squaremile s e
T H E VO I C E O F T H E C I T Y
£3.25 ISSUE 59
DIRTY MONEY CITYBOY ON MONEY LAUNDERING: THE NEXT BIG CITY SCANDAL
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For more information call 01270 535 032 or visit www.bentleymotors.com The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © 2011 Bentley Motors Limited. Model shown: Bentley Continental GT, mrrp £135,760. Price correct at time of going to press and includes VAT at 20%. Price excludes road fund licence, registration and delivery charges. *Subject to availability.
EDITOR S EDITOR’S WORD squaremile T h e vo i c e o f T h e c i T y
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Martin Deeson EDITOR Mark Hedley ART DIRECTOR Matthew Lewis-Hasteley CITY EDITOR Jon Hawkins ASSOCIATE EDITOR Eugene Costello SENIOR DESIGNER Katerina Varnavides EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Matt Huckle CONTRIBUTORS Jamel Akib, Geraint Anderson, Deborah Collcutt, Nicholas Cooper, Bernadette Costello, Kerry Daynes, Jessica Fellowes, Robin Gubbins, James Gurney, Angela Knight, Jim Lee, Richard Mackney, Donald Marron, David Morrison, Saul Wordsworth PRINTING Colourfast Europe
IN THIS ISSUE’S cover feature, Geraint Anderson says he “genuinely believes” that money laundering is going to be the next big City scandal. Of course, I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact he just so happens to have a new novel coming out that’s all about, you guessed it, money laundering. But, putting such happy coincidences aside, he does have a point. I mean, even the Pope is clamping down on it... Last month, the Vatican issued a new rule requiring anyone bringing €10,000 or more into Vatican City to declare it. This is actually quite a big step for them. The Vatican’s financial system has never been governed by the strict regulations that
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Christian Morrow PRINT ADVERTISING Michael Berrett, Will Preston, Will Taylor DRINKS & VENUES Alex Watson EVENTS Vicky Miller ACCOUNTS Steve Cole, Laura Otabor
that’s named the Institute of Religious Works (IOR) was always going to be treated a little differently, wasn’t it? The IOR hasn’t exactly got a pristine past, either. Back in the 1980s its governor, Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, was indicted over his involvement with the collapse of what was then Italy’s banco’s chairman – known as ‘God’s banker’ thanks to his links with the Vatican – was found hanged under Blackfriars Bridge. More recently, the head of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, is under investigation as part of a money-laundering inquiry. Prosecutors have seized £19m from the IOR’s accounts, as Rome magistrates look into claims that Tedeschi, along laws that require banks to disclose information on financial operations. So much for being ‘holier-than-thou’. Anyway, enjoy the issue – and try not to do anything illegal.
CHAIRMAN Tom Kelly OBE
CONTACT 020 7819 9999
Mark Hedley, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Visiting professor of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute in Washington DC, Prof Donald Marron teaches public finance and microeconomics. From 2002-2009 he was adviser to US Congress and the White House. Sign up for his Economics 101 class here... [ p34] NICHOLAS COOPER Author of the critically acclaimed The Opulent Eye and Houses of the Gentry 1480-1680, Nicholas Cooper was awarded the Society of Architectural Historians’ Hitchcock prize in 2000. He is also a member of the National Trust’s Architectural Panel. [ p38] JIM LEE A Korean-American comic book artist, writer, editor and publisher, Jim Lee first broke into the industry in 1987 as an artist for Marvel. Since then he began Image Comics and Wildstorm Productions before returning to DC Comics to concentrate on his art. [ p16]
with the bank’s chief executive Paolo Cipriani, have violated
CEO Tim Slee
square mile uses paper from sustainable sources
other major banks have to follow. But then, any central bank
largest private bank, Banco Ambrosiano. Roberto Calvi, the MARKETING Amelie Shepherd, Rebecca Longstaff
For this month’s cover we wanted the shadiest character imaginable – someone who could easily be responsible for some of the worst financial crimes known to man. Step up, Mr Jonathan Hawkins...
To receive your complimentary subscription to square mile register at squaremile.com
GERAINT ANDERSON The best-selling author of Cityboy – Beer & Loathing in the Square Mile, Geraint Anderson found notoriety as thelondonpaper’s resident Cityboy, having spent 12 years as a joint team leader at Dresdner Kleinwort. His second novel Just Business is out now. [ p28] © Square Up Media Limited 2011. 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.
COVER FEATURE 28
PORTFOLIO 12 . THE EXCHANGE 16 . ARTWORK 18 . NOTICEBOARD 22 . CITY TRUMPS 24 . THE ANALYST ASSETS 61 . WATCH 62 . BUY! BUY! BUY! 65 . DIVIDENDS 66 . REVIEWS 68 . WINE 71 . MOTORS 74 . TRAVEL PROPERTY 86 . BRAZIL 94 . UK 8 SQUAREMILE
28 . TAKE IT TO THE CLEANERS
CITY COVER FEATURE
If you’re an African dictator who has bled the country and want to squirrel it away, where do you stash the plundered loot? Why, in a reputable UK bank, of course. Geraint Anderson on how money laundering is the City’s dirty little secret – and why he believes that it will come out soon to form the next financial scandal to rock the industry.
34 . MARKET THEORY MADE SIMPLE A team of writers led by former White House adviser Donald Marron take the leading economic theories of history and explain them really simply. In words. With short syllables. That a five-year-old could understand. So now you have no excuse...
38 . THOSE WERE THE DAYS MY FRIEND Remember the days when you popped out at lunchtime for freshly-slaughtered-turtle soup and a plate of oysters? No, we don’t either. But this astonishing archive means you don’t need to.
. WORKPLACE PSYCHOS
Watch out for the person at the next desk: there’s a good chance that they’re psychopathic and preparing to stab you in the back. Probably.
49 WELCOME TO MY WORLD: ANGELO GALASSO The charismatic couturier on relearning design when he came to London, how he came up with the concept of oversized shirt collars – and that spat with former-F1 fatty Flavio Briatore.
. WHITE KNIGHT
It’s all rock‘n’roll for BBA CEO Angela Knight as she takes to the road to go giggin’ around the UK. (Oh, all right, host a series of banking seminars with local businesses up and down the country.)
Why banks’ hissy fits and threats to move abroad remind him of childhood threats to run away...
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POR TFO LIO
‘SUPERMAN’ ™ by Jim Lee © DC Comics (S11)
WINNERS & LOSERS
THE BEST BRA NONE
WHAT YOUR JOB’S WORTH
TAG HEUER’S MIKROTIMER
SUPERHEROES FOR SALE No, not an investigative exposé of corrupt caped crusaders accepting backhanders. Rather, a unique opportunity to buy original DC Comics artwork by illustrator Jim Lee
THE CIT Y INDE X SWINGING DICK? OR JUST A DICK HEAD? THE CITY’S WINNERS & LOSERS
AFTER THE CITY WORDS
#33 LEADER OF AL-QAEDA
Perhaps the cloak of darkness over the City is finally lifting, as news reaches us from Société Générale researchers that there are now fewer financial news stories including the word ‘crisis’ than at any point in the last three years. Interestingly, a thorough trawl through the square mile archives reveals the magazine’s currently at a five-year low for use of the word ‘flange’, while we’re seeing an all-time peak for ‘infundibular’ and ‘reindeer’. Quite what this means isn’t clear, but perhaps SocGen’s analysts can tell us, unless they’re busy doing some ACTUAL BANKING WORK or something pointless like that.
▲ MADOFF’S BOOZE Another month, another sell-off of Bernie’s clobber. This time, the incarcerated fraudster’s alcohol collection is on sale, and there’s something to suit every punter, from the thrifty Ponzi-fetishist (miniatures of Smirnoff vodka and Grand Marnier) to the wealthier Madoff-mug (1996 MoutonRothschild). We’ll plump for the latter, thanks, because we like our schadenfreude full-bodied and ripe, with aromas of blackcurrant, framboise, coffee and saddle leather. Santé, Bernie!
▲ GRADUATE JOBS After two years in the recruitment wilderness the City is back on the agenda for graduates, and investment banking is the most popular choice of all. Of graduates polled, 8.5% had applied for IB jobs, more than any other sector. Poor little mites. Do you want to tell them, or should we?
▲ TOM BARNES The Spreadex trader has been making a name for himself on Countdown, winning six consecutive games, one of them by the greatest ever margin of victory. Here’s nine letters we’ve drawn out at random just for you, Tom. SADBASTRD
▲ MARC RICH Glencore’s in the news, and so is founder Marc Rich. His story (highlights include tax evasion and trading oil illegally with Iran) is to be made into a film. No doubt explicit Glencore pornography...
SQUAREMILE’S ‘Miles’ by Jamel Akib, PHOTOGRAPH (David Wighton) by Bruno Vincent
▽ Before you pick up the phone to MI5, wait. Any job opportunity, no matter what, should be praised during these times of hardship. The role has been advertised across the world. You feel like a change. It’s time to go online and download the application form. No matter the gig – part-time at Aldi, fulltime as the focal point of hatred for the west – all interviews have a few basics: firm handshake, eye contact, one early joke and leave it at that. The only extras here are to grow a beard and learn the Koran. It’s possible you’ll be thrown a curveball like having to sacrifice a goat or blow yourself to smithereens in the name of Allah. Just say no. That’ll throw them, and they’ll respect you for it. Also, bring a short to-camera piece about the obliteration of the infidel. It’s the little things that count in the final selection. Once you’re in, it’s perk time. Marry 50 women and have it off loads. Deck out your cave/fortress/Abbottabad mansion in the choicest finery. Chill (you’ll get more lie-ins than you ever did as a commodity trader at Deutsche Bank). Pretty soon, though, you’ll be expected to devise a series of abominable attacks on western civilisation that will lead to the death of thousands of innocent people. This is when you play your masterstroke: “Peace!” you say, “If we show peace to the west, it’ll flummox them. This is the best way to pursue our undying allegiance to the jihad. Praise to Allah, amen, cheers, nice one”. The next part is crucial. Show no fear. Grin it out. You’re the boss, they’ll come round. Of course, if they don’t, you’re stuffed. They might even blow you up. At least if that happens you’ve got 72 virgins to fall back on. ■ saulwordsworth.com
THINGS TO DO
▼ UBS BANKERS UBS IB chief Carsten Kengeter doesn’t mess about on conference calls. When bankers complained about pay, Kengeter let fly. “He told us that bankers are spoiled children and we’re the ones who messed this place up,” moaned one former employee. While slinging toys out of his pram, presumably.
▼ ANTÓNIO HORTA-OSÓRIO Oh, António, how could you? You become Lloyds CEO, with your immaculate track record and even more immaculate raven-black hair, then you ruin it with a shareholder-baiting signing-on deal worth £13.4m. That’ll buy a lot of Brylcreem, admittedly...
▼ CITY LOYALTY According to eFinancial Careers, over half of those in the City want to change jobs in 2011, and a third of these want to leave the UK entirely. Should be able to get a beer at All Bar One at the Wharf now.
So, the Galleon Group hedge fund manager and his chins lost their insider-trading case. Lazy commentators compared the investigation – which involved the use of wire taps – to Baltimore-set crime series The Wire, which is a bit like saying the Waterloo and City line is pretty much the same as the 5,753-mile Trans-Siberian railway. Given that he could face up to 19 years in jail, maybe Porridge would be a better comparison. Or Bad Girls, minus the girls. Remember – you heard it here first.
▼ RAJ RAJARATNAM
Do you remember where you were when you first heard that the head of the International Monetary Fund had been arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a hotel chambermaid? And do you remember what you first thought? Was it that a hugely influential and important man (with a reputation as a womaniser) had a darker side, or that DSK was the victim of an international conspiracy to shake-up the IMF/discredit him as a potential Socialist presidential candidate? Some 57% of those questioned in a French poll believe the latter. A nation in denial? Peut-être...
▼ DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN
It is pure fantasy to argue that the solution to Britain’s economic problems lies in boosting manufacturing. DAVID WIGHTON, The Times
Want to nominate someone? Work with a legend? Or a turkey? Contact us with your City Winners & Losers: email@example.com
CR CH BUNCH
OUR REGULAR SERIES FOR PEOPLE WHO’VE MISSED THE NEWS...
#24 BOMBSHELL BRA £1.3M ▽ Blimey! What a piece of work! How stunning. Remarkable. Beautifully put together. Wouldn’t mind getting a closer peek at these curves yada yada. You get the picture. We mean, of course, the bra. It is a thing of craftsmanship and wonderment. Says the press release. What else to say? (Like you’re reading the words, not drooling at the pic.) Well, I can tell you that the bra features more than 3,000 60ct white diamonds, alongside 82ct blue sapphires and oval-shaped topazes. It took six craftsmen 1,500 hours of labour to make (one more and we could have done a slightly porny remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. My idea. Don’t nick.) What else? Er. That’s about it. Oh! I know. It’s called the Damiani Bombshell Fantasy Bra, costs loads of moolah and makers Victoria’s Secret have used Brazilian (I’m in Brazil as you read this, thanks for asking) model Adriana Lima to pose in it. Blatantly thinking a fit Richard the Third with her thrupennies out means they’ll get coverage in mags. Like we’d fall for that. Tcha. Now, where exactly in Brazil, did you say? ■ victoriassecret.com
R★O★G★U★E TRADERS BANKING AIN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE WORDS
#08 NATHAN M ROTHSCHILD Rothschild is one of the most well-known names in finance. This month, we take a look at the man who began this famous banking dynasty...
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The disc transport (essentially the CD player, housed separately from the digital to analogue converter, or DAC) is one of the best in the business, a Philips CD Pro II, for impeccable quality and purity of sound. If none of that impresses your mates, fall back on the space-age looks and tell them you were abducted by aliens who had happened upon a CD copy of Phil Collins’s soundtrack to Buster and set about using technology centuries ahead of our own to bring the music to magical life. And then drop the CD into the Oracle and play Two Hearts to your stunned friends. You’ll blow their minds. And hearts. Both of them. ■ coherent-systems.co.uk
CARTOON by Modern Toss, moderntoss.com
▽ Rothschild moved from Frankfurt to the UK in 1798. He arrived unable to speak a word of English but quickly picked up the language, making him already more successful than a lot of British people today. He worked as a textiles trader for a decade but when the Napoleonic war impacted on his business he decided (correctly) that he would be more successful lending money to other merchants. He gradually moved into banking where he became extremely successful, gaining the attention of many monarchs and important people in government. Rothschild financed the Duke of Wellington’s army before the Battle of Waterloo by having his agents buy up gold and silver around Europe and smuggle it to Wellington’s army. Records show that they raised £2m for the army – that’s just shy of £140m in today’s market. Rothschild had a communications network that was so effective he learnt of the victory at Waterloo a full 24 hours before the British government did. This caused some people to speculate that he made a fortune from the early news by rapidly selling stocks, causing others to panic and follow suit, before buying them all back cheaply just before the information became public and boosted the prices back up. There is still a debate surrounding this topic today but it is likely these naysayers were just jealous that they didn’t think of the idea for themselves. By the time he died in 1836 his personal net worth accounted for 0.62% of the British national income. Unfortunately, as they say, you can’t take it with you. He’s got to be kicking himself right now. ■ For more Rogue Traders see squaremile.com
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ARTWORK JIM LEE WORDS
Never mind Stan Lee (the legendary tour de force who drove Marvel Comics). This month squaremile is all about the young pretender at DC Comics – Jim Lee...
