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Opinion

Abigail with attitude: Reminiscing with Rudloff

The day after my dinner, I took the Eurostar to Paris where I attended the 43rd annual conference of ICMA, the international debt markets’ trade association that describes its core objective as: ‘Improving the efficiency of cross-border securities markets.’ This year my former boss, Hans-Joerg Rudloff chairman of Barclays Capital, is retiring after six years as chairman of ICMA. Rudloff is one of the legends of the Eurobond market. Not surprisingly, he has featured on several covers of Euromoney magazine over the decades. It is 13 years since I first met Rudloff and he has not withered at all. At the tender age of 70, he still has the energy and tenacity of a much younger man.

Cyrus Ardalan, vice-chairman of Barclays Capital, takes over from Hans-Joerg Rudloff as the new chairman of ICMA. Cyrus has big shoes to fill

Everyone has his or her own Rudloff story. I have many but will pick one that illustrates that experience is an attribute much underestimated. In late 2007, I called on Rudloff to get some views for my column. As he escorted me out through the lobby, he paused, pulled off his glasses, rubbed his eyes and peered at me in an owl like fashion: “Abigail,” he growled, “Everything’s too frothy. People say it will be fine and there will be a soft landing. But I can tell you I’ve never seen a soft landing in my life.” Of course Rudloff was right. No one could possibly describe the events of 2008 as a soft-landing. Back in Paris, Rudloff hosted a glamorous party at the Musée Rodin. The hospitality was generous and there must have been over 500 ICMA delegates present. I saw many senior market figures including Martin Egan of BNP Paribas, Allegra Berman of UBS, Spencer Lake of HSBC and, of course, Cyrus Ardalan, vice-chairman of Barclays Capital, who takes over from Rudloff as the new chairman of ICMA. Cyrus has big shoes to fill. I hope Rudloff continues to be involved at the centre of international capital markets for many years to come.

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Abigail with attitude: Reminiscing with Rudloff


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