CITY WHISPERS: Columbia Threadneedle boss wants refund of personal stock plans that allow for tax-free investing in the stock market
Columbia Threadneedle’s head of UK equities, Jeremy Smith, has warned that British companies looking to the US don’t have a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
According to Smith, only a handful of British companies have ever made a success of the cross-Atlantic move, adding that most failed to make any impression.
Instead, Smith believes there is plenty of life in the London stock market, but he acknowledges that the rules need to be shaken up.
Old school: Jeremy Smith has called for the return of personal stock plans
Smith has called for the return of personal stock plans, or Peps, that allowed people to invest in the stock market tax-free, and specifically encouraged direct ownership of stocks across holding funds.
As chancellor, Gordon Brown got rid of them, undoing Maggie Thatcher’s attempts to turn the country into a shareholder democracy.
Sir Howard Davies’ Ann Widdecombe connection
Little known fact: NatWest chairman Sir Howard Davies lived in the same north London house as politician and Strictly star Ann Widdecombe four decades ago, when both were in their salad days.
Before the tabloid press went into overdrive, the couple lived in two separate flats.
Whispers learns that Widdy, now 75, was much admired by the gentlemen of Islington at the time for her smart outfits and shapely calves.
Horta Osorio at the Lakes restaurant
Who should be spotted at the Lake Road Kitchen in Ambleside – whose 12-course tasting menu at £165 per head has restaurant critics salivating with delight – none other than the affable banker Antonio Horta-Osorio?
A fellow diner tells Whispers that the former supremo of Lloyds Bank and Credit Suisse didn’t seem very happy with what’s on offer at the Lake District foodie haven – unlike the rest of the clientele who were feasting with gusto .
Ed Vaizy is looking for another banking position after leaving New York consultancy LionTree.
‘Lazy Vaizey’, as the Tory colleague is dubbed by some of his rivals, joined the company in 2016 to hunt down tech deals across Europe.
LionTree, founded by Aryeh Bourkoff, has advised on mergers, including Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo.
Bourkoff is known for keeping company at New York lunches, including glamorous former White House communications director Hope Hicks.
How many deals Vaizey landed during his stint is unknown.
Contributors: Ruth Sunderland and Anne Ashworth