In spite of a year dominated by Brexit and Trump, 2018 brought a rich yield of standout stories that moved markets and shifted perceptions as seen by this year’s list of top reads.
Among the stories you read most were the FT’s investigations into sexual harassment at the President’s Club and Martin Sorrell’s departure from media giant WPP. You also enjoyed our exclusive interviews with major influencers in politics and business, and our coverage of corporate accountability, from audits to advertising.
How did we select these stories? This year, we started measuring more closely the amount of time readers spend with each story, giving us a richer picture of the stories that you decided were most valuable. These are the stories that the readers found to be really worth their time.
What were the most memorable stories you read this year? Are there topics you would have liked to see us cover? Tell us in the comments below.
1. Martin Sorrell’s downfall: why the ad king left WPP — Madison Marriage and Matthew Garrahan
When Sir Martin Sorrell stepped down as chief executive of WPP, the global media group refused to comment on the investigation into his personal conduct and use of company money that preceded his resignation. Our journalists stepped into the gap. Read more
2. Henry Kissinger: ‘We are in a very, very grave period’ — Edward Luce
The grand consigliere of American diplomacy spoke to the FT about Putin, the new world order — and the meaning of Trump. Read more
3. Banksy painting ‘self-destructs’ on podium in auction prank — James Pickford
‘Girl with Balloon’ sold for £1m at Sotheby’s — then got shredded — in one of the most audacious art pranks thought to have been carried out by the activist street artist. Read more
4. Six things working women should pretend they can’t do— Sarah Cooper
“Fight any urge to clean up after your co-workers” and other advice from the author of How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings. Don’t miss our readers’ responses at the bottom of the article. Read more
5. Theresa May to restart EU negotiations after aborting Brexit vote— George Parker and Laura Hughes
The Prime Minister’s surprise decision to postpone the House of Commons vote drew the most attention in a tireless year of Brexit coverage. Read more
6. Theresa May vows to fight removal attempts after Boris Johnson quits— Henry Mance and Laura Hughes
The turmoil marked the first time since 1982 that two British cabinet ministers resigned within 24 hours, outside of a reshuffle. Read more
7. Men Only: Inside the charity fundraiser where hostesses are put on show— Madison Marriage
The FT’s investigation into the President’s Club forced the fundraising dinner to close after the harassment scandal. Read more
8. Big Four accountancy firms plan for forced break-up — Madison Marriage
A parliamentary report drew sharp criticism of KPMG, Deloitte, EY and PwC, saying they operated as a “cosy club incapable of providing the degree of independent challenge needed”. Read more
9. Jamie Oliver: ‘We had simply run out of cash’ — Mark Edmonds
Last year was tough for Britain’s best-selling non-fiction author. The celebrity chef was forced to use almost £13m of his own fortune to save his restaurant business. Read more
10. Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, on his ‘crazy’ $12bn project— David Pilling
In this Lunch with the FT interview, Dangote told our Africa editor he plans to build the mother of all oil refineries in Nigeria and then buy his favourite football club — Arsenal FC. Read more
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