16 January 2015
This week has been insanely hectic. It’s the 3rd week of January and everyone is eager to get things done and deals closed. For me it kicked off Monday morning with a flight to Geneva to meet with the Family Office of a British retail tycoon. Along with 4 other families they own a luxury residential development project off Park Lane (Mayfair). The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the sale of the units once completed. In and out of Switzerland the same day. Given it’s with a private I don’t mind :)
Breakfast meeting at the Dorchester with a Saudi investor – I was introduced to him by a former client – looking to invest in film. That is, intelligently invest in film (it’s a risky business). It so happens that I have a friend who runs one of the largest film co-financing vehicles in Europe and exclusive partner to the leading European film studio. And they’re fundraising now. Maybe there’s a deal to be done.
I wait in the lobby for the Saudi to come down from his room. In the meantime, I observe the surroundings. The exclusive crowd. The polished staff.
[A reader, and most careful observer, noticed and pointed out that the time on my watch displayed an afternoon hour. Tis true. The watch is powered by movement and given I don’t wear it regularly, it sometimes displays the wrong time. Good eyes Alistair!]
Later in the week, I get a call from a friend whom I invite to lunch at The Mount Street Deli on Mount Street. He’s visiting from Mumbai, where he works for Edelweiss, the Indian investment bank. I discover he’s in town to meet UK pension funds and insurance company. He’s also keen to meet British ultra high net worth individuals of Indian descent. There are plenty in London. “Can you help,” he asked. “Perhaps,” I replied.
On Thursday, I stopped by one of my favourite Family Offices. Not just to discuss business and dealmaking. No, no, no. These guys are a joy to sit with and chit chat. A cool and intelligent team of professionals. And they make a phenomenal cappuccino right there in their offices.
Friday evening after work, I catch up over a drink with a friend who happens to be an artist. His partner bought a 1940’s British Military Deactivated Bomb and my buddy painted iconic Japanese images of love and happiness on it. “It’s an art symbol of peace and love called the Love Bomb,” he said. “It’s impressive,” I noted. “We’re trying to sell it,” he said. “I may have a buyer,” I replied.