, sleep
PHOTOGRAPHS PHOTOGRAPHS by by Firstname Percy Feinstein Surname
MIAMI OOZES COOL. It spews from the art-deco facades of the iconic hotels on Ocean Drive. It glows from the cigars smoked on the streets of Little Havana. It spins from the decks of the underground clubs. And it splashes from the paint brushes of the burgeoning Wynwood arts district. It’s a city that deserves your full attention – Ten Lifestyle Concierge’s Alex Dalzell shares his tips on where to eat, drink, party and sleep while you’re there. EAT
Miami’s food scene has always been one of the most interesting in the US, with the spice and flair of the Caribbean and Cuba colliding with Asian, Floridian and French flavours. Most visitors will find themselves in South Beach during their stay and it’s all too easy to pick the first sun-drenched spot you come across, but it’s worth hunting down places like Macchialina and Sushi Garage. The former is a homely Italian peddling authentic antipasti, pizza and pasta to a local crowd, while the latter is a new joint from the team behind Miami Beach mainstay, Juvia. The insanely fresh slivers of sushi are enjoyed by a trendy crowd – it’s a little pretentious, but this is Miami. Across town, don’t miss Wynwood Design Distict. It’s the epicentre of the city’s arts scene and it’s thought to be one of the most creative neighbourhoods in the whole of the US. After checking out the galleries, head to Wynwood Yard to secure one of the six stools at the counter of Kazuo Yoshida’s truck, Myushi, which is peddling some of the best sushi in Miami. If that’s full, Wynwood Kitchen and Bar is a brilliant backup. Designed by Shepard Fairey – the artist behind Obama’s Hope campaign poster – it’s where pop art meets small plates of fantastic Spanish cooking. Another option is Alter, which has become a summer hot spot in the city thanks to its well-priced tasting menus. If you’re looking to impress a client in the Downtown business district, do your upmost to bag a spot at the tiny eight-seat sushi counter at NAOE. Likened to Tokyo’s three-Michelin-starred Sukiyabashi Jiro, it’s a shrine to sushi that’s worth the waiting lists. The best backups include a waterside table at the Mandarin Oriental’s La Mar by Gastón Acurio or a booking at bustling
Quinto La Huella – a Uruguayan grill restaurant that’s causing a stir. DRINK
Miami’s bar scene has finally caught up with LA and New York and it’s no longer about heavy-handed barmen pouring the strongest drinks possible – the cocktails now are all about flavour and the beer is crafted by local small-batch breweries. The Broken Shaker at Miami Beach Freehand hotel has been at the forefront of the change and has brought stiff drinks out of the dimly lit speakeasies and into the light. Sip a very good caipirinha under a canopy of tropical plants and bring your trunks and towel for a dip in the pool. The bar at the upstairs restaurant, 27, also serves a mean cocktail. For candle-lit corners and a dose of weekend debauchery, cross to the mainland for Libertine. It shares the late licence with neighbouring club, Space, meaning the staff decides when it shuts – which is invariably well beyond sunrise. For similar Prohibition vibes, head three blocks north on North Miami Avenue and hunt out the Blind Pig. Its Jazz Age mission statement includes strong mixes, nightly live music and bow tie-clad bartenders. Of course, in a city where the sun shines and the views are good, many of the highest rooftops are home to chic bars. The rooftop at the 1 Hotel and Homes South Beach has everything you need from an al fresco drinking spot – DJs spinning down-tempo house, an excellent champagne menu and unobstructed views of the setting sun. The aforementioned Juvia is another of the area’s best. On the penthouse level of the famed Herzog & de Meuron-designed parking garage, the huge terrace is scattered with lounging sofas and the wraparound views take in the whole city. ▶
Miami’s food scene has always been one of the most interesting in the US, with the spice and flair of the Caribbean colliding with Floridian flavours 93
Every March, dance music glitterati descend on Miami for a 144-hour marathon party during the Winter Music Conference. The tempo stays high for the rest of the year and for Miami’s most die-hard, the weekend starts on Monday. For the coolest clubs, follow the arty crowd to Electric Pickle Company in Wynwood. Ranked as one of the best clubs in all of America by Rolling Stone magazine, it has been a beacon for the city’s house and techno scene since 2009. The booming custom-made sound system and small dancefloor make it a favourite with touring DJs. Alternatively, hit Bardot – a dimly lit space that nurtures some of the best of the city’s rising talent. The underground scene continues at Do Not Sit On The Furniture – which is fully clad in gold cassette tapes – and Treehouse, a South Beach club that eschews the neighbouring clubs’ love of commercial dance music. Meanwhile, over in Little Havana the clubs swing to an entirely different beat. Step into places like Ball & Chain and Hoy Como Ayer and you could well be in Havana. Live salsa bands play nightly and everyone in the room will be on the dance
floor – these definitely aren’t places for standing quietly at the side while nursing a drink. But don’t be afraid to get involved as the local crowd are welcoming and will teach you a move or two. SLEEP
With one of the largest concentrations of hotels in the country, art deco South Beach has long been the place to stay. With dozens of beautiful five-star properties lining the sand, taking your pick isn’t straightforward but some do stand out. The W South Beach is one of the glitziest and its Bliss spa, rooftop tennis and basketball courts, beachside pool and dining hotspot, The Dutch, are just some of its merits.
