The City Diary: A case of us and them

Much anger among the creditors of Mint Equities – the interdealer broker that was bought out of a pre-pack administration by rival BGC Partners in August.

The administrator's report reveals that it was threatened with winding up proceedings by Revenue & Customs in July and again by the design company Base Interiors in August. At an emergency hearing on 19 August, Mint was put into administration, its assets acquired by BGC, and the business trades much as before. While that preserved jobs, it left Mint's suppliers out of pocket. They will convene at a creditors' meeting on Thursday.

They are irked that Mint's directors enjoy hospitality boxes at Wembley and White Hart Lane (which they pay for personally), plus another Mint rented at Ascot, perks surrounding the firm's Polo in the Park sponsorship and a yacht it leased in Puerto Banus.

BGC's spokesman, Bob Hubbell, will not say if the firm can still use these facilities, musing: "This is what happens to creditors. I don't want to sound flippant, but a firm goes into administration, it gets wound up, and they have a meeting." That's the spirit!

Rogue trader

The administrator's report contains some intriguing lines: "Fleming Family & Partners made an offer of a £10m investment in the business.

"Before the deal was completed, [Mint] suffered losses due to the actions of one of its traders. The investment agreed was withdrawn as a result." I'm told Fleming was spooked by the actions of a rogue oil trader. Er...ex-trader.

Every shoe tells a tale

Has Joyti De-Laurey got an impersonator? The former Goldman Sachs secretary famously stole £4.3m from her bosses Scott Mead, Ron Beller and Jennifer Moses. Now I learn of a rival who's been foiled after a decent effort at overhauling Joyti's record. Louise Martini, a cashier at the West Midlands law firm Williamson & Soden, has been convicted of nicking £1.6m from her employers. She splashed out £10,000 on Cartier jewellery, £8,325 on a trip to Selfridges and £130,000 on holidays. Oh, and she also acquired a fleet of cars and, er, a racehorse.

Still, you'd be wrong to think this seven-year spending spree – by a woman earning £24,000 a year – was easy to detect. As senior partner Ian Williamson explains: "As a male, I wouldn't particularly have noticed the difference between one pair of shoes and another."

A rare setback

I see the venture capital firm KKR has snapped up Goldman Sachs's proprietary trading team, headed by Bob Howard – which seems like a blow to hedge fund honcho Marc Lasry, who was also believed to be chasing the team.

It's a rare setback for Bill Clinton's pal, who once hired the ex-president's daughter, Chelsea, as an intern. And in another disappointment, I read that Lasry's daughter, Emma, has shunned a career on Wall Street to pursue pop stardom. Her debut single is entitled, "Closet Bitch".

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<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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