The relative whippersnapper (Stan was born in 1922 – 1922! – while Jim popped his head out in 1964) is now joint head honcho at Marvel’s old nemesis DC Comics. He got the gig in February last year, but he is no corporate arriviste. He worked for years at the comic coal face as an illustrator, including a long stint at Stan’s Marvellous gaff before coming home to roost at DC. (The publisher, not Washington. If I’d meant that DC, I’d have said so.) So. Where was I? Oh yeah. “Comic ink runs through that guy’s veins,” as someone once said. Probably. It’s a classic coming-toAmerica tale. Lee was born in Seoul in South Korea, but at the age of four he went west. His family moved to St Louis to start livin’ the dream. My Aunt Wiki tells me that at school his classmates predicted in his senior yearbook that he would launch his own comic book company. So they must have felt like utter twats when he made it to Princeton to study psychology with the aim of becoming a medical doctor. But those who went long would have had the last laugh, though, when he left Princeton, and tried his hand at comic books… Now you can own a Jim Lee print from his meteoric career. With prices from £128 for a framed edition, we’d buy one snappi-lee. Happi-lee. (Stop being sil-lee – Ed.) ■ For limited edition prints of the pictured works and more go to artyougrewupwith.com
ILLUSTRATIONS ™ & © DC Comics (S11)
SHAWISH PARTY Swiss luxury fine jeweller Shawish teamed up with square mile to launch ‘The World’s First Diamond Ring’ at London’s Il Bottaccio. The 150-carat stone is due to fetch an estimated £43m when it is made into a faceted all-diamond ring. Rock on!
PhotograPhs by Chris Montgomery
BROOKS BROTHERS Brooks Brothers invited square mile to a showcase of its made-to-measure service. Guests joined special guest Tom Jackson – Brooks Brother’s Master Tailor from New York – in a Johnnie Walker Blue Label tasting at the Royal Exchange store.
PHOTOGRAPHS by Gary Kinsman
Hublot is associated with the Instituto Ayrton Senna, which contributes to the education of young poor Brazilians by paying their tuition fees throughout the whole of their schooling. Over 7 million children have thus been able to benefit from this help. © of ASE under license of Instituto Ayrton Senna
The “King Power Ayrton Senna” split-seconds chronograph and power reserve indicator in carbon is the result of this partnership.
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▽ Top Trumps
ACCOUNTANT THE NUMBER CRUNCHER
(but for the City)
WHAT YOUR JOB’S WORTH
– No, not grubby moolah. We’re talking City cred and pulling power. By Jon Hawkins
BAR BRAGGING RIGHTS
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ MONEY MATTERS
INSIDE THE ROLE It’s not hard to spot
an accountant in the City. They’re the ones walking around with their hands buried deep in their pockets massaging figures while visibly battling mind-numbing boredom. Which is something of a shock because, as Samuel Johnson said, “When a man is tired of accountancy, he is tired of life.” Or something along those lines.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ PULLING POWER
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ PUBLIC POPULARITY CONTEST
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ square mile SAYS... CHAIRMAN OF THE BORED
ILLUSTRATION by Jack A. Forbes thehebrewgod.com
CITY TRUMPS 22 SQUAREMILE
BAnKER THE HigH ROLLER inside the role When members of
the public think of the City, they’re imagining bankers, braying and laughing while gorging themselves on coke, hookers and taxpayers’ money. Literally eating cash. Disgusting. No wonder everyone hates them, although there’s probably quite a lot to be said for being wealthy, happy and successful. It certainly pays the bills – for the coke and hookers, obviously.
bar bragging rights
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ money matters
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ pulling power
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ public popularity contest
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ square mile says... public enemy no 1. and 2. and 3,4,5...
LAWYER THE BOOKWORM inside the role There’s something
particularly noble about spending years training purely for the opportunity to hang out with criminals and wear a wig. That’s not all lawyers, obviously; the rest are just in it for the ready access to leatherbound books, the ability to slip Latin phraseology into everyday conversation and the ferocious sex appeal of the profession.
cOnsuLTAnT THE sOLvER inside the role “Son, never trust
anyone with an unhealthy interest in bubble charts and you won’t go far wrong.” Best advice square mile’s Dad ever gave us, though as a circus entertainer he had little use for management consultants. So he wouldn’t know about the diligence, professionalism and analytical rigour of these indispensable guns for hire. Lucky bugger.
bar bragging rights
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ money matters
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ pulling power
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ public popularity contest
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ square mile says... law, what is it good for? wigs...
bar bragging rights
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ money matters
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ pulling power
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ public popularity contest
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ square mile says... solution prostitution
▽ This month...
– By Jon Hawkins
500HZ FREQUENCY The ultra highfrequency spiral was developed in partnership with precision component maker Atokalpa.
TITANIUM CARBIDE The Mikrotimer’s case, buttons and crown are coated with titanium carbide. TiC is used as a heat-shield on space shuttles.
3.6M BEATS/HOUR The escapement vibrates at 3.6 million beats per hour: three times faster than the pistons on a Formula 1 car at top speed.
DUAL CONTROL The stopwatch and timekeeping functions are separate, so the chronograph doesn’t disrupt the operation of the watch.
ANALYST 24 SQUAREMILE
TAG HEUER .MIKROTIMER THERE’S NOT much you can
achieve in 1/1000th of a second. Usain Bolt is able to run a paltry 1.2cm, a bullet fired from an M16 gun travels just 97cm and the Earth can only travel 29.8m around the Sun. So it stands to reason that measuring time to that
degree of accuracy is a bit of a challenge, not least if you’re using a mechanical stopwatch. TAG Heuer, however, has managed it with the new Mikrotimer Flying 1000 concept chronograph watch, which can time to within a millisecond. In order to do this
the Mikrotimer’s chronograph uses an escapement that vibrates at an astonishing 3.6 million beats per hour. Unfortunately, given that humans have a reaction time of between 150 and 300 milliseconds, expecting you to time to perfect accuracy with
the Mikrotimer would be rather like asking a chimp to get behind the wheel of Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren and drive off – the user doesn’t quite match-up to the technology. Still, at least you and the chimp will look like you mean business… ■ tagheuer.com
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cityboy on washing the
city’s dirty laundry in public a beginner’s guide to
ZFE ATU RES
PhotograPh by Edward l’anson from The Photography of Bedford Lemere & Co (English heritage, £25)
hardcore corn The trading floor of the Corn Exchange on Mark Lane, EC3 in 1890 – looks to us like it would have made a great site for a warehouse party
CLEAN BILL OF wEALTH So, just how does dirty money end up washed clean in Londonâ€™s banks? GEraint andErSon
Once a year, in nearly every major
City firm, an unspeakably horrible punishment is meted out by sadistic bosses to their stressed-out employees. All City workers dread this annual torture but they have no choice but to endure it if they are to remain working in the finance industry. When I was a stockbroker I looked into whether it constituted ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ but found the European Union’s legislation on this matter to be woefully inadequate. I am, of course, referring to the City’s annual money-laundering test. There appeared to be no escaping this despicable punishment until I realised in 2004 that anyone in a senior position at my bank was secretly getting their graduate trainee to do it for them. Henceforth, I simply demanded that our team grad sit dutifully at my computer and take this surprisingly difficult webbased exam while I underwent much more demanding challenges – such as seeing just how many banknotes it was possible to slip into Ebony’s G-string without security being called. This seemed a smart thing to do. That was until I decided to write a Citybased thriller about money-laundering. As I spent hours researching the subject last year, I cursed the woeful ignorance that my laziness had engendered. I also despaired at the lack of knowledge that every senior banker must also have about this pernicious practice as a result of their idleness, because I think it leaves our banks wide open to abuse. In fact, I genuinely believe that money-laundering could be the next big scandal facing the finance industry. After the subprime debacle and the recent Wall St insider trading prosecutions it’s about time that investigators revisited this classic bit of financial skulduggery. Those recent scandals have also ensured that there are many more City regulators around seeking out malpractice, which increases the chances that banks engaged in money-laundering will get caught. Indeed, we’ve already found out that the despots who were deposed by the ‘Arab Spring’ have been squirrelling away much of their ill-gotten gains in British firms and, on
Most of the $1.6bn looted from Nigeria by former dictator Sani Abacha was found in ‘reputable’ British banks this count, our supposedly clean banks have got previous. Most of the $1.6bn looted from Nigeria by the family of the former dictator Sani Abacha was found in supposedly reputable British banks. I think it’s a question of when, not if, serious questions will be raised about the ethics of working with blood-thirsty tyrants (and I’m not talking about your head of capital markets here), as well as global drug dealers and international white slave traders. So, whether you want to be ahead of the curve regarding this upcoming issue or you’re once again facing the tedious ordeal of the annual money-laundering test, read on and discover everything you’ve wanted to know about moneylaundering but were too afraid to ask. What is mOney laundering? Put simply, it’s giving dirty money the appearance of having been earned legitimately. This is done so that its dodgy owners can’t be prosecuted (as the crooked source of their tainted money has been obscured) and so that once-bent money is rendered easier to move around and more difficult for the authorities to confiscate. The IMF estimates that money-laundering comprises 3-5% of the world’s GDP. Since the World Bank estimates world GDP in 2007 was $72.3trn we’re talking about something like $2.17-$3.61trn per year. Whatever method is chosen to launder money, it generally involves three processes: placement (moving the tainted cash somewhere else or changing it into another form); layering (moving the ‘placed’ money into other institutions to further obscure its origins); and integration (returning the now ‘kosher’ money to the legitimate economy). ▶
Surely london iSn’t involved in Such naughtineSS? London, simply by dint of being one of the world’s financial centres, is without doubt one of the money-laundering capitals of the world and the ‘Arab Spring’ is revealing that our fair
The term ‘money laundering’ does actually have something to do with launderettes, originating during the 1920s US prohibition 30
city is none too fussy when it comes to accepting wonga from dubious characters. Mohamed Layas, the head of the Libyan Investment Authority (that was based in Mayfair and used to own 3% of Pearson, the owner of the Financial Times) was revealed by Wikileaks to have told US diplomats that Libya’s lovely leaders favour London because of the “ease of doing business” here and its “uncomplicated tax system”. Apparently, the sons of Egypt’s ousted leader, Hosni Mubarak, Alaa and Gamal “love [London] and keep a lot of money there”. Money-laundering expert Martin Woods says that “New York and London
the launderette connection Funnily enough the term ‘moneylaundering’ does actually have something to do with launderettes. Apparently, the expression originated during prohibition in 1920s America. Criminal gangs led by gruesome characters like Al Capone and Meyer Lansky disguised the dirty cash they made from selling bootleg hooch by abusing cash businesses like launderettes. Interestingly, little has changed since those days and money-launderers still often use cash-intensive and service-orientated businesses to legitimise their ill-gotten gains. Hotels (where guest numbers can be massively inflated), small restaurants
have become the world’s two biggest laundries of criminal and drug money” and a 2001 French parliamentary report highlighted “the great permeability of the British banking system” and stated that the City is a “haven for terrorist moneylaundering”. Although one’s inclined to think that our cousins over the Channel were once again having a pop, it is noticeable that between 1986 and 1998 only 357 money-laundering cases came to trial in London whereas Italy had 538 and the US had 2,034 in 1995 alone. It’s also noticeable that some 200,000 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) are received each year by the UK’s SOCA (Serious Organised Crime Agency) which, taking into account the tiny amount of prosecutions, suggests that their hit rate might be improved.
(that somehow manage to serve hundreds of covers daily), and nightclubs are classic fronts for cleaning up dodgy moolah. These days, sophisticated crims simply create ‘shell companies’ with an office in some dubious tax haven that involves nothing more than a crackhead kipping next to a single phone line. Complex transactions between these bogus companies are then used to disguise their money’s origins with launderers often using false invoices to cover their trail. Beware the evil SmurfS! I’m not talking about those diminutive blue fellahs – though I’ve always found them really creepy. No, I’m talking about a large group of normal-sized human beings who are used to divide a hefty amount of cash into lesser sums that ▶
▶ can then be deposited into multiple bank accounts in amounts small enough not to raise suspicions (eg, under $10k in America). This process is called ‘smurfing’ – that is not a new form of sexual deviancy involving dwarfs and blueberry jam. Commodity traders = dodgy I recently had lunch with a fine upstanding citizen who told me that he had felt obliged to leave his first City job after becoming aware that his small commodity-trading firm was heavily involved in laundering Russian mafia money. One employee used to fly weekly
to and from Moscow carrying briefcases full of cash and another poor schmuck working there ended up with a bullet in his head. Apparently, some of these fine firms are asked to massively over-invoice a dodgy counterpart for a shedload of some commodity they’ve bought off it. The commodity trader then deposits the excess in pre-arranged City banks on behalf of its counterpart. Tricky bastards! Not JUst the hoUse always wiNs Casinos have always been a crim’s best friend – how many coppers must have heard some masked hoodlum in a stripy jumper exclaiming “No, occifer, I swear I won this $400k in used notes after a lucky streak down at The Golden Nugget”? Well, that old scam also works on a grand scale, which is one of the reasons
the American mafia built Las Vegas. Those once-sleazy casinos are now more like children’s playgrounds but word on the street is that internet gambling outfits and Macau have dutifully stepped into the vacuum left behind. BUreaUx de ChaNge areN’t JUst UsefUl for gettiNg a few eUros Purchasing travellers’ cheques under a sufficient value and then getting your old friends the Smurfs involved is a simple way of legitimising tainted money. It is estimated that British Bureaux de Change launder up to £2.6bn annually and I reckon there’s a fair amount of
Banco Delta Asia In September 2005, the US Treasury Department blacklisted Banco Delta Asia (BDA), a Macau-based family-owned bank for its role in laundering money for the North Korean regime. It turns out that Kim Jong Il and his equally eccentrically coiffured cohorts had been using BDA to circulate counterfeit $100 notes. The treasury blacklisted BDA under section 311 of the US Patriot Act and within six days a third of the bank’s deposits had been withdrawn. The Macanese government took control of BDA and froze the $25m found in accounts related to North Korea.
them in west London that wouldn’t survive but for this source of business. Variants of this scam, but on a massive scale, were involved in the recent Wachovia scandal that rocked America’s law enforcement agencies [see p32]. diamoNds & gold: Better thaN Cash On 16 March 2007, what the US government called “the largest single drug cash seizure the world has ever seen” occurred in Mexico City. Some $207m in cash was found hidden in some Chinese meth chemist’s house. This character went on to claim that he had been forced to safeguard the wedge for the Mexican president’s slush fund – a claim so preposterous that one can’t help but conclude that he’d been getting high on his own supply. This case showed ▶
▶ the problems inherent in having huge stacks of cash hanging around and helps explain why gold and diamonds are very often used to store and move around ill-gotten gains. Both are easy to move across borders because they’re among the most compressed forms of wealth in the word and a vibrant global market makes them appropriate for scams involving false invoicing. DUBAI DOESN’T JUST WANT TO BREAK THE RECORD FOR THE TALLEST TOWER An ad for the UAE proudly claims that “in Dubai every day is an opportunity” and that would appear to be particularly true if you’re a mobster, drug trafficker or dodgy diamond trader. In 2008, the US state department issued a report warning that the UAE is “particularly susceptible” to money-laundering and it has long been alleged that Dubai has a permissive attitude to smuggling. The US got very shirty after several of the terrorists involved in 9/11 were found to have had money wired to them from the UAE and the Emirates’ request for black marketers to register themselves voluntarily in 2008 was, funnily enough, not regarded as hugely effective. ONLY 9/11 MADE REGULATORS TAKE LAUNDERING SERIOUSLY Before 9/11, money-laundering wasn’t seen as that big an issue by the US authorities and other agencies. After the
In 2007 what the US government called “the largest single drug cash seizure the world has ever seen” occurred in Mexico City... 32
Wachovia attack, policy-makers came to realise that one of the best ways to prevent future catastrophic incidents was to deny terrorists the financial means of sustaining themselves, which in turn required better controls over the transfer of money. The 2001 Patriot Act tightened things up in America while the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act did the same in the UK. It’s these kind of post-9/11 bits of legislation that require bankers to sit those tedious tests … so when you’re next by your computer failing once again to hit the required 75% pass rate you know who to blame: Bin Laden. WITHOUT LAUNDERERS CAPITALISM COULD HAVE ENDED All right, I’m exaggerating a bit but according to Antonio Maria Costa, former head of the UN’s drugs and crime office, the proceeds from drugs and crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to banks on the brink of collapse during the recent financial crisis. Costa claims that “the banks exposed themselves to the criminal syndicates who had cash in hand” and argues that there could have been more banking failures without this development. It seems rules don’t matter so much when your back’s against the wall. *
UK business secretary Vince Cable told the BBC recently that his government would act against any British bank involved in helping the deposed Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, improperly move funds “but there clearly needs to be concerted international action”. That same get-out-clause is used to justify why nothing serious is done to reform our banking system post-credit crunch and why banks ultimately deal with corrupt tyrants (because there’s always somebody else who will otherwise).