With one of the largest concentrations of hotels in the country, art deco South Beach has long been the place to stay, with dozens of five-star properties
The recent reinvention of the 1955 landmark Seville Hotel has seen the opening of the Miami Beach EDITION. Harking back to the glamour of post-war Miami, it has one of the district’s liveliest daytime pool scenes, a well as a popular nightclub and two memorable restaurants – Matador Room and Market. More relaxed lodgings can be found at the top of Collins Avenue at the Asianinfluenced Setai hotel. Split between the original art deco building and a modern 40-storey block – which is the highest on the strip – each of the rooms and suites have huge granite baths, rainfall showers and views to the horizon. If it’s a work trip, the Epic hotel will serve you well. Right in the heart of Downtown, it’s got all the necessary amenities for business travellers with some luxurious add-ons – take the 16th floor infinity pools and Zuma restaurant as an example. Right next door, the Hotel Beaux Arts has a similar vibe with slightly swisher mod cons and a higher swimming pool. H Ten Lifestyle Concierge is the world’s largest lifestyle concierge provider, with professional lifestyle managers based around the globe. For more information: 0845 020 5270; tenconcierge.com
Homeward Bound German ownership doesn’t mean that Bentley isn’t still quintessentially British. In fact, says MATT JONES, despite test-driving it over in Germany, the new Mulsanne is the result of the best the UK has to offer
PHOTOGRAPHS by Firstname Surname
BENTLEY MULSANNE ENGINE: 6.75-litre V8 POWER: 512PS ■■ 0-60mph: 5.3secs ■■ MAX SPEED: 184mph ■■ PRICE: £229,360 ■■ ■■
MANY BRITISH THINGS aren’t always as British as their British marketing campaigns, British straplines and little Union Jack stickers make them appear. HP sauce bottles are filled in the Netherlands. Boris Bikes are shipped in from Canada. Even UKIP ties are made in China. And, of course, there’s Bentley. It’s no secret that the Volkswagen Group owns it, helps iron out some of the engineering kinks and even lends it an engine now and then, just as BMW does with Rolls-Royce and, to a greater extent, MINI. But since VW took over, this trans-continental, thoroughly European partnership has flourished. The German hand has become less heavy on Bentley, and now this once-great bastion of truly British Britishness is thriving, and on British soil. And this is its most British car since the 1930 8 litre – the 2016 Mulsanne. Admittedly, the Mulsanne’s name is not really that British (for those of you that didn’t know, it’s a tribute to the long straight at Le Mans where Bentleys used to race), but each one of these vast flagships takes 400 British hours, 5,800 British welds and a British factory to build, which processes 300,000 tonnes of raw material every month. And the net result is a source of great national pride. For a start, this is a car that cares very much about first impressions. Not making an unequivocally good one, but one you won’t forget it in a hurry. For a start, it’s vast – 5.5 metres by 2.2 metres – and stares at you with a completely redesigned, completely menacing face. The LED headlights, which made its predecessor look surprised by its own existence, are a little darker, a little less cartoonish and a lot more evil. Which, alongside a radiator grille extended by 80mm, gives this great thug more than enough road presence to see ▶
PHOTOGRAPHS by Firstname Surname
The German hand has become less heavy on Bentley, and now this once great bastion of truly British Britishness is thriving, and doing so on British soil 97
▲▶▼◀ ULLAN EXERAES: equat, verat alit nulputpate conullumsan velestio consecte commy nulluptat lor illutpat. Iquat praessit ut wis nostinimAgita mur labus vas
Best be careful with that americano, then. Bentley says that there are 24 colours of hide to choose from, but that’s meaningless unless you’re buying one to hire out as a limo, which you’re not – the Mulliner customisation department will peel pretty much any animal, dye it whichever colour you please and wrap it around the seats, doors, headlining and anywhere else you fancy – even on the silver Asprey vanity kit that’s inlaid into the rear picnic table on the limited run of First Edition cars. It also side-steps an annoying trend in luxury car interiors. Carmakers – even sensible ones – are increasingly trying to make the inside of their vehicles all things to all people. Fast, slow, glamorous, restrained, on-road, off-road, short and
The Mulsanne rides on tyres made from rubber with a sound-deadening foam lining, reducing road noise by 50%. It’s a weaponsgrade real-world repellant
PHOTOGRAPHS by Tom Salt
