The business on...Howard Shore, founder and executive chaiman, Shore Capital

 

All at sea?

Looks that way. Mr Shore was forced to issue a profits warning yesterday. The market is pretty tough for investment banks right now but it looks like his Shore Capital (at the smaller end of the scale) might report a full-year loss largely because of the need to write down the value of some of its external holdings.

So he's been bitten by a Puma?

You could say that. Mr Shore is the chairman of Puma Hotels, in which Shore has a decent sized holding. It's valued at about £5.2m on Shore's balance sheet. But that might be a tad optimistic. Things haven't been helped by a nasty spat with the Spanish hotel operator Barcelo Corporacion Empresarial over certain bits of their partnership.

Hang on, I thought Mr Shore was a City boy?

Up to a point. He relocated to Jersey last year to save tax. But the shaggy-haired Mr Shore, a Cambridge economics graduate, has been dealing at Shore, which he set up at the age of just 25, since 1985.

Can he find a safe harbour in these stormy times?

You wouldn't want to bet against him just yet. The occasionally tetchy Mr Shore largely operates in the scrappier part of the market shunned by the big banks. To do that for any time you have to have something about you.

So he'll be flashing the cash again?

You're not going to see Mr Shore going all coy in the face of public antipathy towards the City. This "unashamed capitalist" and Tory donor has never lacked chutzpah, setting up an office in Scotland just days after RBS went cap in hand to the Government.

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