One of the largest money-laundering scams involved the highly reputable US bank Wachovia (acquired by Wells Fargo during the 2008 crash). On 10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet packed with 5.7 tonnes of cocaine was intercepted as it landed in Mexico. A 22-month investigation into the paper trail behind the money used to purchase the plane uncovered billions of dollars that had entered Wachovia accounts via wire transfers, travellers’ cheques and cash shipments from Mexican currency exchange houses. Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia but the case never came to court. Wachovia merely received a $160m fine and forfeiture, despite the fact that the bank was sanctioned for failing to apply the proper anti-laundering strictures to the transfer of almost $400bn into dollar accounts from CDCs – a sum equivalent to one third of Mexico’s GDP.
A leading money-laundering expert, Nicholas Shaxson, talks about “the complicity with which western countries help corrupt leaders in developing nations to loot their citizens” and the recent ‘Arab Spring’ could well reveal just how crooked our British banks can be when there’s a lot of cash to be made. There are lots of nasty crims out there who don’t just rely on dodgy bankers’ complicity to clean up their dirty money; they also rely on nice bankers’ ignorance. So, if on the off-chance you fall into the latter category perhaps this year you should consider giving your poor grad a break and actually take the annual money-laundering test. It’s a tedious ordeal but when you’re next hassled by some leftie about being a selfish, greedy bankster you will be able to hold your head up high and simply retort that you’re actually in the front-line against international drug dealers and murderous terrorists. That’s worth a few hours’ revision, isn’t it? ■ Geraint Anderson’s second book ‘Just Business’ (Headline, £12.99) is out on 9 June.
You donâ€™t just feel cycling in your legs. You feel it in your heart Like Jani Brajkovic does. Like we do. We live it, breathe it, even wake up in the middle of the night dreaming about how to make the best bikes for the fastest riders. Do you have the same passion? Find out at www.trekbikes.com/madone
MORAL HAZARD I AM THE ONE TAKING THE RISK, BUT SOMEONE ELSE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IT, AND THEY’LL PAY IF I FAIL… When an insurer sells vehicle insurance, he doesn’t know the manner in which the vehicle is going to be driven, but he still has to set a price. The driver knows that the insurer lacks this information, so he’s not worried about his premium rising if he drives dangerously, as long as he doesn’t crash. On top of this, if he does crash, the damage will be paid by the insurer. This situation, when the owner has more information about how the vehicle is driven, and has less of an incentive to drive safely, is called ‘moral hazard’. The owner’s driving behaviour changes as a result of him having insurance, and this increases risk for the insurer. Even though the vehicle is owned by the driver, and he doesn’t want it to be damaged, it is the insurer’s responsibility if something goes wrong. Similarly, big companies or banks can be incentivised to take risks if they know they won’t have to pay for any negative consequences of their actions. For example, if a company is treated as if it’s ‘too big to fail’, and it believes the government will bail it out, it can make risky investments without worrying about the consequences.
BACK TO SCHOOL Class is in session: White House adviser DONALD MARRON
explains the economic theories you should know about but are too embarrassed to ask
The term ‘moral hazard’ is often taken to refer to fraudulent or immoral behaviour, but that doesn’t have to be the case; moral hazard simply shows the challenges that markets may face in providing the best results for everyone. When information is not perfectly distributed, one party might be able to pursue its interest at the expense of the other. Of course, the other party has an incentive to design contracts that control this risk, and sometimes the intervention of the government may be necessary.
ILLUSTRATIONS by Ivan Hissey
MARGINALISM IT’S NOT THE ‘IMPORTANCE’ OF A PRODUCT, BUT THE COMBINATION OF ITS ABUNDANCE AND DESIRABILITY THAT DETERMINES ITS PRICE… One of the oldest debates in economics is the value controversy. Early political economists, such as Adam Smith, held that it is the average amount of labour time necessary to make a product that determines its value. Against this ‘labour theory of value’, late 19th-century economists, such as William Stanley Jevons and Alfred Marshall, argued that it is the marginal utility of a product that determines its value. This ‘exchange theory of value’ is based on the idea that people will derive less enjoyment from the consumption of every extra unit of a product that they consume. You might like apples, but you won’t keep eating them until they run out. At some point you’ll be fed up with them and start eating something else instead. But how does this relate to the price of things? Take, for example, the paradox of water and diamonds. Water is essential to people for their survival, whereas diamonds aren’t. But water, although essential to life, is far cheaper than diamonds. This is because globally water is abundant in a way that makes little difference whether you have an extra gallon of it or not. Its price is, therefore, low. Diamonds, on the other hand, are rare – and having a diamond or not makes a huge difference in financial terms. Therefore, its price is high.
PROPERTY RIGHTS MISSING PROPERTY RIGHTS? INEFFICIENT MARKETS… The theory sounds on target. But can it really explain everything that happens? It assumes an equilibrium where supply and demand meet, but in reality this equilibrium is very rarely reached and maintained. Nor does the theory say what happens to demand and supply over time – it doesn’t explain change. It is a static theory, whereas capitalism is the most dynamic economic system in human history.
Property rights give the owner exclusive authority on a good, a company, a piece of land, or even an intellectual creation. The owner, whether an individual or a government, acquires the exclusive right to use the good, earn income from it, sell it, or transfer it. Well-defined property rights are a fundamental part of the capitalist economic system. In some cases, however, property rights are difficult to define for practical or historical reasons, and can lead markets astray. Too much pollution? That’s because there aren’t well-defined property rights to the air. Fisheries over-harvested? That’s because fishermen are competing for the same shared resource. Because commodities, such as air and fish, are not owned by anyone, no one can restrict their usage. Solution? Create property rights. From tradeable permits that cover air pollution, to tradeable fishing quotas, economists have long advised governments on how to create property rights. The use of the commodities becomes restricted to the person in possession of the permit, so that the overall use of the resource can be capped. As these permits then become tradable, a market is created, which determines a price for the use of the resource.
Even if private property is central to the functioning of the capitalist system, not everything can be privately owned. Certain essential public goods and services, such as roads or national defence, need to be provided by the government because private companies would be unable to make a profit from them. Some economists believe certain public services, such as public transport or electricity, can be provided more efficiently through private companies, others argue this is not the case.
THE INVISIBLE HAND To creaTe more wealTh, jusT help yourself…
THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS when resources are shared buT limiTed, no one acTs To preserve Them – which means raTional acTions can prove irraTional in The long run… Several herders graze their cows on common pasture. From each herder’s point of view, it’s rational to add more cows to his herd, because his profits will increase. However, every additional cow depletes the pasture’s resources. If every farmer acts ‘rationally’ by adding more cows to his herd, the common land will eventually be overgrazed, grass will stop growing, and all the herders will suffer. In essence, actions that are rational for the individual may be irrational for the group. Yet from each farmer’s point of view, buying more cows is rational, because he as an individual reaps all the benefits they bring, while the negative impact is split equally among all the farmers. Garrett Hardin used this example to illustrate ‘the tragedy of the commons’ in an influential article published in 1968. The term can be applied to the consequences of any situation in which a limited resource is treated as common property and, as a result, may become overused. The tragedy is commonly found in environmental issues, such as over-fishing and pollution. This depletion of common resources is an example of an economic externality, or side effect – for example, pollution from a factory can impose clean-up costs on people who live nearby.
Capitalism’s critics offer the tragedy of the commons as proof that the invisible hand doesn’t always work. But how to regulate it? Hardin believed altruism and common sense wouldn’t work, and that private property rights are the best way to manage common resources; governments should limit resource use – such as limiting fishing permits – or common goods, such as water, should be privatised. However, economist Elinor Ostrom challenged this view by showing how many communities do manage resources sustainably over the long term – a contribution that earned her a 2009 Nobel Prize.
A butcher doesn’t sell meat because he’s altruistic; he slices and dices to turn a profit. But to sell the meat, he needs to pay attention to what his customers want. Thus to pursue his own wealth, the butcher serves the needs of society – and in a market economy, according to Adam Smith, most people behave the same way. That is, when people can choose freely what to produce and what to buy, the ‘invisible hand’ of competition guides the exchange of goods and services so that personal greed leads to collective gain. For example, when entrepreneurs want to attract more business, they offer lower prices. It’s a win-win game and a dynamic, self-regulating process that occurs and adjusts automatically. Smith used this theory to argue against government regulation and protectionism in a market economy – although for the invisible hand to work properly, society must have strong property rights, established legal and moral codes, and the exchange of information. Smith is often considered the ‘father of economics’, and for good reason. His theory of the invisible hand, coined in his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, guided the era of classical economics for more than 150 years and still shapes the economic debate today.
Seems simple enough – but does it work? Not always. Even Adam Smith recognised that selfinterest for wealth creation had its limits, and believed government had to step in when it came to protecting private property and providing public goods, such as roads. Take environmental goods as an example: Hardin’s ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ theory shows that when multiple actors using a shared resource pursue individual gain, the resource will be depleted unless strong property rights are in place.
EFFICIENT MARKET HYPOTHESIS THINK YOU CAN OUTGUESS THE STOCK MARKET? THAT’S FOOL’S GOLD, UNLESS YOU KNOW SOMETHING THE MARKET DOESN’T… These days finance seems to be the central issue in economics. But traditionally it was given attention once economists had developed theories to explain how the ’real’ economy works. For a broad array of believers in the free market, financial markets function on the basis of the efficient market hypothesis. This is more or less an adaptation of general equilibrium theory. It assumes that in a financial market, such as Wall St, the prices of traded assets – in this case, stocks and bonds – already reflect all existing knowledge about them. Because of that, it is virtually impossible for any investor to consistently make gains by speculating on the prices of these assets. This is because until new information alters the value of an asset, no one can really know how its price will evolve. That means that only luck can help you when speculating, or indeed possession of insider information, which is forbidden by law. The efficient market hypothesis had circulated among economists for many decades before Eugene Fama at Chicago gave a standard version of it. It was the main theory for analysing financial markets until the 1990s, when financial volatility and ‘irrational exuberance’ became the norm in finance.
The last 20 years, and especially the great financial crisis of 2007-2009, have created many problems for the efficient market hypothesis. Many prominent experts of financial markets, such as Martin Wolf of the Financial Times, now dismiss it as useless. The main attack against it is that it doesn’t take account of psychological aspects of how finance works – what some dissident economists have called the ‘herd instinct’.
THE BOOK: For more Economics 101, pick up a copy of 30-Second Economics: the 50 most thoughtprovoking economic theories, each explained in half a minute, edited by Donald Marron, out now (Icon Books; £12.99)
TIME With more than 25,000 images, the Bedford Lemere & Co collection is a priceless record of the Cityâ€™s past. Historian NICHOLAS COOPER shows us a window into a bygone era... 38
HSBC (1912) The banking hall of The hong kong & shanghai bank, gRaCeChURCh sT [Nicholas Cooper]: The high-level view of the banking hall shows very well the complex compartmentalisation of the bank’s different departments within an overall, open space. Such arrangements were characteristic of contemporary banks. [square mile]: Looks just like our local branch – but with more work being done.
PICTURE THIS: All images from The Photography of Bedford Lemere & Co by Nicholas Cooper (£25, English Heritage)
Cheapside (1905) Looking aLong cheapside, ec4 [NC]: The new office building on the right-hand corner, by the prolific architect Delissa Joseph, represents much contemporary safe but uninspiring building for business and property companies. Flower girls throng the street around William Behnesâ€™ 1855 statue of Sir Robert Peel, removed after World War II. [square mile]: Boris is right â€“ life would be different without the bendy buses...
Masonic Temple (1900) MASONIC TEMPLE, LEADENHALL ST [NC]: A number of the larger hotels and restaurants had halls for meetings of Masonic lodges. The Ship & Turtle, an old City inn, was renowned for its oysters and its turtle soup – keeping live turtles in an aquarium. A few doors away was turtle merchant T K Billis who imported live turtles from the W Indies every two weeks. [square mile]: Turtle soup? Er. We’re good thanks. Don’t mean to be at loggerheads.
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ILLUSTRATIONS in this section by Jamel Akib
FRIGHT OR FLIGHT With a flurry of large banks throwing hissy fits, threatening to take their ball home by relocating abroad, Jon Hawkins questions whether there is any substance behind all the sabre-rattling
gordon bryce RSA RSW 7 - 24 june 2011
tower bridge, south bank oil on board 24x48ins.
the thames, southwark, early evening oil on board 24x48ins.
Twenty-five years on, Thackeray Gallery is honoured to be exhibiting this dynamic and powerful group of new paintings by the renowned Gordon Bryce. Gordon is a highly established figure in the Art World, firstly as he was Head of Grays School of Art, Aberdeen for 25 years, and secondly, as an artist who continues in the Scottish Colourist Movement. The main body of this solo exhibition are Gordon Bryce’s cityscapes of London. These paintings are bursting into the 21st Century with an explosion of colour and light, making them very unique and contemporary works of art.
T H A C K E R AY G A L L E RY
18 THACKERAY STREET • KENSINGTON SQUARE • LONDON W8 5ET • T: 020 7937 5883 www.thackeraygallery.com • email@example.com • Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 6pm, Saturday: 11am – 4pm
How to Spot a Psycho JESSICA FELLOWES and KERRY DAYNES on how
to find out if you sit next to the office psycho...