▶ even the most obstinate Audi driver dutifully pull out of the fast lane. While the face is the same across the board, there are three flavours to choose from. Plain (Consummate), spicy (Speed) and supersized (Extended Wheelbase), but whatever you lower yourself into, things get a lot more civilized once you’re inside. 150 British hours are dedicated to finishing the leather interior alone, stitched, shaped and finished entirely by hand – that’s 37.5% of the 400 hours it takes to build a Mulsanne from scratch. But the biggest surprise here is that it doesn’t take longer, because the standard is staggeringly high. Take the endless grain of wood that wraps around the passengers. It looks like it’s been carved from a tree in one continuous strip, but it’s actually made of 40 pieces – each shaped from a choice of 12 different veneers hand-picked for their naturally decorative properties. They’re mirror-matched and applied to a solid wood base creating a repeated pattern without borders or seams. Little wonder it takes four years for each one of 167 artisans in the wood shop to master each of the 17 processes involved. If you spec contrast stitching on the seats, that’s an additional 37 hours of work on top of the standard 150.
tall. But Bentley isn’t one of them. You get squidgy full-size thrones built with diabetes and hypertension in mind, and trimmed by a team that knows what it’s good at, and that’s not whittling milliseconds off lap times – it’s making something that’s comfortable for your backside. But this isn’t just Britain at its do-onething-and-do-it-well best. The inside may celebrate traditional craftsmanship, but there’s a lot of clever tech here. “We’ve put a lot energy into refining,” says Simon Blake, a Brit who leads the car’s engineering team. “The active engine mounts are something we’re very proud of.” They reduce drivetrain rumbles and work a bit like noise-cancelling headphones – by using sensors that detect vibrations, the mounts wipe them out with an opposite, out-ofphase signal, cutting down intrusions to the cabin by up to 15db. “Then there’s the tyres”. It rides on special rubber with a sound-deadening foam lining, reducing road noise by 50%. Combined with air suspension, which soaks up neglected paving, and a 20-speaker Naim stereo, it’s a weapons-grade real-world repellant. Then there’s the engine. Assembled in Crewe, it comes in two different states of tune. The 6.75-litre V8 (or 6¾, as Bentley insists) that’s fitted to the Consummate and 250mm longer Extended Wheelbase models produces 505bhp, 752lb ft of torque, gets to 60mph in 5.1 seconds and will drag it to 184mph. The Speed adds a little more of everything, turning the Mulsanne into a 2.7-tonne avalanche of walnut and aluminum. 530bhp and 811lb ft of torque drop 0-60mph to 4.8secs and boosting the top speed to 190mph. Getting this much car up to that much speed is a win for Britain in itself, but the rest of the Mulsanne is just as much of an advert for British endeavor. Our native cars spent the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s with a reputation for confusing good intentions with aptitude, but everything about the Mulsanne, from the Extended Wheelbase’s stunning retracting rear table, which has 671 parts and its own suspension system, to the wood finish on the dashboard that’s as rich as a conker, proves that Britain deserves to be leading the luxury motoring industry. Even if that means getting a helping hand from our European cousins. H
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Back on Sparkling Form Lured by the promise of fairways and flutes (of the glass variety), NICK BAYLY sets off to explore two of the Champagne region’s finest golf courses and finds himself in the drink, in the best possible way SOME OF THE most iconic moments in golf have been celebrated with a bit of bubbly. From Sam Torrance drowning in the stuff following his putt to clinch the Ryder Cup at The Belfry in 1985, to Paul McGinley getting an expensive and eyewatering soaking from magnums of Moet’s finest after leading his team to victory at Gleneagles in 2014 – champagne is golf’s go-to celebratory tipple. So when an email pinged into my inbox sometime in the gloomy depths of midFebruary politely enquiring whether I’d be interested in playing a couple of rounds of golf in the Champagne region of France
in early June, it took the time it takes to look at my empty diary, and make a cursory call to the better half, before the trip was penned into my schedule as a ‘definite’. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t the golf courses or the hotels, as nice as they looked from a brief Internet search, that tipped the balance in favour of a ‘yes’ vote, rather the prospect of a visit to one of the region’s most prestigious champagne houses, accompanied by a tutored tasting of its award-winning vintages, and a five-course menu with matching fizz and wine. Thus it was with a good deal of excitement that I boarded an Air France
