Peter Clarke: good hedge
Peter Clarke is hedging his bets. The old Man Group boss, who came unstuck after poor performance in 2012, has reinvented himself with a portfolio career. Last year he joined the board of Essentia Analytics, a fintech business that uses software to help fund managers.
He’s also been working as a non-exec at a couple of asset managers — Axa, where he chairs the UK investment outfit, and Lombard Odier. Now he has been made chairman of Lancashire Holdings, the Lloyd’s insurer. His appointment coincided with weak results from Lancashire. The trend might bring back bad memories of Man in 2012. But for Lancashire chief Alex Maloney, Clarke is just the man to have around. “You learn a lot more when things go wrong than when they go right,” he told City Insider. Hold tight!
Dan Rosenfield: going underground
Mandarins are not always the politically neutral figures they are supposed to be. Testament then to the broad appeal of Dan Rosenfield, who was principal private secretary to two successive chancellors, Alistair Darling and George Osborne — and even had both of them speak at his leaving do in 2011. Whether he’s quite so popular in Whitehall these days is another question.
During his subsequent five years as an investment banker with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, his highest profile mandate was advising on the Royal Mail privatisation. That was a triumph for investors who bought in at 330p and were selling within weeks at nearly 600p. Not so much for his old paymasters. Now Rosenfield is moving on again — this time to private investigator outfit, Hakluyt. By all accounts the mandarin turned banker is a jolly nice chap. But BAML executives will still be praying he doesn’t repeat the trick of turning on his previous employer, however accidentally.
Rory Tapner: cold comfort
While markets slide, Rory Tapner, the former CEO of Coutts, is rounding up the great and the good from the investment world to complete a slippery descent of their own. Tapner is scouring the market for teams to take part in the Coeur Blanc ski challenge in France’s Méribel.
Richard Gower, friend to cocoa trader Anthony “Chocfinger” Ward and co-founder of their firm Armajaro, will be among those trying to forget the flashing red of their trading terminals by riding 52 lifts in one day. And just to prove fat cats have hearts, all teams will be raising money for Snow-Camp, a charity for disadvantaged teenagers. Tapner says it’s a test of endurance, not a race. Nothing to do with the fact that five times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave is heading a rival team.
Patrick Spens: Lord Blockchain
PwC is going big on the blockchain. This week it signed an alliance with Digital Asset Holdings, the start-up headed by Blythe Masters, the former JPMorgan investment banker. Now the consulting firm is hiring Patrick Spens, latterly of the Financial Conduct Authority, to study the “transformational potential of blockchain”.
The appointment rounds off PwC’s hiring of 15 blockchain specialists last month. The firm reckons Spens — a Citigroup trader and a hedge fund manager, before in his own words going to “do his bit” at the regulator, policing insider trading — is just the man to spread the blockchain mantra among clients. City Insider has been unable to confirm suggestions that the hereditary peer, who 15 years ago became the fourth Baron Spens of Blairsanquhar, also answers to the title Lord Blockchain.
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