So the sun set on Davos yesterday, and all the talk is about the strength of David Cameron’s speech yesterday
The fun kicked off at the Belvedere with the Bank of America Merrill Lynch client party, where a steady flow of the great and good in private equity and banking slipped through. On the dot of 8pm the contractors moved in to turn the BOAML branding into FT/CNBC for their party due to start at 10pm – they know how to get the most out of the Forum participants! At £25,000 a pop someone is making a lot of money and there is certainly little sign of austerity as guests sip champagne and eat smoke salmon canapés.
At the same time on a higher floor in the hotel HRH Prince Andrew was hosting drinks for a number of dignitaries including the Mittals, Boris Johnson and Mick Jagger. To kill time between events, I totally forgot the JP Morgan jamboree at the Museum. Mr Blair turned up, and our current PM was hosting a few of his cabinet including Greg Barker and George Osborne for Fondue that ended up going on till the wee hours.
The organiser of the FT party was overheard telling CNBC’s PR that they would not be allowing PRs as they had so many CEOs coming and did not want the room cluttered: “I have told Tidjane Thiam that he can come but that his PR James Murray cannot come!” Her expectations of a rush were sadly not to be realised and Imran Khan turned away when he could not produce a business card. He did sneak in later. A number of ex Thomson Reuters luminaries were in attendance including Tom Glocer and his delightful wife who reprimanded me for being without badge.
All the banter was about whether to move on to McKinsey or pop into PWC. Who would believe that the accountants would pull off the party of the night! PWC was the right choice as it was rocking with an amazing band and a crowd half the age of the rest of the Davos delegates. I was questioning the surreptitious exchange of cards between a certain royal and a young banker on the side of the dance floor when HSBC’s newly appointed head of the retail bank Antonio Simoes pointed out that the room was full of the WEF young leaders and their friends.
As us oldies started to fade the talk was of the Piano Bar up the street and one look and it was time to head for the mountains. I was told by a bank PR that all the best information was gleaned after 10pm and they were right but what I learned and can remember is not for public consumption.
Now off to meet Greg Barker and find out what happened over fondue with the PM.