WHISPERS OF THE CITY: Killjoys sound the death knell for office parties
Ever since the Confederation of British Industry party’s antics hit the headlines, many British companies have been terrified that the same thing could happen to them.
So much so that high-level consultants have advised employers to cancel summer and Christmas parties to avoid scandals related to alcoholism.
A partner at a major consultancy told Whispers: ‘These conversations are taking place in every boardroom across the country.
Raising a glass: There are concerns that this new era of dignified Puritanism could destroy much-needed interaction between different generations.
“We asked them if it’s a good idea to have people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s on a boat or in a bar with large amounts of free alcohol available.”
No doubt this expensive advice from the experts is being taken advantage of.
But there is concern that this new era of dignified Puritanism could destroy much-needed interaction between different generations.
Is your office party cancelled? Let Whispers know.
Revolut still waiting for license
Another week passes for fintech firm Revolut as it awaits a UK banking license, to the mounting fury of its outburst-prone boss Nik Storonsky.
It’s been more than half a year since Finance Chief Mikko Salovaara announced that the license would be granted “imminently”.
But Salovaara resigned in May and – with Storonsky previously criticizing UK regulators for the “long and grueling process” – this time he might be better off taking a nap.
Tough month for Freedom Holdings
Freedom Holdings has been having a rough month after short seller Hindenburg accused the Kazakhstan-based broker of evading Russian sanctions.
This will come as no surprise to the Ukrainian authorities, who have suspended the company’s license, while its founder, tech-savvy Timur Turlov, has been sanctioned by President Zelensky due to his ties to Russia.
Freedom denies the allegations. And, despite the growing controversy, he tries to expand his empire.
Whispers has heard that the company has applied for a license to offer brokerage services in the UK.
Since Turlov recently said the company would continue to work with unsanctioned Russians despite the freezing weather, he may be waiting a long time for an answer.
Ping An licks his wounds over China’s real estate woes
All eyes were on China’s property market last week when one of its biggest developers, Country Garden, posted a record loss of £5.3 billion.
The company has lost two-thirds of its value this year amid fears over its finances and the state of the real estate sector.
One investor licking its wounds is Ping An insurer, with its 5 percent stake.
City watchers will remember Ping An as a key irritant to HSBC earlier this year when it argued that the banking giant should spin off its Asian business.
With China’s economy slowing, it may now be Ping An’s turn to suffer or, as President Xi Jinping recently put it, to “eat bitterness.”
Contributor: Mark Shapland