flight from Heathrow very early one morning – 6am early – with the prospect of a long weekend of hedonistic delights in store both on and off the golf course. Just over an hour after departing a decidedly damp Hounslow, we landed at a slightly less gloomy Charles de Gaulle airport to find that the whole world had decided to turn up on the same day. Someone muttered something about some major football tournament that was taking place nearby, but I had an inkling that it wasn’t something English supporters needed to overly concern themselves with. Leaving the melee at the terminal
I did what the French do best and tucked into a light four-course lunch before my imminent tee time, starting my round suitably refreshed, if a little woozy behind us, our luxury coach swiftly departed the suburbs of Paris and headed up the empty A4 for the two-hour drive towards Reims – the anointed capital of the Champagne region. Our first stop was not actually in Reims, but at a golf resort 20 minutes south of the city called Golf d’Ailette, a pleasant lakeside venue with an 18-hole course and an 80-bedroom hotel. After the first of what turned out to be more than 20 glasses of Champagne over the course of the next 36 hours – I wasn’t counting – I did what the French do best and tucked into a light four-course lunch before my imminent tee time. Suitably refreshed, if a little woozy (and not in anyway resembling the 1994 Masters champion, Woosie), I wandered out to the first tee with my forward-facing French push trolley bounding merrily in front. This particular part of France had recently suffered one of the worst spells of wet weather since the revolution, so the 6,600-yard course was playing at its very longest, with the occasional splatter of casual water, and some not so casual, making it a real test. The somewhat pedestrian starting holes soon became decidedly more interesting as we ventured towards the vast lake which skirts the course. The fourth is arguably the most attractive hole on the front nine, with water running along the right side of the hole all the way up to the green. As you stand over your putt, there are stunning views over the lake, which was dotted with boats rented from the nearby Center Parcs’ chalets which hug the water’s edge. After the opening five holes, the course starts to make its ascent, which aided drainage, and offered up some better playing conditions. Big hitters should circle the par-five seventh and eighth holes on the scorecard for potential birdies. Both
are reachable in two for the longer hitter, although both have clever bunkering, so you will need to be accurate off the tee in order to have a jab at an eagle. The ninth is a plunging par three, with traps on the right and left side of the green punishing the player that under-clubs – all four of our group found the putting surface, provoking much fist bumping and belief that we were well on the way to pro careers. The back nine is flatter, which was a welcome relief, especially as the sun began to make a welcome appearance. There is more water as you make your way home, and overall is a more characterful and interesting nine. The second shot on the par-four tenth has players approaching over water, while the 11th doglegs around lake – making it a challenge for regular faders. The 14th is the most memorable short hole on the course, requiring players to thread two lakes on either side of the green,
while the 17th is another enthralling par three – ‘never up, never on; nouvel adage’ says the yardage book. Water sits between the tee and the green, while two bunkers await behind the putting surface. The finishing hole is a long par-four, which bends to the right and rises all the way to the green. It’s a tough finish – stroke index one – that will settle many close games. Keep your head, and then head to the Champagne bar. After a comfortable night’s sleep in the accompanying hotel, which offers superb views over the lake, the next stop was Reims Golf, a delightful members’ club located in the heart of the city. The course was first built in 1928, although what you find today bears little resemblance to the original nine-hole layout. The impressive clubhouse predates the track considerably, with a moated castle built for Henry IV back in the late 16th ▶
▲ GET A ROUND IN: [clockwise from main] Golf d’Ailette in Champagne; the region’s vineyards; a room at Golf d’Ailette’s hotel
