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Foreign Exchange

FX comment: Everyone’s a winner at the Euromoney FX survey dinner

I’ve done a few dinners in my time - comments confirming this obvious statement of fact are not invited - but Wednesday evening was up there with the most enjoyable.

FX Survey 2010 results are released 

There was a palpable sense of anticipation on the evening as nervous bankers waited to find out their market share figures for the first time. One Deutsche banker says business head Zar Amrolia was seen to be constantly turning over the numbers in his head as a new set of numbers was announced. Perhaps he should have brought one of his famous algorithm black boxes with him.

Unfortunately there wasn’t an award for “Best male writer of a Euromoney weekly online FX column, February to May 2010” but I didn’t really care as I got to sit next to rugby legend Martin Bayfield who was there to dish the awards out. I’d heard that he’d played Hagrid’s backside in the ‘Harry Potter’ films but I wasn’t aware of Bayfield’s reputation as an excellent after-dinner speaker.

And excellent he was: full of natural charm, comedic timing and, of course, rugby anecdotes. My favourite was the one about the only time Wade Dooley ever got knocked out on the field and managed to “freeze the blood of every player, official and spectator in the stadium. He opened his middle eye, pointed to his aggressor and told the referee: “Ref, don’t you dare send that man off””

The other great one was about sitting next to Wales flanker Richard Webster on the plane to New Zealand for the Lions tour. Excited with the revelation that there was a TV screen situated in the arm-rest, Webster’s cup overflowed when Bayfield showed him the choice of movies he could watch. “Oh Martin, I’ve made my choice, it’s easy, a 14-hour epic, “Time to destination”...”

Bayfield, as is customary, made hay with the apparent incomprehensibility of the award categories. He was particularly taken with vanilla options, it seemed.

One banker from Deutsche, who had the temerity to collect an award without wearing his jacket, got a deserved bollocking and reference was made to the growing tendency of cross-dressing in the market – several announced male recipients sent female colleagues up to the stage to collect the awards. Either that or Mark Warms is looking rather hot these days.

But, as much as we make a big thing of the awards, the best thing about the annual dinner is the opportunity it gives to meet old friends and make new ones; even if you don’t remember too much about it next morning. That’s why business cards were invented.

I’ve heard tales of some very senior FX bankers feeling a little worse for wear on the way home -- one of them did not make it out of the Brewery’s courtyard before his dinner came up for the first time, perhaps a result of the vodka luge rather than a “dodgy bit of ham and rabbit terrine”. No doubt any busy day in the currency markets flew by for him and many other traders.

I’m looking forward to next year’s dinner already.


Sartorially inadequate Deutsche employee sandwiched
between two rather bigger but correctly attired gents.
The youth of today...


Lord Horwood of Euromoney, Martin Wiedmann of Credit
Suisse (so said the big bloke on the right and who were
we to argue?), big bloke on the right.


Martin Warms of FXall (allegedly), Euromoney editor
Clive Horwood, Hagrid’s arse.

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