AT THE DESK next to you could be sitting a psychopathic colleague. They might be pilfering from your wallet, hacking into your computer or badmouthing you to the boss. Or they could be taking you out for lunch every day, telling you what a great friend you are and commending your latest presentation. Either way, they’re hoping to use you to their advantage. A psychopathic colleague is not a team player. They look around the company and assess who will be useful to them. If they befriend you, it’s because they have spotted a value that extends the reach of their pay cheque. They depend on the malleability of others to help them carefully stagemanage their advance up the career ladder. Experts in psychopathy estimate that, aside from the criminal population, psychopaths are more frequently found in the corporate world than anywhere else. The erudite, shrewd psychopath is most likely to choose a larger company to enact his games. Psychopaths of this kind are selectively workshy – they don’t see why they should be lifting a finger to do anything that doesn’t directly benefit them. They’re often drawn to the larger organisations where there is greater scope for impressive promotions and job titles – and there are more subordinates available for manipulation and abuse. squaremile.com
THE SEVEN SIGNS OF THE PSYCHOPATHIC COLLEAGUE... SIGN I
A psychopath finds it easier to target top jobs where the key words on the job spec are vague – such as ‘leadership’ and ‘people management’ rather than any concrete qualifications. Their CV will focus on more general qualities, which are easier to embellish and harder to quantify. They manage to impress in a job interview with little more than a firm handshake and charisma, but little of any real substance. SIGN 2
Psychopaths are convincing and subtle flatterers. They’ll quickly size you up and align themselves with you in order to check out your potential worth to them. They will deliberately reflect the interests of the person they are targeting to manipulate them into thinking that they really are friends. Those who have been conned by psychopaths have often been heard to say sadly afterwards: “I thought I’d made a really good friend – we had so much in common.” SIGN 3
A psychopath will get a kick out of rifling through your desk or an unattended computer for any clues to weaknesses in your personality. There is none of the usual respect for privacy or personal boundaries in the psychopath’s drive to assess your potential to them. A handbag, desk drawer, email account or even your text messages – nothing is sacrosanct. SIGN 4
Don’t be surprised when you are suddenly overlooked for someone whom you just couldn’t envisage that your co-worker would have been interested in. Corporate psychopaths will target not just the powerful but those with access to power.
Psychopaths are stimulated by change and they are often good at adopting, or at least seeming to adopt, new technology – it makes them seem entrepreneurial and cutting-edge. And the fact that no one understands these new gadgets and gizmos means they can talk convincingly without facing too many questions. Not to mention that corporate psychopaths engineer to leave or change departments on a fairly regular basis – usually for a promotion, as they have impressed the people at the top so much in their current role. But also because they recognise the need to get out before all the people they have trodden on or misused are ‘on to them’ and get together. SIGN 7
Psychopaths have no company ethic: they don’t understand what the concept of working “for the good of the company”. For them, loyalty equals ‘loser’. ■
Seduction is just another means of gaining power for the psychopath and the ‘no relationships at the office’ rule won’t even be considered by a psychopath. Sex with subordinates is considered a perk of the job.
Edited from The Devil You Know: Looking out for the Psycho in your Life by JESSICA FELLOWES and KERRY DAYNES – out now. (£12.99, Coronet and eBook.)
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ANGELO’S COLLAR SCHEME JON HAWKINS meets the banker-turneddesigner who decided to go long on large collars. It’s off the cuff...
EVEN IF THE name Angelo Galasso means nothing to you, you will have seen – and probably worn – his work without realising it. The Italian, who was a private banker and a car dealer before he turned to fashion, is the man responsible for popularising the oversized shirt collar, and it all started by accident in 1985. Galasso and his wife had not long opened their Rome clothing store when he decided to design a shirt with a tall collar to suit his long neck – he ordered 2,000 shirts and sold none. “So we had a sale,” says Galasso. “We put the shirts at a ridiculously low price and they all sold.” When people kept coming into his store and demanding the big-collared shirts, he knew he was onto something. “It was the first time I had realised that if you do something unusual to a classic product you can win.” Needless to say, then, when square mile meets Angelo Galasso at his eponymous Knightsbridge boutique he’s wearing one of his own shirts, with trademark collar and another of his innovations: a modified double-cuff that exposes the wearer’s wristwatch. We’re surrounded by Galasso’s designs, all of which are unconventional in one way or another and some, it’s fair to say, that are squaremile.com
plain outrageous. One belt is made of snakeskin, including the snake’s head, and mink, crocodile, pony and eel skin all feature in a collection he calls “360 degrees”; in other words, there’s something for everyone. “It’s very important that people see my clothes and know they’re Angelo Galasso,” he says. But Galasso also recognises that now, as in 1985, designing clothes that people can recognise from afar is only part of the story. “Of course, you have to make something that people like and can enjoy,” he adds. Galasso started making his own clothes as a 12-year-old growing up in Puglia in southern Italy, but stopped when people started poking fun at his “crazy” designs. For a time he sold cars before moving to Rome, where he trained to become a private banker. “I wanted to start in the fashion business,” he says, “but at that time my father was alive, and in Italy making clothes is very humble work. So I went to join a private bank.” All the time he was working in the investment bank Galasso was designing clothes, initially for himself and then when colleagues started to ask him where he was getting his outfits from, for others. He called his brand Interno 8 (after the number of his flat in Rome), and soon left private banking behind. In 1999 Galasso first took Interno 8 to London, a city he calls “the best place in the world”, and his eyes were opened. “When I arrived here I brought all my prejudices with me,” he explains. “My design school was very straight Italian, and when I opened the shop in London I realised I could do something different.”
●● When I arrived here I brought all my prejudices with me. My design school was straight Italian
His customers started to demand greater exclusivity and luxury, and the opportunity to deliver it to them arrived in 2004 when he and controversial ex-F1 boss Flavio Briatore decided to create a brand for the super-wealthy, with Galasso’s design nous and Briatore’s wealth and contacts. Galssso sold Interno 8 to his business partner and the new brand, Billionaire Couture, was born. But things turned sour, and Galasso departed from the business. He’s now suing Briatore for breach of contract, with a trial set for September. “I had to re-start from zero,” says Galasso. “I had six very tough months – I moved with my family to Thailand so that I could think about my future, and then I decided to start again.” In November 2009 Galasso started his new brand – Angelo Galasso – and opened its first store on Hans Road, near Harrods. London is where he was “born” as a better designer, he says, and it’s where he now lives with his family. “Italy is very nice, and very important, but in London you can really chose what you want to do, in any direction. Basically, you are where you live.” ■ angelogalasso.com
HIT THE ROAD JACK... (AND JILL) ANGELA KNIGHT bangs the drum for bankers. And now she’s proper rock’n’roll, gigging all over the UK
HAVE YOU EVER woken up in a strange hotel room and wondered where you are? No, on second thoughts, don’t answer that. Although it’s something which is happening to me more and more these days as the British Bankers’ Association is again taking to the road and this time embarking on a round-Britain roadshow bringing bankers to business. Following our successful European tour last year, we thought we’d take the show on the road at home. We’re doing a summer season in what can loosely be described as the ‘North’. Before doing rep in the South in the autumn. But let’s not make light of it. There is a serious purpose behind what might look like just another nice day out of the office. We all know there is a genuine need to ensure that banks – in common with anyone in customer service – keep close to customers. Our members fully realise the importance of face-to-face contact and the need to mend relationships put under strain during recent times. Which is why we are leaving the cosy confines of the City and hitting the road. This particular venture – under the banner of Better Business Finance – is 50 SQUAREMILE
an attempt to bridge the perceived gap between bankers and the firms they serve. Last summer it became clear that, although we had figures saying banks were lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises, stories still circulated saying there was a credit-drought. But we were clearly only getting part of the picture as there was a prevailing undercurrent that said it was either difficult to get credit or too expensive to be bothered. When we asked business groups they pointed out that some of their members were so sure banks would say no they didn’t even bother to come through the door to ask. So, as part of the work we promised when we published the Business Finance Taskforce report last autumn, we have started a nationwide tour so people can come along and get help with raising the finance that they need so their businesses can grow and prosper. The idea is simple. Everywhere we go, we get together senior figures from the local business community, bankers – both from head office and the local area – and any business that wants to come along. Each event starts off with keynote speeches from local business leaders followed by an open Q&A session so that the business representatives can ask whatever questions they like of the assembled bankers on our panel. Then, after a well-earned coffee, there are a number of free workshops to help businesses prepare better for any encounter they may have with their bank. The plan is to help them maximise their chances of securing the credit they are after on the terms that they want. We then provide a free lunch where everyone can mingle and chat.
●● There are free work shops to help businesses prepare better for encounters with their bank...
The first outreach event was held in my home town of Sheffield. This meant we were able to test-drive some ideas and get the format right among friends. The venue was the magnificent 19th-century Cutlers Hall – home to one of the only livery companies outside the Square Mile. And we had top-level government backing with treasury minister Lord Sassoon on stage to give a rousing endorsement of the initiative and get us off to a very good start. Then it was on to Edinburgh where the local Chamber of Commerce – our partners for the entire tour – secured a sell-out event at the beautiful Caledonian hotel in the centre of that lovely city, a mere stone’s throw from one of Europe’s most vibrant wealth-management centres outside of London. And then on to Liverpool where the keynote speeches reflected the city’s maritime traditions. It’s Manchester next and I’m sure there will be an event in your home town – or somewhere near it – by the end of the year. With each event the programme has gone from strength to strength. It’s easy to book online and in some places interest is so keen we’ve wished we’d booked bigger venues. So, if you fancy coming along, take a look at betterbusinessﬁnance.co.uk/events. Do be sure to book soon. It may be free but places are, naturally, limited. ■ ANGELA KNIGHT is CEO of the BBA
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Silver Tongued Advice GFT’s DAVID MORRISON sees volatility in the commodities market as opportunity – but only if you take the long view
VOLATILITY IN COMMODITY markets has shot up recently, along with prices. This led to concerns that US dollar weakness was leading to an unsustainable flood of speculative money into dollardenominated assets, as investors sought out safe havens to protect themselves from the devaluation effects of the US Federal Reserve’s programme of asset purchases. These worries suddenly appeared justified after commodity markets came under intense selling pressure back in early May as the dollar bounced. Silver fared particularly badly with prices falling close to 30% in five days. It was a vicious sell-off that left many traders and investors bruised, battered and wary of future volatility. Commentators were quick to announce that the ‘bubble’ in silver had popped, with greedy over-leveraged speculators getting their just desserts for daring to gamble on ever-rising prices. Gold also fell sharply, although its losses were far more modest, with prices falling around 6% in the same period. But even so, investors were left wondering if the best days for both metals were now behind them, or whether the sell-off represented a decent buying opportunity.
Gold has made a succession of fresh all-time highs over the past 12 months, hitting a record in nominal dollar term of $1,576 per ounce at the beginning of May. At the same time, silver came close to breaking above its record close of $50. This was a level last seen in early 1980, when gold made its own all-time high of $850 – a level not seen again for another 28 years. Yet when adjusted for inflation, estimates suggest that gold would need to hit $2,400 per ounce, and silver $140 to reach, and surpass, the highs reached 31 years ago. At current levels, this implies that silver has considerably more upside potential than gold. If we look at the ratio of these two prices, we can see that one ounce of gold could buy 17 ounces of silver back then. Today, with gold at $1,500 and silver at $35, the ratio is around 1:43. This is down from 1:66 12 months ago, but well above the 1:33 ratio seen in April this year. This ratio is important, and some precious metals analysts (notably James Turk, of goldmoney.com) expect this ratio to drop down to 1:20. At a gold price of $1,500, that would value silver at more than $75 per ounce. How likely is this? Taking a historical perspective, for more than 2,500 years, until the late 1800s, the ratio was fairly constant at around 1:15. This corresponded to the relative abundance of the two metals and the fact that they were both used as currency. By the early 20th century the ratio had widened out to 1:100 as supplies of silver increased relative to gold, and silver was dropped as currency.
●● It was a vicious sell-off that left many traders and investors bruised, battered and wary of future volatility
As mining technology and productivity improved, silver was increasingly amassed as a by-product of base metal mining. Huge above-ground stockpiles resulted as its use as a medium-ofexchange declined. Silver became abundant and cheap. But as the Industrial Revolution accelerated, and the world started to benefit from electrification, silver was found to have numerous applications. Being cheap and abundant, it was consumed extensively in industrial processes, as it is to this day. The goldsilver price ratio began to fall, and in the early 1980s once again reached 1:15. Silver is both an industrial and investment metal. New uses are being found for silver all the time. It has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of all metals, and is one of the most reflective, malleable and ductile. It is used in fuses, batteries, mirrors, solar panels, water purification and antibacterial products. Although less popular than gold, silver is also coming back into favour for investment purposes. Silver ETFs (at least those backed by physical) have led to a huge reallocation of stocks. However, the only silver available to satisfy this demand is in existing inventories held by investors, as central banks don’t hold it any more. Silver is often referred to as ‘gold’s shadow’. While trending in the same direction as its big brother, it tends to overshoot in terms of the magnitude of its daily moves. Put another way, silver is far more volatile than gold, as recent price action has demonstrated. Consequently it is not suitable for all investors, particularly when trading on margin. But with the stability of the global economy still in doubt, and central banks still reluctant to tighten monetary policy appreciably, its dual industrial and investment properties should keep it in demand. Investors could soon prove keen to add silver to their portfolios again. ■ Sign up now for square mile spreads, powered by GFT, at squaremile.com/spreads
50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR MOTHER And just as many ways to leave the mothership – aka the City – says JON HAWKINS. So how come you’re still here?
AS A KID I would occasionally decide I’d had it with my family, pack a bag of vitally important items like matchbox cars and a water pistol and announce to my parents that I was leaving home. I would explain to them how different, how much better, my world would be if I lived in the relaxed, libertarian environment of my friend Nick’s house, where the TV was always on (even during meals – imagine!) and his dad’s job meant he was constantly going in aeroplanes. That’s where I was headed, where, no doubt, they would welcome me with open arms. And then my mum would hit me with it: “I can see you’ve made up your mind,” she would say. I definitely had. “And you obviously can’t be swayed.” Obviously not. This wasn’t a decision I’d taken lightly. “But we’re having lasagne for dinner tonight and I thought you might need some energy before you go away and never see us again.” Ah. That complicated things. I would need food. And she did rustle up one hell of a lasagne. So I would stay – just for dinner, you understand. And after, I would, er, ‘forget’ to leave. 54 SQUAREMILE
HSBC, Barclays, Standard Chartered and a host of smaller financial institutions have apparently been loading toy cars and water pistols into their backpacks and threatening to leave London since well before Sir John Vickers announced his (hardly draconian) proposals. For over a year, whispers of a mutiny have circulated the UK’s banking industry, and all but those who can’t escape because the public has a hefty stake in them have been implicated. HSBC, if we’re to believe some of its shareholders (even if CEO Stuart Gulliver, who says the bank “genuinely would like to stay in the UK”, remains cagey on the matter), is planning a return to Hong Kong almost 20 years after moving its headquarters to London. Similarly, it’s also been suggested that Standard Chartered – 19%-owned by Singapore-based Temasek Holdings and with a large exposure to Asia – could also relocate its domicile. And speculation that Barclays could move to the US in the face of regulatory pressure was met with enthusiasm by New York mayor Michael Bloomberg in late March. “It would be a great move for them to move here,” he said. “I hope they move here; it’d be great for us.” It might well be, but perhaps not so great for Barclays. After all, if New York were so perfect a location for a big investment bank, why would JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon be spending all his time bashing US regulators? More to the point, Barclays boss Bob Diamond has moved to quash rumours himself. “We will always consider what is best for our shareholders but that does not mean that we wish to move,” he
●● I would need food. And she did make up one hell of a lasagne. So I would stay – just for dinner, you understand…
announced at the bank’s AGM in April. “We have been here for 320 years. This is our home,” he added firmly. Ah yes, home; that old chestnut. As GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty said earlier this year: “One reason we’ve seen an erosion of trust, broadly, in big companies is they’ve allowed themselves to be seen as being detached from society and they will float in and out of societies according to what the tax regime is.” He didn’t name HSBC, Barclays or Standard Chartered, but he may as well have done, and perhaps Diamond was listening. Or perhaps he simply knew (and, more importantly, knew that everyone else also knew) that the logistics of moving his HQ across the Atlantic, the far-fromUtopian investment banking environment that would await him when he got there, and the potentially volatile reaction of clients, would make a move less than ideal. Post-Vickers, the threat of an exodus bubbling under the surface appears to have eased, at least for the time being. Just as I learnt all those years ago – it’s harder to leave than it is to stay. ■ For more by JON ‘HAWKEYE’ HAWKINS check out his blog on squaremile.com
The number of americans who went through at least part of 2010 without any health insurance
The estimated worth of UK universities to the economy
The amount Orange paid to acquire a 49% stake in dailyMotion – YouTube’s French equivalent. (Google paid $1.65bn for YouTube in 2006)
The percentage of people who check their work email while they are away on holiday
City in Numbers
School pals Harry Brantly and Max Leese started FB Collection in 2005 while still in the City. The brand takes its name from frescobol – Brazilian beach tennis – and makes bats in Brazil from reclaimed carpentry off-cuts. FB Collection has now expanded into trunks and towels too.