providing an impressive backdrop. It was actually built to house the king’s numerous mistresses, although the precise number of bedrooms is unclear. Regardless, it’s a spectacular building, which provides the perfect setting for pre- and post-golf entertainment. The club and the course is imbued with the history of Champagne, with empty cases pinned to the walls in the clubhouse bar, while on the course each hole is named after a Champagne house – although sadly there were no chilled magnums waiting for us. Down to business, the opening hole on the 6,621-yard parkland course doglegs sharply to the left, requiring players to either work their ball off the tee or hit an iron and play for position. This is a recurring theme in the round, with many of the holes requiring guile over brawn. As you get past the first few holes, the layout becomes more forested, with tree-lined fairways being the prominent hazard. Strategically placed bunkers should make players stop and think off the tee, although there is generally space to open your shoulders with the driver. The greens run true, and are generally tough, with many posing double breaks.
The mid-section of the round weaves its way through forested grounds, with multiple straight par fours offering decent chances to pick up shots. The 12th sticks in the mind – a shortish par-three played over a pond. The relatively large green should see most make par, but the water looms large for those of a nervous disposition with a wedge in hand. Water also comes into play at the 13th, a short parfour which doglegs sharply right, with the green fronted by another ball-hungry pond. The finish is a delicious garnish at the end of a memorable meal. The par four gently bends to the right, but players must not cut off too much of the dogleg or they’ll be taking a trip to the drink –
Both the club and the course at Reims Golf are imbued with the history of champagne – each hole is named after a different champagne house
and not one involving alcohol. The lake dominates the right side of the hole, stretching from the fairway to the green. With the pin at the front, right portion of the putting surface, players must be brave or foolish to line up at the flag. With the golf done and dusted, the sound of popping corks enticed us towards the clubhouse patio, where a long trestle table with white tablecloth had been set out to welcome our return. The president of the club, Joseph Perrier, the fifth generation of the Perrier champagne family, was there to welcome us and offer a taste of the latest vintage over a delicious lunch. After hauling ourselves up from the table, we headed off to Champagne Jacquart’s stunning headquarters – think mini Versailles – in the centre of Reims, where a further tasting was held before dinner with matching Champagnes. While Reims is home to many of the long-established champagne houses, including Mumm, Ruinart, Taittinger, Lanson, Pommery and Veuve Clicquot, Jacquart is one of the region’s youngest, boasting a history that only goes back as far as the mid-1960s. It is also different to the others, in that it was launched as a cooperative to supply grapes for their own champagne instead of supplying it to other houses. Today, over 1,800 growers make up this alliance, all together owning more than 7% of the surface area of the appellation Champagne – including 60 crus in the Côte des Blancs, Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne and Côte des Bar. Ten of them are classified as grand crus and 22 as premier crus, assuring grapes that come from the finest terroirs in the entire region. Needless to say, after a hard day out on the golf course, Jacquart’s finest went down a treat – and while some of the complexities of the vintages may have slightly gone over the heads of our group, it soon became clear that a good deal of the alcohol content had gone straight to our heads. Golf and grape is a heady mix indeed, and one that has much to recommend it. H Golfy offers a 25% discount on green fees and 15% off accommodation at more than 150 golf courses across five countries, including France, Spain and Belgium, as well as 130 hotels in France. The Golfy Indigo card costs €45 per year and can be purchased online at golfy.fr
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FOOD & DRINK REVIEWS
A Feel for Food Aggi Sverrisson’s Texture is a haven for those who like their food unfussy, but beautifully and artfully prepared, writes MIKE GIBSON
NOT TO TOUCH a nerve, but, thinking back to our European exit over the summer – the footballing one, I mean – the consensus was that Iceland triumphed over England by getting more out of less. In this case, more team spirit and endeavour out of undeniably less footballing quality. It’s a motif that exists in the food of the Nordics, too, where an obsession with ageold technique and exceptional ingredients produces dishes that sing – even if there are only a few raw ingredients involved. Aggi Sverisson’s Texture – owned and run by the Icelandic chef since 2007 – provides a masterclass in this type of cooking, with
