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Private banking awards: Because he’s worth it

Euromoney’s private banking awards dinner, held on February 21 at Plaisterers Hall in London, celebrated not only this year’s winners but also 10 years of the survey.

A record turnout of over 300 guests arrived from all corners of the world – the champions of the traditional private banking centres in Europe and the US, as well as the pioneers of wealth management in newer markets in China, Africa and Latin America.

Presenter Mark Durden-Smith handed out the awards. But the biggest buzz of the night started when people noticed a surprise and famous guest in the room: David Ginola.

Ginola is a former French soccer star to the male population and a heart-throb to those women who have no interest in football. Ginola was there with AfrAsia, the fast-growing African financial services firm, which won the best private bank in Mauritius award. Also at the table was Springbok rugby legend Cobus Visagie.

Ginola’s finest football moments came during his time in England with Newcastle and Spurs. It proved to be a good night for his former clubs too – both went through with last-minute goals into the last 16 of the Europa Cup.

But Ginola is perhaps best remembered for his off-the-field activities. Long before David Beckham started selling underpants, Ginola became the first man to advertise hair care products, for French cosmetics firm L’Oréal.

The advertising slogan that he used to espouse could easily be referred back to the private banking industry’s relationship with their high-net-worth clients: because they’re worth it.