Max and I set up FB Collection having both worked in the Square Mile; we were just a little bit bored of it. It was at the time when things started going pear-shaped in the City, and those who weren’t in it for the pure joy of being in banking were caught with their trousers down when the tide went out. When we first started selling frescobol bats, in 2005, we were both still working in the City – I was in private banking at UBS and Max worked for property firm DTZ – so we multi-tasked. Rather than spending each weekend in the pub we would work on the project, which was great because it allowed the
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business to grow while we were in the safety of our jobs. It also meant we had things really well planned-out before we quit the City in 2009. Two summers before we both left the City we were getting five or six sales a day on the website, having done no PR, no marketing and with a skeleton website and a very basic product offering. The summer before we quit I was spending more time posting deliveries in my lunch break than I was on running the company itself, and that forced us to leave our jobs and work full time on FB Collection. We thought if we turned the volume up a bit it – did some PR, added more products and built a better website – it couldn’t be too difficult to make the company work as a serious business proposition. The idea came about when I gave Max a set of frescobol bats for his birthday one year. In the same way that every house in Brazil has a football, most houses have a set of frescobol beach bats, particularly in Rio. The competition is obviously the plastic bats you can buy in a French supermarket for about €4, and we knew there had to be people out there willing to pay more for a beautiful product that had been handcrafted in Brazil. We figured out pretty quickly, though, that we weren’t going to become multimillionaires by selling wooden beach bats. We realised that selling trunks is where the main gain should be for us, and we think there’s real potential there. We expect all sorts of people to buy them, including City boys – they’re the kind of guys who want to show off a bit on the beach after wearing boring grey suits all year. ■ fbcollection.com
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PRIME TIME WORDS
James Gurney, QP
The wraps were removed from the latest Urwerk in Geneva earlier this year – it is a new interpretation of the planetary gear concept that has featured in Urwerk watches since UR-101 was unveiled at the Basel AHCI stand in 1997. Despite the usual rush to finish the sample pieces, both Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner were full of bounce and enthusiasm for the UR-110 project, being the most satisfying version yet. This is partly because of how fresh the idea still looks despite the 14 years since UR-101 was unveiled and partly because the balance between design and up-front horological virtuosity is so well played out. If UR-110 looks superficially similar to its immediate predecessors, UR-200 and UR103, though, beware – surfaces are rarely what they seem in watchmaking and even apparently minor changes can lead to extensive re-engineering. UR-110 took Urwerk a shade under two years to take the watch from initial sketches to finished (or nearly so, given that Frei and Baumgartner are inveterate tinkerers), which, this being watches, is actually quite rapid. The fundamental difference does seem to be more on Frei’s design side. Even the language has changed, “intergalactic millennium hammerheads” being traded for words like “space”, “proportion” and, without a trace of irony, “discretion”. (Die-hard fans, fear not, the press release does start by describing the watch as having “arrow-shaped torpedoes flying in formation with the mission of indicating the time”). The UR-110 continues Urwerk’s radical tradition of telling the time using orbiting satellite complications. In the UR-110, the time is always shown on the right-hand side of the watch. The satellites follow a vertical line, graded from 0 to 60 minutes, in a downward motion. The ingenuity of this layout lies in allowing the wearer to view the time discreetly and elegantly without the need to pull a cuff or sleeve back. ■
The annual Salon QP watch showcase is on 11-12 November at the Saatchi Gallery. For more info visit qpmagazine.com
Named after a legendary Spanish fighting bull, the Aventador is a real beast, says MARK HEDLEY
BUY! BUY! BUY! 62 SQUAREMILE
BUY! BUY! BUY!
LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR £247,668 Yes, it’s big. Yes, it’s powerful. And yes, it’s so cool it makes Batman look like a bit of a nerd. But anything that had to outdo the Murcielago would have to be, wouldn’t it? Lamborghini’s new range-topper has 59bhp more than its predecessor (up to 690bhp); is 20% lighter and an incredible 150% more rigid. Basically, it’s a bit of a showoff. This probably explains why 1,100 were sold before anyone had even driven it. Oh, go on then: sign us up. lamborghini-sevenoaks.com
KINDRED SPIRIT RANKIN is off to a flying start
with his series of 100 shots in homage to Rolls-Royce’s iconic Spirit of Ecstasy...
OVER THE COMING months, 100 images inspired by the Spirit of Ecstasy – the figurine adorning the bonnet of every Rolls-Royce – will be captured by renowned photographer Rankin. This particular flying lady is, in fact, Rankin’s missus, the model Tuuli Shipster. If this first shot is anything to go by, we’re looking forward to seeing number 100. ■ rolls-roycemotorcars.com/rankin
all hail king richard
When martin deeson finds himself in need of sustenance in Mayfair there is only one show in town. The court of King Richard Corrigan. All rise, please…
corrigan’s Mayfair a 28 Upper Grosvenor st, W1K 7eH t 020 7499 9943 W corriGansmayfair.com
of our furry friend’s favourite food and won over any squeamish rodent-based scepticism with a fine Burgundy pinot. Grilled mackerel, Yorkshire rhubarb and grated horseradish matched tart, heat and meat in a combination that any lover of this great and underrated fish will instantly recognise as a classic. Pan-roasted John Dory with artichoke custard complemented the most delicate artichoke flavour with the white fleshed fish and finally, for the mains, I plumped for the spring lamb from the Elwy valley. ’Er Indoors tackled one of Reggie Johnson’s famous ducks with that retro classic accompaniment, orange. The lamb was pink and succulent and tasted of fresh grass, the duck, firm and meaty with some tasty fat and a tang of marmalade. After, a feast of chocolate textures, coffee, and a cognac, the basket of madeleines that were brought to the table would have been like Mr Creosote’s “waffer-thin mint”. They were, however, delicious for breakfast… For those who seek the Masterchef experience, with a real master chef, the Kitchen Library room at Corrigan’s Mayfair is heaven’s new glass-walled waiting room. Tasting menu, £100 per person, available for the whole table only
PhotograPh by Jamie amer
There are private dining rooms. And then there are Corrigan’s Mayfair’s private dining rooms. Of course, any dining room within the walls of Richard Corrigan’s Mayfair palace to manly eating has an unfair advantage over every other dining room in the capital precisely because it is within my favourite restaurant in London. There has always been the Lindsay Room at Corrigan’s – a perfectly acceptable grand dining room that can seat 30 and is the perfect place for that many bods to assemble and feast upon the Irishman’s masterful cuisine. But now Crispin Odey’s favourite eaterie (see our interview in the forthcoming issue of our sister title HEDGE) has added two further strings to the Irish harp’s bow: the chef’s table seating eight to 12 just off the kitchen and the pièce de résistance, the small-but-perfectly formed Kitchen
Library, seating two to six guests at a small oval table, snuggled among shelves of books from Le Corrigan’s personal library, above the cosy-as-you-like, all-banquette seating. It was here that Lady Deeson and I acquiesced to being gastronomically massaged by the six-course tasting menu, complete with wine matching. First taste was an amuse bouche (make that seven courses) a deep-fried oyster with chorizo on the half-shell. My notebook says, simply, “Heaven has started.” And at that point I’d only had a glass of champagne… As we settled back in the banquette and examined the pass, which was immediately in front of us, a few feet on the other side of the glass sliding wall, “It’s like watching Masterchef,” said Lady D. Then came one of Corrigan’s famous blue-cheese doughnuts (another amuse bouche, so let’s make that eight courses). “It’ll stop you feeling sick later on,” said the maitre d’, with charming honesty about the marathon food fest we were only just embarking upon. At last, a real course arrived: white gazpacho with a Cornish crab toastie – clean, serene and the first taste of summer paired perfectly with the dry fruit of a German riesling. A ballotine of squirrel, with hazelnuts and golden raisins mixed the texture of goulash with a nutty terrine
Brasserie Joël a Park Plaza WEstmiNstEr BridgE, sE1 7ut t 020 7620 7272 W BrassEriEJoEl.Co.uk
When I am going to a decent restaurant, I have a secret weapon. I invite a beautiful dining companion. The staff assume you are either rich or famous if you bring quality ‘arm candy’. So you get excellent service. And when the restaurant in question is Joël Antunes’ fabulous Brasserie Joël at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge the ante is upped somewhat. Even the hard-to-please Giles Coren of the Times gave it 9/10. So, if my companion was ravishing, the views stunning, I’m pleased to report that the food completed the hat-trick. The clue is in the name. It’s a brasserie. What this means is not the usual nine courses of a mere mouthful with 30 mins between each as in France where they have four hours for lunch and get six months holiday a year. No, this is a pleasingly straightforward three-course offering. That said, there are 14 mouthwatering starters from which to choose. Might I plead the cause of the tuna tartare? With a wasabi dressing, it’s Japanese with French flair. Like a Honda Fireblade ridden by Audrey Tautou, say. And for my main, the aged beef tournedos rossini was, indeed, as aged as me (almost), meaning ludicrously rich and well-hung. (Not like me. Obv.) Afterwards, head straight to Primo next door. Best. Cocktail bar. Ever. But you’ll have to sort your own escort. We’re not a charity. – Eugene Costello
Coq d’Argent a No 1 Poultry, EC2r 8EJ t 020 7395 5000 W CoqdargENt.Co.uk
“I am not,” announces head chef Mickael Weiss, hands on hips, “getting the recognition I deserve.” A little brusque he may be but Weiss, of Coq d’Argent, has a point. He is producing, arguably, the finest food in the City, if not all of London, yet he says that he gets none of the attention of the Koffmans, Hartnetts, Locatellis or Corrigans of this world. Despite a visit from John Torode, Gregg Wallace and the Masterchef team recently, Weiss clearly wants to sing the virtues of his restaurant from the top of its very impressive rooftop. And with good reason. I hadn’t been here for years – for no particular reason other than that there is so much choice in London one forgets to go back. But that is remiss because as soon as I was standing, chilled champagne glass in hand, back on the terrace looking out over the lights of London below, I wondered why it had taken me so long. The food, too, was exquisite, again far better than I recalled. We opted for Weiss’s 10th Anniversary Tasting menu with
assorted wines by the glass to complement each course, and it was a feast. Starting with a beautifully pale pink lobster bisque, I knew instantly that the food was going to be outstanding. The subsequent five courses did not disappoint. From the delicious snails, made to Weiss’s specifications with an ingenious addition of sweet tomatoes which softened the otherwise all-too-often abrasive garlic butter, to the mackerel, the steamed stone bass, roast lamb and coq au vin – truly one of the best I have ever tasted both outside and, indeed, within France – the food, presentation, service and atmosphere were beyond compare. Accompanying each course was a different glass of wine (as well as one glass of sherry and port) and a great deal of thought and care had gone into matching them. Ones that stood out were the Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Entrefaux and the Chablis 1er Cru Monte de Tonnerre, Louis Michel. Coq d’Argent is no flashy newcomer out to prove itself – the food was proof enough of the exceptional standards expected and met within its walls. With the roof garden about to reopen, what more of an excuse do you need to visit a wonderful old friend? Added to which, Mickael will be so pleased… ■ – Deborah Collcutt
WHERE HOUSE YOUR VINTAGE?
Can the much-hyped 2010 bordeaux live up to expectations? ROBIN GUBBINS is sceptical – but makes a convincing argument for bonded warehouses
●● Some doubt that the wine-buying public has stamina for two ‘vintages of a lifetime’ back-to-back… 68 SQUAREMILE
the growth of the Asian market. Is wine a drink or a commodity to be traded? Increasingly, it can be viewed as an investment – the supply from the most sought-after chateaux is finite and demand is growing. So there is an inevitability that prices will continue to rise for as long as this imbalance remains. In 2010, says Liv0.365 Ex, an electronic exchange for the trading of wine-by-wine businesses, prices of the top 100 wines grew by just over 35%. Gains over previous years have generally been in double digits too. Furthermore, the Inland Revenue currently regards wine as a “wasting asset” and therefore there is potential to benefit from price increases exempt from Capital Gains Tax. Investors looking to get involved in the wine market should take care, though. Many wines have seen little or no appreciation in recent years. Expert advice is essential when it comes to sourcing the right wines at the right price so as not to be left with non-performing wines that may be difficult to sell in the future. Some wine investment schemes,
Wine criticism, you must understand, is a serious business. When faced with more than 150 different wines to review in just two hours, you can either pick carefully or drink quickly. It takes a skilled pro to manage both and still make any sense by the end. Something the newest member of our team, Matt Huckle, was soon to learn. In the name of education, we headed to the annual Laithwaites tasting at Altitude, Millbank Tower’s 29th-floor event space. Hosting a tasting in such an impressive venue – with a view that’s only matched by that at the Gherkin – is a bit of a cheat, really; before you’ve even tasted your first drop it’s already a heady experience. But we were not to be distracted (serious business, remember). Blinkers on, we headed straight to the tasting tables. It was an inauspicious start for the young Jedi. According to him, the punchy Gran Vale de Niebla Gewürztraminer 2010 (£7.99) tasted... “of grapes”. (Twat.) Things soon looked up, though, as a Peter Lehmann riesling (£16.99) was applauded for a “more even construction”. La Grace de Condrieu 2008 (£27) was considered “complex” with “a lot going on”. And a fantastic Felton Road pinot (£24) was praised for its “velvet texture”. In fact, by the time we left, I swear that he could have passed for a veteran. Either that, or it was just the drink talking… ■ 0845 194 7720; laithwaites.co.uk
such as Grand Cru Investments, offer you the ability to store the wines in your own name in a government-approved bonded warehouse. In this way, you retain title to your physically available wines and will not lose out if a negotiant in Bordeaux, a wine merchant, or a wine fund goes bust. Storage in recognised facilities is essential to guarantee the quality of the wine and ensure the best possible selling price. Will the 2010 vintage offer great returns? It is difficult to say at this point, but it seems likely that smart money will be looking at older vintages for better returns than those possible from what is likely to be a highly-priced one. ■ +41 79 236 1258; grandcruinvestments.co.uk
W I PN IEC KB OCRODRE RA EUCXT T A B F R O M P A S T E B O A R D
the press is full of reports of the latest vintage from Bordeaux. Over the next couple of months the 2010 vintage will be unveiled and marketed to thirsty punters. Many articles will discuss the pleasures, or otherwise, of drinking these wines and some will look at the investment potential. Some will question whether the wine-buying public has the stamina for two ‘vintages of a lifetime’ back-to-back and a few will explore the new supplyand-demand equation brought about by
IT’S THAT TIME of year again when
Swap SuitS for BootS Square Mile Magazine is supporting poverty relief charity CARE International this summer. We’ll be taking on two tough challenges and we’re looking for intrepid teams from across the City to take us on. Swap suits for boots for a worthwhile cause in one of CARE’s exhilarating challenges, testing your stamina, strength and fitness. Cover a marathon on foot, bike and canoe in the CARE Finance Challenge in scenic Exmoor. The challenge, on 25 June, is for teams of four from finance and banking. Take on a tough 24 hour endurance task in the CARE 3 Peaks Challenge supported by Square Mile. Scale the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales. This gruelling challenge for teams of four to six takes place from 10 -11 September. Come and join Square Mile on this event. We’ll also be taking on the CARE New Media Challenge on 3 September in Cannock Chase in Staffordshire. Hiking, biking and canoeing in beautiful surroundings- with bonus tasks and mental challenges. If you work in new media- and have three colleagues who are up to it- come and give it a go! aBout CarE CARE helps people in the poorest communities find lasting routes out of poverty. When disaster strikes, CARE provides both emergency relief and enduring support, meeting immediate needs fast then helping to rebuild lives, homes and communities for good.
carechallenge.org.uk/finance ● carechallenge.org.uk/newmediachallenge ● carechallenge.org.uk/3peaks ● email@example.com ● 0207 934 9470 Charity Registration Number: 292506
When it comes to BMW’s new 6-series, JON HAWKINS says you have got to go for the drop-top: it’s an open-and-shut case...