In the Nordics, there’s an obsession with age-old technique and exceptional ingredients to produce dishes that sing
specific attention not only to inventive and complementary flavours, but textures, too. At this level – Texture has a Michelin star, after all – the best way to experience a chef’s vision is to be walked through their best dishes. On Texture’s tasting menu you’ll find dishes ranging from simple starters like peas three ways (whole, puréed and as a shaved sorbet); blushing pink quail breast served with fresh corn and lip-smacking bacon-dusted popcorn (yes, popcorn); and a tart, sweet/savoury sorrel granita as a pre-dessert palate-cleanser. The star of the show, though? Steak and chips. Or, rather, ox tongue with girolles, rib-eye steak and fat, luscious potato chips, all served on a piece of smoking wood, which adds flavours to the dish as you eat it. There’s something about tucking into simple food prepared with exceptional technique – and a wry smile, no doubt – that’s enough to blast away the last of any football fan’s heartache… H
HATCHETTS BY MIKE GIBSON Mayfair is changing. Or, more specifically, Mayfair’s restaurants are changing. Where once there was a choice between ultra high-end restaurants and boisterous boozers, options between the two were thin on the ground. Walking into Hatchetts, a new restaurant next to the historic Shepherd’s Market, you get the impression that both bases are being covered. On entering the first floor’s pub-style setting, you’re greeted by a flock of suits and the tumultuous roar of animated, after-office boozing and chatting. It’s where hedgies let their hair down after a rough working week. Descend the staircase, though, and you’ll find a dimly lit dining room that hints at a more refined experience. The menu is full of items that are described in strenuous detail (“slow-braised then charred Tudge’s pork belly”, for example), and a very decent-looking wine list. Highlights were spiced lamb sweetbreads in a flavourful deglazed reduction, so tasty I could have licked the plate clean, and Ballindalloch steak served with crispy, comforting Lyonaisse potatoes. There are a few missteps – the crab and nectarine salad feels a little antiquated, and the upstairs/downstairs dichotomy makes you wonder whether the restaurant knows its own strengths or not – but it’s good to know there’s a place that caters for both in the goldpaved streets of this part of town. 5 White Horse Street, W1J 7LQ; hatchetts.london
Texture, 34 Portman Street, W1H 7BY; texture-restaurant.co.uk
United Kingdom of Grape Britain Textbook terroirs, multiple medals and a superlative sparkling – a visit to Gusbourne’s vineyards in Kent convinces BEN WINSTANLEY that UK wine is ready to compete with the rest of the world WHOOSHING ALONG EVERNARROWING country roads is evidence enough that you’re out in the sticks, even before the views of lush pastoral landscape give the game away entirely. At the wheel of our 4x4, now about the same width as the path, is Charlie Holland [pictured], chief winemaker of Gusbourne Estate – perhaps the most exciting vineyard on English soil. It’s certainly a good time to be making the journey with Holland. He’s still beaming from the news that both Gusbourne’s 2011 sparkling blanc de blancs and 2014 pinot noir red have returned from the Decanter World Wine Awards with platinum medals around their bottle necks, along with a recent landmark distribution
a brut, rosé and blanc de blancs – all made using the same processes as champagne. Without further ado, corks are popped and it’s taste-test time. The rosé fizz shouts summer, with all the brightness and vigour of perfectly tart rhubarb, while the blanc de blancs is complex, surprisingly rich and creamy. “That’s the malolactic quality that is created through the winter fermentation,” Holland nods. It’s astonishing – especially
PHOTOGRAPHS by Charlie Clift
