James Ashton: Business will be the loser in Olympic gridlock
Drinks at the Arts Club in Mayfair were interspersed with my investment banker friend jumping on the phone to pitch for a sales mandate. Things must be looking up.
When I had his undivided attention, talk turned to this summer. Would we both find it so easy to cross town and meet up when the Olympics are in full swing? My friend doubted it.
There are already signs that large parts of the business world are preparing to shut up shop. At least one bank is advising its staff to work from home. A private equity firm is advising its network that it will closed for summer. They won't be the only ones.
Other than heading into town to watch an event or indulge in some corporate hospitality, the normal comings and goings of industry will be muted.
That's fine for the course of 17 days – and actually plenty of the networking afforded by the Games could lead to good business come autumn. But what will suffer is the flow of complicated transactions that take weeks to consummate, such as mergers and acquisitions. My friend doesn't think the lull will end until well after the Paralympics is over.
So while pubs and hotels may be overflowing in July and August, plenty of day-to-day commerce will simply grind to a halt. Firms would do well to ditch the pretence that it will be business as usual.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Narendra Modi: Indian Prime Minister wears suit with pinstripes that spell his name to meet Barack Obama
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...