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ALONG WITH DANCING and golf, organisation isn’t really one of my strong suits. But even for me, getting BMW’s new 640i convertible on test on the same weekend that I needed to drive my girlfriend, my bike, bundles of kit and a BBQ to the New Forest for a triathlon was staggeringly short-sighted. It could only have been worse were I taking delivery of a scooter or, God forbid, a G-Wiz. But a quick visit to BMW’s website, and the situation was looking up: the new 6-series is 74mm longer and 39mm wider (though 9mm lower) than its predecessor, and the boot has an impressive capacity of 350 litres with the hood up (300 litres when down). I’d never really thought about my bike in terms of volume, and squaremile.com
after a rough calculation in my head involving dismantled bits of frame and wheel and several hundred bottles of Ribena (the closest reference point I had for any kind of litreage) I was none the wiser. Clearly, I was just going to have to stuff it all in and hope for the best. I needn’t have worried – the 640i swallowed us and all our clobber whole, with room to spare. It’s no Tardis – at 11cm shy of 5m long and just under 3m wide it’s undeniably a big car – but it’s roomier than you’d expect from a 2+2 convertible with a substantial folding roof. Unusually, BMW launched the new 6-series in convertible form first (the coupé followed soon after) and it’s not hard to see why. Not only is the 2011
model a more handsome car than its predecessor (its sleepy eyes and bizarre protruding rump were always Marmite features), but the drop-top is the looker of the new pair, hood up or down. The roof’s chrome trim and rear ‘fins’ are ▶
MAKE MODEL ENGINE POWER TORQUE 0-60MPH TOP SPEED PRICE
BMW 640i SE Convertible 3.0 ltr straight-six 316bhp @ 5,800rpm 450nm @ 1,300rpm 5.7 sec 155mph (limited) £76,595
TWIST AND SHOUT: Tight handling and a throaty engine, the new BMW 6-seres is a classic grand tourer
●● Were the 640i to choose its purpose in life it would be a grand tourer, whisking you to the South of France 72 squAreMile
myself with the 640i’s armoury of other talents. The large, spacious cabin and cosseting ride make the big convertible a very pleasant place to be holed up for a couple of hours – swathes of leather and brushed metal look modern and feel appropriately luxurious, while BMW’s now-brilliant iDrive console (housing the navigational gubbins, multimedia and BMW support services) sits in the centre of the dash, angled towards the driver. And, for the first time in a 6, a headup display, which projects information (including speed, navigation instructions and the speed limit) onto the windscreen in front of the driver, is available as an option. Like smartphones and ATMs, you’ll wonder how you ever coped without. There’s room in the back, too – more than before thanks to that extra length and width – though only your kids (or tiniest friends) will thank you for putting them there; it’s undeniably a 2+2. Still, if they complain, remind them of the generous capacity of that boot. The one thing the 640i doesn’t have is a 4.4-litre V8 engine – that’s in its big brother, the 650i – though you’re not likely to miss it too much. The turbo-charged 3.0-litre straight-six in the 640i provides plenty of grunt throughout the rev range (peak torque of 450nm comes between 1,300 and 4,500rmp) and hauls the car from 0-62mph in a very respectable 5.7
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▶ apparently inspired by the deck of a speedboat, and the overall effect provides as convincing an argument as you’ll find for rag-top over folding hard-top. And on the move, hood up, there’s little on the inside to suggest you don’t have a metal roof over your head – a fraction of extra wind noise on the motorway, perhaps, and a letterbox of a rear window that makes the optional reversing camera near essential. And while I’m at it, the camera emerges James Bond-style from underneath the BMW badge on the boot when you select reverse; there’s fun to be had in shooting pedestrians a menacing glance before you start backing out, and watching them freak out as the badge starts to rotate. Needless to say, I didn’t do this. No sir. I was too busy shepherding my precious cargo down the M3 and acquainting
seconds, with a soundtrack to match. But where the six-pot really trumps the V8 is at the petrol pumps – combined cycle fuel consumption is 35.8mpg compared with 26.4mpg for the bigger engine. To unlock the 640i’s full potential you’ll need to tick the box marked ‘Adaptive Drive’, which allows you to select from a range of performance settings. ‘Comfort’ does what you’d expect it to while ‘Sport+’ weights-up the steering, sharpens throttle response and limits intervention by the car’s stability control systems. It also eradicates body roll to a pretty remarkable degree, so even if the styling echoes that of a boat the handling doesn’t – the BMW’s far more capable in the twisty stuff than a car of its size has any right to be. Even so, you sense that were the 640i to choose its own purpose in life it would be as a grand tourer, whisking its occupants to the South of France with the hood down under a blazing sun, rather than soaking up the bumps of English country roads. Or, for that matter, lugging some idiot’s clobber around Hampshire. But you know what? I wouldn’t have swapped the 6-series for anything else that weekend. As happy accidents go, this was as good as they come – if you ever see a G-Wiz with a bike and a BBQ sticking out the window you’ll know I wasn’t so lucky next time around. ■ bmw.co.uk
Client entertainment days on Englandâ€™s finest chalk streams
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World class fly fishing for brown trout Idyllic locations on private country estates Fabulous riverside lunches Premium equipment provided Professional instruction from our qualified team Unforgettable experiences
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Travel TeNerIFe 74 squAreMile
best resort in the world?
Probably... Carlsberg don’t do luxury resorts. But if they did, says EugEnE costEllo’s daughter Evie, it would deffers be the fab Abama in Tenerife… “DaDa,” saiD my five-year-old daughter, Evie, as we drove our private golf buggy to the swimming pool. “This is the best place in the whole world.” (Just so you know, like, she is well positioned to make such pronouncements. In her short life, thanks to my demanding job, she has stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park, Villa Padierna near Marbella, and the fabulous Penha Longa resort in Sintra, to name but a few of our square mile excursions.) It won’t have hurt that we were met at Tenerife airport by a uniformed chauffeur with a placard saying ‘Señor Costello’. “Look, Dada, he’s got the same name as us…” And when he led us out to a stretch limo, she was in heaven: air-con on; TV on; chilled water from the minibar. I resisted the temptation to have a sharpener; I am a responsible parent. (My ex-wife could be reading this, although she was with us at the time, now I think about it.) But if the journey rocked, the destination was out of this world. As you approach, the enormous Abama complex rises up like a terracotta Bhutan fortress city. (Not that I’ve been to Bhutan. But it’s bound to be something like that. I watched that Michael Palin-thingummy.) It is like the eighth wonder of the world. Shangri-la, Atlantis or some other mythical city. The superlatives tumble out like unpaired socks from my tumble drier. It has 471 rooms and suites, of which 145 are villas, housed separately from the main complex in neat avenues, each row with its own private pool. One grouping is for adults-only, including an adults-only pool. This is one of two out of seven pools, alongside two natural seawater pools.
We were staying in one of the villas behind the complex, and were given a converted golf buggy to get around – such is the scale of the place. It occupies a huge swathe of cliff-top land overlooking the mill-pond waters of the Atlantic – though you’d be forgiven for thinking it were the Aegean – and has a road down to a natural bay with private sandy beach and the Beach Club grill bar and restaurant. This enormous and beautifully maintained estate holds the distinction of being the greatest single leisure investment in the history of Spain, the Armada and Alhambra not technically counting as leisure. And, curiously, it is run by the same company that owns Spain’s national paper of repute, El Pais. A curious mix, journalism and ludicrously lavish five-star leisure complexes. Unless we’re talking about me, of course, in which case it’s a perfect fit. The newspaper magnate is, however, wise enough to leave the running of this vast empire to the admirable Ritz-Carlton group. Which means tip-top service at every level – to quote the late, great Cheers, “You wanna be where everybody knows your name. Da-da-da-da-dum-dum…” ▶
●● it’s like shangrila or atlantis. the superlatives tumble out like unpaired socks from my tumble drier... SquareMile 75
●● It was full of men with impeccable accents and trophy wives with hair like sleek, groomed Afghan hounds... 76 squAreMile
you wood, wooden you: The wonderful wood-and-thatch Mirador is an essential stop
features freshly caught fish and lobster, plus a variety of meats, and a great selection of salads. Ask the waiter to recommend a local Tenerifean dry white wine – you’ll be pleasantly impressed. Crisp, citric, with good minerality – and those from Lanzarote are equally good. And, for a real treat, El Mirador is at the cliff top, with breathtaking views across the balmy sea to La Gomera, the neighbouring island. It’s a woodenbeamed, thatched affair that could as easily be in Bali as Tenerife. Very reasonably priced by UK standards, dishes feature locally caught fish given the gourmet treatment, and the gardens and terraces make the perfect place to while away an afternoon. In the evening, the world really is your oyster. But to give you an idea of the variety on offer, I’ll pick two examples. The fabulous MB is the signature restaurant of Basque chef Martín Berasategui (try saying that after a couple of pints). I arranged to meet my ex-wife in the lobby bar for cocktails while she took Evie off to Club Abami for the
evening – a quick note on this fabulous service. She dropped Evie off to be taken to a live snake-handling show at 8pm. We collected her just before midnight and she was still wide awake, face painted, on her hands and knees doing colouring-in, and eyes shining from having had “the best evening”. As for our evening, what can I tell you? My companion looked stunning, even if I didn’t; the setting was out of this world; the food incredible. And my final tip for dining out? You might be surrounded by five-star luxury – but you don’t have to pay fivestar prices every night. The Wine Bar is in the main complex, and inside is a tile-and-terracotta-style Spanish tapas bar. With dishes around €6 each and the house wine from €12, I defy you to find a cheaper tapas dinner in, say, Walthamstow or Kensal Rise. The final compliment I can pay this wonderful ruby in the dust of Tenerife (I don’t mean to denigrate ’Rife, simply to contrast Abama’s verdant beauty with the arid surroundings) is to tell you what happened when we were due to leave. Our limo arrived while we were still splashing around in the pool, so I left in my swim shorts, T-shirt and flip-flops, with a vague plan to get changed on the plane. Needless to say, I didn’t. After landing on a cold, foggy night in London, I looked pretty, pretty cool on the last Friday night Victoria line train – the ‘Beer Express’ as we like to call it. Nothing like being heckled by drunk people to really make you feel you’re back in Blighty. Evie and my ex-wife chose to sit in the next carriage. Obviously. The transition from paradise to pariah in one fell swoop, it seems, had been too much for them. Abama, come back. We miss you… ■ Travelbeam is offering an unlimited golf package to play the 18-hole Abama championship course, staying in the exclusive adult-only Tagor’ Villas that have magnificent views over the ocean and include butler service, VIP airport lounge access and a complimentary golf buggy to freely get around the resort. Prices for five nights in a Tagor’ Villas Suite start from £1,499pp, based on two adults sharing during July, including breakfast, flights and private limo transfers. Saving up to £675 per person. (Three-, five- and seven-night packages run until 30 Sept 2011). 0845 845 0145; travelbeam.co.uk
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▶ So – where to begin? Well, the suites themselves are as good as you’ll find anywhere in this bracket of resort. What this means is: four-poster beds; enormous his’n’hers bathrooms with all the toppings; high-thread count beds and sheets; generous balconies and terraces; plenty of living-room space if – for some reason best known to yourself – you want to spend any extended amount of time in your room. Which you won’t... In the daytime, whether you are travelling with kids or not, you’ll no doubt want to spend time splashing around either in the pool behind your villa or the main pool by the complex. The week we were there was half-term for private schools in the UK and it seemed le tout Londres hedge-fund industry was there. What this meant was men with impeccable accents and trophy wives with hair like sleek, groomed Afghan hounds at Crufts, and impossibly wellbehaved children called Tarquin and Arabella who were like miniature adults. So you can imagine how proud I felt when Evie shouted from the other side of the pool with her east London twang: “Hey, Dada! You’re the only person here with a tattoo!” And as I flushed even redder than was already the case with my sun-kissed (did I mention the weather?) Celtic complexion, she slipped in the stiletto. “And you’ve got the biggest tummy!” Thanks, darling… As for eating, for lunch my two top picks (you’ll need guidance, by the way – there are 13 bars and restaurants on-site) are the aforementioned Beach Club beside a natural sandy private bay. Created from decking that seems to grow out of the very rocks, it offers a grill that
Luxury hotel suites for those who seek the best
Imperial Penthouse Suite, ABAMA Golf & Spa Resort, Tenerife
• Contemporary Destinations • Bespoke Travel Advice • Competitive Pricing
Established for 20 years, Travelbeam Luxury Hotels is a specialist tour operator and we know our hotels inside-out. Call us for first hand honest advice on the finest hotels and resorts in Europe, North Africa and the Maldives. We promise to give you the specialist advice and personal service that you deserve.
Call us on 0845 845 0145 www.travelbeam.co.uk/squaremile email@example.com
IT’S A rIghT lITTle goA
Top 25 Best Beach Villas in the World... Top Ten Places to Stay in India... Martin Deeson says the critics are right: Coco Shambhala is a Goan treasure
Coco Shambhala, Coco Beach, Nerul, Bardez, Goa, India. Weekly rates from £1,772 to £3,971 per villa, per week depending on season and exchange rate. A further 30% reduction is available during monsoon season. cocoshambhala.com
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‘heaven is a place called Goa, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens’ (to paraphrase the Talking Heads – a popular 1980s beat combo). It’s also not entirely accurate because a lot can happen in Goa: you can, if you wish, go raving; you can check out the freaks at the Night Market; or you can race mopeds at speed along roads framed by palm trees. However, if you want nothing to happen, if you want to lie very still on a chaise longue and zone out as your eyes wander over a view made up almost entirely of jungle canopy, then Coco Shambhala is undoubtedly the place for you: a collection of four striking villas, each offering a masterclass in how architecture can work in a tropical setting to provide cool breezes, stunning views and indoor/outdoor spaces that somehow give you the illusion of floating above the magical lush gardens below. Coco Shambhala is the lovechild of a young English couple who seem to have made something that everyone who visits knows is one of the most special places in the world. Conde Nast Traveller listed Coco Shambhala in its ‘25 Best Beach Villas in the World’ and hotel guru Alistair Sawday logs it in his ‘Top Ten Places to Stay in India’. The cost of staying includes the use of a driver for ten hours a day so you can explore the restaurants and beaches of this magical state, but really, why bother? The chef at Coco Shambhala is among the best I have come across in India, using local ingredients in an internationally influenced way, the spa provides a spectacularly muscular massage and a day spent lounging here is to learn what paradise is all about. ■
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carnIVaL atMosPhere Brazil is on a winning streak – the prosperity of Lula’s era continues with his successor, harvests are plentiful and there’s a FIFA feel-good factor in the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup. It’s time to buy...