deal with US importer Bartholomew Broadbent – commendable achievements for any vineyard, let alone an English one whose first vintage was in 2010. The car slows down and Holland points out of the window at an area of exposed earth: “There,” he gestures, “That’s Tunbridge Wells sand, one of the major sub soils that influences our wines – that’s where it all starts.” Terroir: the most important word to any winemaker. If it seems strange that something as simple as dirt could have such an influence, Holland continues: “To create the best wine, you need a compound effect of great terroir and attention to detail through the entire process – our vines make their way from a slight elevation down to sea level, they face due south and the soil is absolutely perfect. It ticks all the boxes.” Lord Ashcroft was certainly convinced and came on board as principle shareholder in 2013, bringing with him a hefty £7m investment for the vineyard’s troubles – simply put, it has transformed Gusbourne’s fortunes from being seen as an exciting newcomer to an industry leader. A huge brand overhaul followed, which gave the winery an iconic British logo – its goose crest, in honour of Henry VIII’s friend and former landowner John Gooseborne – while the investment also allowed Gusbourne to treble its number of vines and add a vineyard in Sussex, which produces a “totally different fruit character” to the rest of the estate. The Kent vineyard currently makes a number of wines from chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grape varieties. On the sparkling front – its speciality – there’s
Gusbourne’s 2011 sparkling blanc de blancs and 2014 pinot noir have returned from the Decanter World Wine Awards with platinum medals
for less than £40 a bottle. Next, we try one of the vineyard’s medal-wining 2014 pinot noirs. The taste is pure burgundy – it has subtly, but there’s bags of fruit and a hint of farmyard – in the best possible way. With age, this wine will certainly excel. No wonder a number of Masters of Wines have mistaken it for a red originating from the hallowed French region. What Holland and his team have pulled
off is extraordinary, but this is just the start – the challenge is to keep making wines of exceptional quality, while growing into a world-renowned wine estate with presence in the top 20 wine consuming countries. Only time will tell how soon Gusbourne’s ambitions bear fruit, but it does feel good to stick one to the French… in a wine sense, of course. H For more information, see gusbourne.com
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Curve Appeal Pininfarina may be renowned for designing Ferraris, but with its latest project – Segno – its designers have turned their hands to the home, says MARK HEDLEY
FLAIR FOR DESIGN It’s not often that, say, a shelving unit gets our blood pumping here at HEDGE. But when the creative minds at the fabled Pininfarina are behind its design, it’s a different story. The curves employed in the design house’s new interiors range are ones that even a 250 GTO would be proud of. The shelving is customisable and comes equipped with LED lighting. So, headlights, essentially? Pininfarina’s collaborations with Ferrari have produced some of the most iconic car designs in automobile history. This time, the design house has teamed up with manufacturers Reflex to take on the world of interior design. The stylish results are equally likely to survive the test of time. Bellissimo! H Exclusively available from Chaplins: 020 8421 1779; chaplins.co.uk
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With years of experience between them, the Rhodes Fitzgerald directors have collated an extensive book of contacts – one that is continually growing. The team regularly attend trade events and exhibitions, and are heavily involved with
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of the project. Involving the construction team from early on allows the team to advise on the practical feasibility of the initial designs – and warn of any budget implications, which are rarely accurately calculated in the pre-planning stages. The standard tender process run by an architect has one main benefit: you might get a cheap quote. But this doesn’t mean it’s a feasible one. Many contractors will price competitively to secure the work, and then hit you with additions once instructed. It’s always better to instruct the team as one – and get your builder involved from the start. H
To arrange an appointment, call 020 8744 9300. For more information, see rfltd.uk.com
Prints Among Men Fashion needn’t be confined to your clothes… Invest in some furniture with flair from Roberto Cavalli’s on-trend interior collections, says VICKY SMITH
ITALIAN MASTER Roberto Cavalli is not exactly known for his shy and retiring designs, so it’s no surprise that this bold aesthetic has translated across to his interior range. Roberto Cavalli Home is a direct reflection of the Italian fashion heavyweight’s signature style, combining elegant lines and bold prints. Each piece in the Roberto Cavalli Home collection is inspired by the latest catwalk trends from the label, and designed in Italy. You don’t need to go that far to buy it though – the range is available in the UK exclusively from the Kings of Chelsea showroom. H 387 King’s Road, SW10 0LR; kofc.co.uk
