Bankers dont get a lot of love these days. The
industrys annual awards ceremonies have therefore become
a very rare opportunity for them to spend an evening relaxing
and enjoying themselves without having to pretend to be estate
Last month Thomson
Reuters IFR magazine held its annual bash in London at
which French bank BNP Paribas was named bank of the year. As is
traditional, the bank led the bidding on a charity tombstone to
raise funds for Save the Children. Or did it?
Top billing on the
tombstone during the event went to
BNP Baribas. The Bariba are an ethnic group in northeastern
Benin and northwestern Nigeria, more noted for their
horse-riding prowess than their investment banking skills.
Maybe they have good proofreading skills as well though.
Despite the urging of TV
presenter Jonny Gould, other institutions did not bid
outlandish sums just to "piss off the French", and the hastily
renamed BNP Paribas was the largest contributor to the
£1.054 million raised.
Special mention should
also go to the European Investment Banks Bertrand de
Mazières, who, on approaching the podium to receive the
award for SSAR issuer of the year, tripped and took an
unfortunate, though impressive, dive across the stage.
Uninjured, thankfully, de
Mazières gracefully took it all in his stride.
Grace, however, was not
something that was on display on the dance floor later on.