ProPerty Brazil SPecial
Go nuts about brazil
Foreign investment in Brazil in January was three times what had been predicted. bernadette costello on why Brazil offers investors more than a FIFA feelgood factor ‘lucky lula’ left Brazil in good shape when he handed over the reins to the country’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, in January this year. ‘Lucky’ because he inherited a healthy economy from predecessor Fernando Cardoso, Lula is partly credited with helping the country to become the world’s fifth largest economy over the next decade. Brazil’s turnaround since the mid1990s has been impressive and analysts
don’t see a return to its high-inflation days any time soon. The country is not without its critics, of course, who say the government is overspending in socioeconomic areas and capital inflow is putting pressure on its currency. But for now, there is no sign of the BRIC economy falling out of favour. Bloomberg reported that foreign direct investment in January 2011 was $15.4bn – three times more than predicted.
With anticipated oil expansion, growth in Brazil’s biofuel and tourism markets, and a bountiful agricultural market whose farmers sometimes see a staggering three harvests a year, it has set speculators’ pulses racing the world over. And none more so than those eyeing up property. Vehicles offered by UK firms include freehold land, direct property investment in social and mid-priced housing, as well as “hassle-free” property funds.
Invest in Brazil is the developer behind Tambaba – one of the first luxury resorts being built in northeast Brazil in time for the FIFA World Cup in 2014. The firm’s Richard Cash says: “The government’s $800bn infrastructure
●● If bricks and mortar is your thing Lula has left a housing legacy that millions of Brazilians could benefit from… squaremile.com
development programme will see the development of roads, cities, housing, stadiums and airports. This legacy will allow Brazil’s powerhouse economy to continue to evolve in the next decade.” But, he warns, if you want an easy exit strategy from Brazil’s flourishing economy it’s “critical” to enter it correctly. “The right partner ensures that money is correctly registered in Brazil and that investors’ rights are secured. The right partner can also accelerate your plans as things can take longer than you think.” Tower Hill-based Property Frontiers says Brazil’s growing middle classes make the perfect end-buyer or tenant of two- and three-bed apartments at Edificio Dr Geraldo Furtado in prosperous Natal, with prices starting at £58k. With mortgage finance rapidly becoming available there has never been a better time to invest into Brazilian real estate, says director Ray Withers. Liquid Asset Property has offices in the UK and Fortaleza, and sells property and freehold land in the state of Ceará. Managing partner Anthony Archer warns of taxes that foreign investors could encounter with off-plan property – visit the-liquid.com for a helpful tax guide. The property specialist is also one of the first to market freehold land investment for the planting of coconut trees for biofuel: “More than 80% of the coconut farms in Brazil are less than ten hectares in size,” he says, “which means that corporations have to deal with many small farms to source their coconuts, giving the market much potential.” But if bricks and mortar is your preferred access into Brazilian real estate Lula has left a housing legacy that millions of Brazilians could benefit from. The former president is widely recognised for reducing the number of Brazilian poor, down from 30.4 million in 2003 to 17 million in 2010, and for growing the country’s middle class to nearly 100 million in 2010. But houses are needed for both these markets. All eyes are now on President Rousseff, elected from Lula’s Working Party, to continue his social housing initiative, Minha Casa Minha Vida. The plan is for three million low-cost
Real MiRadoR, Natal two-bed pRopeRties fRoM £40,000
Crowned Small Agent of the Year at the Association of International Property Professional awards, SPC Overseas has a clear exit strategy for its newest project launch. The plan for Real Mirador – a residential development of twoand three-bedroom apartments in a popular area of Natal – is to sell to young local couples and families. Located next to affluent housing and amenities, it will house 112 residences in three 18-storey buildings. SPC director Anthony Fernandes says the developer has a successful track record in selling projects out fast and predicts 15%-18% capital appreciation over two to three years. He adds: “With starting prices from £40,000, Real Mirador offers the best value development in the area by far.” 0844 598 2929; spc-overseas.com
residences to be built across Brazil by 2014 – most European investment in this sector is in north-east Brazil in the states of Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte. A key property developer in Brazil, Felipe Cavalcante, president of ADIT, which hosts Brazil’s annual international property investment conference, says this is one of the most challenging areas to make money, so finding the right partner with a good track record and contacts is key to your success. ▶ SquareMile 87
ProJeCT, fazenda lagoa grande, Ceará
Tambaba CounTry Club resorT, Joao Pessoa land PloTs from £37,225
freehold land invesTmenTs from £20,000
ProPerty Brazil SPecial
Health-obsessed celebs like Madonna and Rihanna have pushed up world demand for coconut water, says Anthony Archer, managing partner of Liquid Asset Group. The Material Girl has invested about $1.5m in a US firm that sells the juice of green coconuts to supermarkets. So if you fancy splashing some cash on coconuts, LAG is offering freehold land investment opportunities to suit the low entry-level investor. A 220-hectare farm will be the first of its kind to allow foreign individuals to purchase land for the planting of coconut trees. The land will then be farmed to deliver a harvest yield for the owners – the farming company receives 30% of revenue and more land is currently being sought to fill demand. 020 3318 2007; the-liquid.com
▶ Anthony Fernandes, director of awardwinning small agency SPC Overseas, has sold a range of property to suit the local market – from social to mid-priced housing, as well as property funds – for
●● For those seeking resort property, then the message is beware of waterfront taxes, or ‘navy lands’ squaremile.com
Twenty minutes south of the historic city of Joao Pessoa in Paraiba, the Tambaba Country Club Resort is promising to be a 150-hectare tropical paradise. Running to both budget and schedule, the award-winning developer Invest in Brazil has already sold around 250 land plots to Brazilians. Tambaba will be a mixed-use tourist and residential condominium, with 30 hectares of leisure activities and facilities, and 15 hectares of tropical forest. The masterplan is based on the concept of European Center Parcs, located near two natural spring-fed rivers and just five minutes from four outstanding beaches.
several years. He claims that the social housing marketing is booming and worth considering as an investment opportunity. “There are a number of ways to invest – direct investment, via a fund investing in a specific development or in a portfolio of developments,” Fernandes points out. “For larger private investors there are highly profitable joint venture opportunities with developers in social and local housing.” He stresses that the key is for investors to talk to a broker who does not have a fixed agenda and is able to talk through all the options. For those seeking resort property, then the message is beware of waterfront taxes, or ‘navy lands’ too close to tidal
Activities, and there are many of these, include an aquatic park, three restaurants, spa, full-size football pitch, beach volleyball, tennis courts and the all-essential swim-up bar. A number of exit strategies are in place for investors, according to preferred agent Experience International, such as: buy a plot now, hold until World Cup 2014 and receive 10% net yield. Then sell to the open market in 2014 when resort facilities will be completed. For a limited period, Experience is now offering square mile readers an exclusive offer of 7% net return for four years with a guaranteed buy-back option at year five. 020 7321 5858; experience-international.co.uk
waters. Anthony Archer from Liquid Asset Property has himself lived in Fortaleza for the past two years and has clued himself up on the many legalities of Brazilian property. Meanwhile, Invest in Brazil’s Richard Cash says: “Land with planning and licences under construction makes for an excellent investment as these developments typically take years until completion in Brazil. And an added attraction is that middle-class demand for housing is more than twice the size of the low-income sector and the AB category in Brazil. “These investments are the ones that will have the greatest sustainability in the mid-term for strong growth.” ■
A football academy, a luxury resort and a social conscience: welcome to White Sands Country Club
Lee Sharpe is to set up a football academy in the northeast city of Natal, where the Arena das Dunas will host some of Brazil’s FIFA World Cup games in 2014. Sharpe plans to help local Brazilians who currently play grassroots football. The charity-focussed celeb wants to nurture their skills in the high-tech facilities of a luxury resort to be built near Genipabu beach by Green Planet Investment. The Lee Sharpe Academy will be one of the signature features of the White Sands Country Club, which will also offer its facilities to guests and international football teams looking
●● In brazil, football plays an integral part to society in bringing together communities... 90 SquareMile
for warm weather training conditions. “From the start, GPI have shared in my hopes for the academy,” says Sharpe. “They understand the importance of football in Brazil and the plans they have for the academy are incredible. It will be an amazing space for White Sand’s guests as well as the people of Natal. “Throughout my career I have been aware of the importance of offering back to the community. In Brazil, football plays an integral part to society in the bringing together of communities. “At The Lee Sharpe Football Academy our facilities will be made available to local schools and sports clubs, so that the cutting edge resources can be utilised and something given back to the people of Brazil. The Academy has the potential to develop and nurture local talent and be used as a gateway for players to realise their dreams as professionals.” White Sands Country Club will be situated 20 minutes from the Greater Natal International Airport – due to open before the 2014 World Cup. Developer Green Planet Investment says planning permission has been
020 3411 7501; greenplanetinvestment.com
FOR GOODNESS SAKE: Already a committed philanthropist, Sharpe’s latest work will benefit Brazil
ProPerty Brazil SPecial
Former england Footballer
secured for 264 residential homes and plots are available from £12,500. Completed villas will range in size from 360 sq m to 515 sq m and are set to cost from £120,000-£250,000. GPI managing director Brett Jolly, whose property background is in South Africa and Spain, has selected a young team of South African architects at Bomax to design the five-star contemporary resort. As well as the Lee Sharpe Football Academy, which is due for completion with the rest of the White Sands Country Club in Q3 of 2013, sports facilities will include tennis, mini-golf and equestrian centre. A luxury spa, pool, Jacuzzi and sauna will help guests to unwind too. A rental scheme will be put in place for guests and a finance scheme is available at 60% loan to value with interest at 6%pa. [Remember, investors of all overseas property investments are advised to seek expert independent legal and tax advice before entering any transaction.] Guests can also enjoy cocktails and drinks in Sharpey’s Bar, which will pay homage to the popular English football idol. The Lee Sharpe Academy will offer both professional teams and guests the opportunity to train with qualified and renowned football coaches. Sharpe explains: “White Sands Resorts have put together a fantastic proposal that shared in my visions for nurturing football talent and enabling people throughout the world to enjoy a game that has brought me so much happiness, in the perfect surrounds of a beautiful country.”
interview AstOn ChAse
Our frienD in the nOrth
The sumptuous homes of NW1 are sold by just a handful of discreet estate agents regarded more like elder statesmen by their super-rich clients – Bernadette Costello meets the don of Regent’s Park He sells “property porn” and
●● they all expect a private screening room with cocktail bar, and underfloor heating is very important to some 94 SquareMile
“Clients want the pool, the gym, sauna and massage room. They all expect a private screening room with a cocktail bar, and under-floor heating is really important to some too. “Then there are personal requirements from high net worth buyers from the US looking for property close to the American School for their kids, or a separate mews house for the housekeeper, space for yoga and pilates, and of course a wine cellar.” But enough of their requirements. Pollack says he’s had 25 years of selling “property porn” and I want him to show me what I’m missing out on. On the market is a bedazzling £40m home on Avenue Road – regarded as the Bishops Avenue of St John’s Wood, a £30m plush mansion in Hamilton Terrace that screams Hollywood glamour and a “well-appointed” £17m family home in The Nash Terraces. Aston Chase has also sold more than 75% of The Henson – the former Muppet Factory converted to stunning canal-side apartments by Londonewcastle – with prices from around £400k. What’s indicative of Pollack’s status in super-prime London is his sound market knowledge and experience in negotiating luxury real estate in the fashionable NW1 postcode over the past 25 years. In the 1980s, Pollack tells me, it was mostly Middle Eastern oil barons who’d call at short notice to be picked up from the Dorchester for a viewing. Then, during the political turmoil of the 1990s, a lot of South Africans came searching in London, he says.
ProPerty Aston ChAse
the square footage around it in London’s most fashionable streets of Regent’s Park and St John’s Wood. And with residents on his patch from the worlds of entertainment, oil, banking, government and “the Primrose Hill set”, it’s little wonder that Mark Pollack is in the top ten list of estate agents you’d actually want to invite to dinner. Everyone would like to know who his clients are and what they own but the cofounder of Aston Chase won’t tell. OK, he sold Michael Flatley and Liam Gallagher their plush pads but that was back in 1998. And his friends certainly don’t let all that glitz and glamour go to his head. “When I hold my poker nights,” says Pollack, who runs fund-raising card nights for local charities, “a friend of mine jokes: ‘So Mark, what did you do today – walk around a few houses saying ‘this is the kitchen and this is the bathroom?’” Pollack laughs: “I tell him it’s not quite like that!” And, as he whirrs the Porsche into gear and starts my tour of his ’hood, I find that it’s not quite like that at all.
These days, Pollack finds that St John’s Wood and Regent’s Park have become especially popular with Europeans, Eastern Europeans and Russians who’ll pay asking prices of up to £60m-£70m: “Even at this price they want to see they’re getting value for money”, he says. “And when you get an endorsement or referral from one of these clients that means so much,” adds Pollack. “We pride ourselves on giving a very personal service and we’re accustomed to dealing with high net worth individuals. “I guess a few of us have been around doing this so long now that really we’re sort of seen as the elder statesmen of property around these parts.” ■ 020 7724 4724; astonchase.co.uk
ProPerty St george
School iS in SeSSion...
You may not have liked school, but you will love Camberwell Grove – a 19th century school conversion by London’s leading property developer, St George
The marketing suite is open from Thursday to Monday. 020 7708 5829, camberwell-grove.com ■
MAIN PHOTO: Computer enhanced photo; INTERIORS: Interior photography of Camberwell Grove Townhouse
Set among mature gardens and surrounded by stately iron railings, the beautiful original Victorian front of the current apartment building, Ruskin House, and period-style façade of the row of townhouses are a sharp contrast to the modern, design-led interiors of the homes. Apartment owners enjoy custom designed state-of-the-art kitchens with stone or composite worktops, modern bathrooms and sophisticated living areas benefitting from specialist lighting, underfloor heating and pre-wiring for an audio sound system.
ProPerty St GeorGe
Situated iN oNe of the capital’s most attractive conservation areas and on what is arguably one of southeast London’s most prestigious residential streets, the Camberwell Grove scheme has attracted a great deal of interest from purchasers keen to buy themselves their very own slice of Camberwell. Mark Griffiths, Managing Director of St George South London said: “It was important that the Camberwell Grove scheme retained the distinctive character of the original buildings and respected the conservation area in which it stands. This has been achieved and it has proved very popular with a surprising range of buyers, most looking for a high quality and stylish home in a vibrant yet tranquil part of the capital with good transport connections into central London.” With many of the first phase properties already sold, the Camberwell Grove development will ultimately provide 90 highly specified apartments and townhouses on the site of the former Mary Datchelor School, one of the finest girls’ schools of the 19th century.
