Simon English: Schmoozing in the City has not gone away
Friday 02 March 2012
Outlook The City is doing its entertaining in secret lately. In the old days, before 2007, being flash in public was definitely part of the fun. Why not? Everything was going swimmingly and the City was the heart of everyone's success. It had said this so often that people believed it.
Lately, with public hatred of financiers at all-time highs, a different ethos has taken hold. Memos have been written, the core message of which can be drummed down to this: don't get smashed in public. If you insist on embarrassing yourself with lap-dancers, don't get caught.
Last summer traders at Icap were told that The Box, an expensive burlesque club in Soho, was now on the "excluded list".
But entertaining clients remains as big a part of how business gets done in the City as ever, perhaps more so now that there is less trade to go around.
So there's been a boom in private dining in posh hotels. To get a private room in, say, the Dorchester, I'm told, you need to book about four months ahead. Morgan Stanley have got it every night till then (note to Morgan's lawyers and Dorchester PR people: I'm clearly exaggerating, put the phone down).
Morgan doubtless has a fine chef and a decent wine cellar, but if you entertain in-house, the boss gets to see exactly who you were schmoozing and just how much they put away. If you're off-campus, you might get away with just giving him a bill for the final amount, and bad behaviour will not be reported back.
It may not be an appealing sight, but perhaps the truest sign that the economy is turning will be when traders think it is again acceptable to act out in public places.
- 1 Sabrina Corgatelli: US hunting tourist posts picture of herself with dead giraffe after Cecil the lion outrage
- 2 Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
- 3 A-level results 2015: UK exam board OCR admits it 'estimates' hundreds of pupils' grades after papers 'go missing'
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks traffic on Dublin road
Edward Heath 'raped 12 year-old boy at Mayfair flat'
Sabrina Corgatelli: US hunting tourist posts picture of herself with dead giraffe after Cecil the lion outrage
'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Contracts Executive - Cit...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...
Up to 70k DOE: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Financial Director ...