The Business On: Michael Spencer, chief executive, Icap
So will Spencer have to downsize his wine cellar?
Steady on now. Icap, the broker that lets banks trade a huge variety of financial instruments anonymously, still took in £867m for the six months to 30 September, which translated into profits of £186m, both about the same as last year. What's got the City all aflutter is that Icap warned that activity has slowed markedly over the last couple of months.
Why's that then?
Icap thrives on volatility and risk-taking by investment banks. They're scared at the moment so they're sitting on their hands. But Mr Spencer expects things to pick up next year so he'll be able to order his fine wine en primeur. But perhaps this year it will be Petrus rather than Pichon.
Will this get his rival Terry Smith smiling?
Don't be silly. If Icap's got a bit of a sniffle then it's quite possible that the rest of the industry will have picked up a cold, if not flu. Mr Smith is a big fan of boxing, but in this industry Mr Spencer is the heavyweight champion.
Especially now he'sgiven up politics?
Yes. Fortunately for his shareholders Mr Spencer realised that his talents lay in the boardroom rather than the House of Commons tea room. He stepped down from the board of the Tory party last year. To be fair, he doesn't really strike us as a Cameronista.
So Icap rolls on?
Put it this way, if the shaky outlook persists beyond next year, count on Mr Spencer to have something up his sleeve. There may even be a deal to open new markets for a company that Mr Spencer started in 1986 in a grotty office with a couple of screens.
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Heroin to be prescribed to Canadian addicts by doctors
Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
Charing Cross fire: Station closed and 100 evacuated over blaze on train
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby – through the stories of his accusers
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...
£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...
VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...