Those in the elegant two-, threeand four-bedroom townhouses enjoy the same high specification but with the added benefit of gas fires, integrated coffee machines and wine coolers. Many of the townhouses also feature walled courtyard gardens, conservatories and private individual garage spaces below the properties. Camberwell Grove is superbly connected to central London and the City, enjoying a wide selection of transport links: nearby Denmark Hill station provides regular fast-train journeys into Victoria (five minutes), London Bridge (15 minutes) and Blackfriars (11 minutes), and Peckham Rye and Loughborough Junction stations are also both close. St George has released a selection of townhouses and refurbished Ruskin House apartments. Prices range from £419,950 for a two-bedroom apartment up to £1.75M for a four-bedroom townhouse.
●● the development is on the site of the Mary datchelor School – one of the finest girls’ schools of the 19th century squaremile.com
SH N N SOHSO ENW O HO N W O W N WHWENWE O WO OH W WO M HM PE O E O PNE O E PNE M N E Computer generated image of Camberwell Grove Computer generated image of Camberwell Grove Computer generated image of Camberwell Grove
Contemporary two and three bedroom apartments situated Contemporary two and three bedroom apartments situated Contemporary and three bedroom situated on one of thetwo most elegant Georgianapartments terraces in London. on one of the most elegant Georgian terraces in London. on one of the most elegant Georgian terraces in London.
• Stylish, modern specifications provide a choice to kitchens • Stylish, modern specifications provide a choice to kitchens andmodern bathrooms. • Stylish, specifications provide a choice to kitchens and bathrooms. and bathrooms. • Set within beautiful landscaping and mature gardens. • Set within beautiful landscaping and mature gardens. * • Set within beautiful landscaping and mature underground gardens. . • Remotely monitored CCTV and resident’s car parking * . • Remotely monitored CCTV and resident’s underground car parking • Remotely monitored resident’s underground car parking *. • Close proximity toCCTV King’sand College Hospital and East Dulwich • Close proximity to King’s College Hospital and East Dulwich for proximity shops, dining and bars. • Close to King’s College Hospital and East Dulwich for shops, dining and bars. for shops, dining and bars.
Salesand andMarketing MarketingSuite Suite Sales Sales and Marketing Suite open daily 10am- -6pm 6pm open daily 10am open daily 10am - 6pm
† All travel times are approximate. Source: www.tfl.gov.uk. *Available at additional cost. **Prices correct at time of going to print. † All travel times are approximate. Source: www.tfl.gov.uk. *Available at additional cost. **Prices correct at time of going to print. † All travel times are approximate. Source: www.tfl.gov.uk. *Available at additional cost. **Prices correct at time of going to print.
£419,950 £419,950 £419,950 £849,950-£849,950 £849,950 £1,750,000 £1,750,000 £1,750,000
4 bedroom townhouses available 4 from: bedroom townhouses available 4 from: bedroom townhouses available from:
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Working with clients in Africa who hail from Europe. Easy. Designing and building their dream home in the US. No problem. Where to put the letterbox. Hmmm, tricky.
Not Not that that we we had had aa huge huge issue issue ﬁnding ﬁnding the the right right spot spot for for the the mailman’s mailman’s offerings. offerings. But But it’s it’s aa good good example example of of our our attention attention to to detail. detail. Especially Especially for for aa project project of of this this international international scale. scale. You You see, see, we we were were commissioned commissioned to to design design and and build build aa home home that that had had itit all. all. Quite Quite literally. literally. In In terms terms of of style, style, itit had had to to be be timeless timeless yet yet future-proof. future-proof. It It had had to to bring bring back back happy happy childhood childhood memories memories of of our our client’s client’s time time at at an an English English boarding boarding school. school. And And yet yet itit still still had had to to be be an an intimate intimate family family home. home. You’ll You’ll understand understand why why this this wasn’t wasn’t so so easy easy when when you you consider consider some some of of the the brief’s brief’s more more unusual unusual elements. elements. A A south-facing south-facing orangery. orangery. A A secret secret staircase staircase leading leading to to aa whisky whisky cellar. cellar. A A leisure leisure complex complex with with aa Turkish Turkish hammãm hammãm and and pool. pool. A A picture picture gallery gallery for for their their collection collection of of contemporary contemporary art art that that connects connects aa dining dining room, room, aa library library and and aa ballroom. ballroom. Oh, Oh, and and aa chapel chapel in in the the grounds. grounds. As As you you can can imagine, imagine, itit took took some some careful careful consideration. consideration. Then Then we we hit hit upon upon how how to to connect connect these these disparate disparate rooms rooms and and still still create create an an intimate intimate family family home: home: an an internal internal courtyard. courtyard. We We designed designed the the house house as as four four separate separate wings. wings. Then Then we we tied tied them them together together to to create create aa magniﬁcent magniﬁcent central central quadrangle. quadrangle. We We achieved achieved all all this this with with the the minimum minimum of of fuss. fuss. You You may may be be wondering wondering how. how. Well, Well, it’s it’s projects projects like like this this where where our our RESIDENCE RESIDENCE service service comes comes into into its its own. own. Established Established two two decades decades ago, ago, itit combines combines architecture, architecture, interior interior design, design, building building and and project project management. management. We We can can even even help help you you ﬁnd ﬁnd and and ﬁnance ﬁnance aa property property to to refurbish refurbish or or the the perfect perfect plot plot to to build build on. on. Providing Providing all all these these disciplines disciplines allows allows us us to to seamlessly seamlessly fulﬁl fulﬁl the the most most demanding demanding briefs. briefs. PS. PS. Still Still wondering wondering about about the the mailman? mailman? Well, Well, we we saved saved him him aa long long (You see, walk walk by by placing placing the the letterbox letterbox at at the the gatehouse. gatehouse.(You see, we we do do like like to to be be thoughtful thoughtful as as well well as as creative.) creative.)
C CR REEAT ATIIN NG G EEXC XCEEPPTTIIO ON NAALL H HO OM MEESS FFO OR R EEXC XCEEPPTTIIO ON NAALL PPEEO OPPLLEE (0)20 7349 LONDON LONDON ++44 44 (0)20 7349 8888 8888 (495) 663 MOSCOW MOSCOW ++77 (495) 663 8085 8085 (0)161 929 CHESHIRE CHESHIRE ++44 44 (0)161 929 5566 5566 INFO@JANINESTONE.COM INFO@JANINESTONE.COM WWW.JANINESTONE.COM WWW.JANINESTONE.COM
A FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE A SUPERBLY PRESENTED LOW BUILT FAMILY HOME (189 SQ M/2,027 SQ FT) LOCATED ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THIS POPULAR TREE LINED
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2 CARS. THE HOUSE
WHICH HAS BEEN COMPREHENSIVELY REFURBISHED AND INTERIOR DESIGNED THROUGHOUT TO PROVIDE LIGHT AND SPACIOUS WELL PLANNED ACCOMMODATION FEATURES EXCELLENT GROUND FLOOR ENTERTAINING AREAS AND IS READY FOR IMMEDIATE OCCUPATION.
Carlton Hill is enviably located within close proximity to the American School in London and all of the amenities of St John’s Wood High Street and St John’s Wood Underground Station (Jubilee Line).
ST JOHN’S WOOD � LONDON � NW8 ACCOMMODATION & AMENITIES Principal Bedroom with En-Suite Shower Room, 3 Further Bedrooms, Family Bathroom, Reception Room, Kitchen/Dining Room, Gymnasium/Playroom, Guest Cloakroom, Utility Room, Under Floor Heating, Air Conditioning, Bang & Olufsen Sound System, Landscaped 100ft Rear Garden, Garden Studio, Gated Off Street Parking for 2 Cars
£3,250,000 SOLE AGENT
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no room is without possibilities. no room is without potential. no limits in BoConcept. No matter your home, we can help you ﬁnd the exact right piece that is customised to your needs, taste and budget. Visit BoConcept on Tottenham Court Road and check out the latest designs in furniture and accessories.
BoConcept TCR · 158 Tottenham Court Road · London W1T 7NH · 0207 388 2447 · www.boconcept.co.uk
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Are you about to build a new garage? Do you need to reduce your vehicle turning circle? If so, why not consider putting a ‘Spin-it’ car turntable inside your garage and reduce the vehicle turning circle needed on your driveway, or in your garden.
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THE VIllA cOllEcTION
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Discover North Island, the most exclusive, luxurious and beautiful in the Seychelles. It was just over 200 years ago that settlers first set foot on these verdant isles to find them teeming with a kaleidoscope of life forms that have existed, unmolested and in splendid isolation, for millions of years. A place of barefoot luxury for those seeking an unspoiled, spectacular tropical retreat, often referred to as amongst the most beautiful on Earth. T: 01227 753181 W: www.puresafari.co.uk
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Delightful garden, incl vegetables, surrounds large pool. 4 double beds, 3 baths and numerous terraces. T: 0034 971 532050
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17th Century Burford House AA 5 Star Guest Accommodation. Eight individual bedrooms, some with romantic Four Poster beds, pristine en-suite bathrooms with luxury toiletries. ‘Centre Stage’ Restaurant serves fresh local produce Lunchtimes Monday-Saturday and Evening Dinners Thursday-Saturday with special rates for residents. A warm welcome awaits, for that Special Break. T: 01993 823151 W: www.burfordhouse.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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EVELEIGh & READ
Jonathan Field makes one-off pieces of furniture that are strikingly individual in design. Working with beautiful materials and looking closely at grain and texture, he brings out the wood’s natural beauty: no two pieces of furniture are the same. Jonathan will be at the 100% Design show this September, stand D19.
“John didn’t go to Eveleigh & Read”
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Beautifully sculpted individual engagement and wedding ring sets by Liz Tyler. Dramatic jewellery with a sense of movement in the flow of the design. To view collections in gold and platinum set with certificated fine diamonds and fabulous coloured gemstones visit. W: liztyler.com T: 01258 820222 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Jordan’s Car Storage is a secure car storage facility based in a rural location on the Surrey Sussex border, 15 minutes South of Guildford. We are in easy reach of London, Guildford, Heathrow and Gatwick and offer some of the finest standards of vehicle storage in the UK. T: 0800 917 7544 (Freephone) W: www.jordanscarstorage.com
W: www.dreamgreensexclusive.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org MEMoRAbiliA
PRofEssioNAl CAR sToRAGE
The only fully signed lithograph of England’s stunning Ashes victory.
Classic Car Storage offers a comprehensive range of services to suit any given storage requirement. For all levels of storage located near Goodwood. • Specialised professional care • High security storage • Maintenance programmes • Collection, delivery and shipment T: 01730 825 826 E: email@example.com W: www.classiccarstorage.co.uk
Framed size: 37” x 27” (940mm x 640mm). This is fully licensed by the ECB and is bound to increase in value in years to come. Selling fast! The perfect gift £695 + £20 p&p. T: 02476 713 172 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.autographsoftheworld.com YACHT CHARTER
Airstream’s iconic travel trailers have been redesigned especially for European roads and are available exclusively from Airstream & Company’s northern and southern showrooms. Hand-built by master craftsmen, the head-turning fleet is technologically superior, lightweight and luxurious. Forget Flying, Go Airstreaming. T: 01539 624141 E: email@example.com W: www.airstreameurope.co.uk
JEllYfisH CHARTERs Come and sail with us and see for yourself what makes J Boats so special! Jellyfish Charters offer ranges from corporate team building events and bespoke regattas to full blown racing (e.g. Cowes Week, RORC races). Our Sailing school provides practical courses from the RYA Syllabus, ranging from Competent Crew to Yacht Master. T: 02380 453062 W: www.jellyfishcharters.co.uk
HOW TO... GET AWAY WITH A CRIME A simple start Like all things, start simple, pinching small items of value: phones, wallets, toddlers. Go around the office at lunchtime and feel around colleagues’ jackets and bags. After a few lucrative lunch breaks, move outside but stick to easy targets. At first it will feel wrong stealing money from homeless people and the disabled. Actually, you work in the City, so it probably won’t. The easy rider Sit at the front on a bus and listen carefully to the ‘beep’ tone of the Oyster card scanner. Record it on your phone. Spend a few days at home trying to copy the beep with your voice. Then try it without moving your lips. When you feel ready, take the bus again and pretend to swipe your card while making your new beep noise. The driver looks ahead and doesn’t notice as you triumphantly take your seat. You see? Redundancy isn’t so bad after all. Quick as a flash Flashing is so easy to get away with it won’t even feel like a crime. However, it’s essential you fashion your downstairs hair into a memorable style
to detract attention from your face. It’s worth employing the services of a stylist. First few times you fling your mac open you’ll feel silly but soon you’ll be the talk of the municipal gardens. Cache and carry Off to the supermarket. A quick wrist and a baggy trouser and soon your legs are full of meat. Tinned foods and deli snacks make an easy paunch. That hump full of frozen peas? Arthritis. Only the lawnmower on your head marks you out as suspicious. Proximity of victim Most crimes are committed by someone close to the victim. Even John Nettles knows this. So always pick your victim totally at random. What about him? Yes, the one with the silly hair. Get him. Go on, get him now. Don’t wait, just get him. Bloody hell, did you hear that? I think he just called you a wanker. Proximity of location Likewise, always commit your crime in another town. Good options are Hull and Swansea. Most people there have committed some kind of crime so they probably won’t notice. Bottomless cash Borrow a large sum of money but get your people to draw up complicated repayment conditions. Borrow some more money from some other people without telling them that you already owe money to others. Repeat the process as many times as possible around the world and keep spending way above what you can afford while refusing to work harder to pay it back. Congratulations. You are now Greece. A man of good character In the months running up to your crime start taking warm meals to disabled pensioners in your neighbourhood. Offer to walk the dogs of frail widows. Start a fund for retired firemen and volunteer to carry people’s shopping. Glue a bit of cauliflower to your neck
●● It will feel wrong stealing money from homeless. Actually, you work in the City, so it probably won’t... and, when asked, tell a few people at work that it’s a cancer. Two weeks later buy a wheelchair on eBay and struggle around in it for a month with a bandage round your chin. The following afternoon batter Dave to death in the car park and run away. Who? That nice man in the wheelchair with the cancer? Don’t be so ridiculous. Avoid detection Whatever you do wear gloves. Thick latex gloves. Leather gloves leave prints that can be matched once police recover them. Wear a hat to avoid DNA left by hair. Ideally shave your head and wear a wig, as nylon is untraceable. Shave all body hair just to be safe. Narrow your chances of detection by 50% by dressing as a member of the opposite sex. And commit your crime at a time when there are fewest people around. Good. You’re ready to go. Top work. A quick look in the mirror. You’ve got shaved legs, you’re wearing a dress, a wig, rubber gloves and a hat – and it’s the middle of the night. You finally understand why your wife left you. The power of immunity Shout for the chambermaid to come in. Loosen your dressing gown. Wait for her to put down the breakfast tray and then burst out of the bathroom and run at her. Do as you will, and then make for the nearest airport. Settle down in your business-class seat, pop on your iPod headphones and relax. What are they going to do, arrest you? ■ For more Mackney madness, see squaremile.com
18 Hole Greg Norman Signature Golf Course | 400 Berth Marina | 4 Luxury Hotels | 120 Retail Outlets | 18 Parks | 6kms of Natural Beach
Omanâ€™s coastline Make a piece of it your home
Settle in to Omanâ€™s first freehold beach villas for foreign investors Owners at The Wave, Muscat are offered a 2 year renewable residency visa
360 days of sun. No Capital Gains Tax. Life as it should be.
Published on Jun 5, 2011
Square Mile magazine, The Voice of the City - Issue 59 - 'Dirty Money - Cityboy Geraint Anderson on money laundering'