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HEDGE LEGEND CRISPIN ODEY
E N D P L AY
HEDGE Legend # 1 0
C R I S P I N
O D E Y
Crispin Odey has a penchant for predicting problems, although his somewhat doomful outlook hasn’t always paid off, says SAFI THIND FLAMBOYANT, IMPECCABLY CONNECTED and something of a seer, Crispin Odey cuts a striking figure in the hedge fund world. Earlier this year, Odey placed a large bet on the Brexit vote, going against most mainstream opinion polls in surmising that the UK would move to leave the European Union. This wasn’t down to guesswork, however, but the shrewd use of his own private poll which told him the result would be much closer than stock markets suggested. He got it right and his fund went up 20% in two days. Odey is a favourite with the press owing to his larger-than-life personality and establishment connections. His profile is firmly British old school. He grew up in a 4,000-acre country estate, went to Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, then entered fund management with Framlington Group and later Baring Asset Management. Along the way, he married Nichola Pease, from the Barclays-founding family, in 1991, and set up Odey Capital in the same year with five people, $100m and early investments from, among others, George Soros and Paul Tudor Jones. It was a rapid beginning. By end-1993 the fund had gained 80% and got to some $1bn in assets. But he suffered a big reversal the following year when returns crashed
Odey’s gift for predicting doom propelled him into the stratosphere in 2008 when he called the financial crash, a call that helped build his firm’s assets to $12bn 122
44% on the back of a wrong-way interest rate bet and the company assets fell to $50m. Over the next five years, Odey’s fortunes revived – by 2006 the hedge fund had grown to $4bn in assets. It was his natural gift for predicting doom that propelled Odey into the stratosphere in 2008 when he called the financial crash, leading to returns of more than 50%. It’s a call that has characterised his later career and helped build the firm’s assets to $12bn by 2014. Unfortunately things have not gone quite so well since, with the rocky times returning, particularly this year. It seems Odey’s doom radar has been somewhat off. He bet on a significant downturn in the global economy leading to a crisis that “will be remembered in 100 years.” That crisis has yet to materialise. The Brexit call came as something of a saving grace, then. Odey has made other bets on the future. For example, he is currently short Netflix, assuming the future will hold no place for folk wanting to watch repeats of TV shows and ‘chill’. On the other hand, he has a sizeable investment in retailer Sports Direct, presumably under the assumption that tracksuits and trainers won’t disappear from British streets anytime soon. Odey has respect for Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley, having called him “a genius” in the past. He also has a reputation of speaking his mind to people he does not get on with. Famously, he called Cameron Chartouni, chief executive at London-based Acropolis Capital Partners, a “jerk.” Odey likes the good life – food, drink, shooting, fishing – very much in the oldmoney way. While it might be surprising that his forecasts on another crisis have been so wrong it might just be a case of timing. What is rocky now may well turn out to prove genius five years hence. H
THE NUMBERS GAME ■■
$9.3bn Current Odey Capital assets under management.
$220m Gain from Brexit vote call.
54.8% Return in 2008.
4,000 acres The size of his family estate, Hotham Hall, that had been in his mother’s family since 1720. He had to sell it at the age of 23 to pay off his father’s huge debts.
£150,000 The amount that the Daily Mail says Odey has spent on a palatial chicken coup, which has been nicknamed Cluckingham Palace by the media.
Watch pictured was included in our September auction
The Watch Sale Tuesday 25th October I Tuesday 29th November Auctions begin at 11am The Watch Sale is one of the leading watch auctions in the UK. Held monthly it offers the watch enthusiast the widest range of luxury brands and sought after rarities. To consign a watch for auction please visit www.fellows.co.uk/valuations View the catalogue at www.fellows.co.uk Head Office & Saleroom | Augusta House | 19 Augusta Street | Birmingham B18 6JA | 0121 212 2131 London Office | 3 Hill Street | Mayfair | London W1J 5LA | 020 7127 4198
Harry Winston Midnight Date Moon Phase Automatic 42 mm
171 NEW BOND STREET LONDON W1S 4RD, TEL: 0207 907 8800 THE FINE JEWELLERY ROOM HARRODS LONDON SW1X 7XL, TEL: 0207 907 8899 H A R R Y W I N S T O N . C O M