Friday 10 May 2013

Weekly Wrap Up: The Ultimate CEO

What a week it has been! Firstly Nigel Farage’s one policy party, UKIP, seemed to be taking big fat chunks out of the Conservative Party, only for TV chef Nigella Lawson’s high profile father, Nigel, to ignore the Tory Party three line whip on the EU by calling for Britain to quit. Thatcher’s former Chancellor said that Britain’s membership in the EU is hurting one of our most important industries, financial services. Many thought this would prove to be a problem for David Cameron, but the PM used a clever bit of spin by claiming that Lord Lawson’s calls have actually strengthened his promise to have a referendum on Britain’s membership in the EU if the Tories get re-elected. He also used this as ammunition against UKIP, and the Farage bandwagon.

The Queen’s Speech took place on Wednesday, the day after Lord Lawson’s comment, when David Cameron (through her Majesty) was expected to assure both the country and the Lib Dems that no such referendum on EU membership would take place during this term. It was expected that the speech would dominate the UK news that day; however a dour Scot had other ideas… Reports began to appear on Tuesday morning of bookmakers slashing their odds on David Moyes, the current manager of Everton football club, becoming the next manager of Manchester United. Then, bam, on Tuesday just before 10:00am, Manchester United announced that Sir Alex Ferguson, its manager of 26 years, was going to retire at the end of this current season! Twitter and the social networks went berserk, hashtags galore were generated and practically no-one cared about the Government’s policy. Why did the country chose to follow a sports story over something as important as the Government’s outline on policy? Well, it is simply because Sir Alex Ferguson is like a CEO of one of Britain’s most well known companies, which the mass public is actually interested in reading about.

It is clear that Ferguson, or Fergie, was not just the leader of a meagre football club, he was the brains behind one of the world’s leading brands. Manchester United’s club emblem is one of the most commonly recognised brands across the globe, and dominates the international language of football. The club’s modern day profile is arguably entirely credited to Fergie. Love him or hate him, love the club or hate the club, or simply don’t care, you cannot deny that Fergie has helped develop a genuine British institution. From high profile spats with players such as Roy Keane or the FA, Fergie has always been at the epicentre of everything Manchester United, and everything football. He paved the way for the belief that no one individual is bigger than the club when he famously booted David Beckham in the eye, and sold (probably regrettably) Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid.

Like the conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, or the CEO of a mighty corporation, he succeeded so much and survived for so long in arguably one of the country’s toughest industries where job security is as questionable as Newcastle United’s defence; because he understood people - how to motivate them, how to discipline them and how to inspire them.

Maybe one day in the not too distant future Fergie will be sparring with Nigel Lawson over Europe in the House of Lords; he seems destined for the role.

Abchaps hosted some city chums over a Market Lunch, and entertained some keen Tottenham fans at the Chelsea v Tottenham match. Crowd disputes were kept to a minimum as the scoreboard concluded a neutral 2 -2 draw. We also networked amongst some of the City’s property-minded finest at Norton Rose’s property drinks evening as well as be graciously entertained by Grant Thornton at the FD Excellence awards.

The City’s law firms have had a hive of activity this week. Our friends at Norton Rose have a new face in its legal practice in the form of Kirsty Hick. Meanwhile, Osborne and Clark appoint three new partners: William Gay adds his specialism of industrial space warehousing development to its real estate practice, Emily Jones to its technology and privacy sector, and Charlie Wedin becomes the new face in its commercial disputes team.

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management gains the extensive skills and experience of Mr. Richard Burden as he becomes the Company’s new business development manager.

"FERGIE TIME" - the widely held belief that if Manchester United are trailing after full time, they will be gifted as much injury time as necessary by the referee in order to score a winner or draw level when playing at home.

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May Films at The Breakfast Club in Hoxton kicked off this week and the classics are running throughout the month.

The Sound Tracks One Day Music Festival Around London is happening tomorrow all over the Overground.

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