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Sex, thighs and videotape

The City of London is probably more efficient and egalitarian than it used to be. Still, there are a few places where the conversation, and the quantities of wine drunk, can transport the casual listener back to the old days of long lunches, rampant sexism and the power of the old school tie.

"It was when Jonathan Agnew was there [as head of the then Kleinwort Benson]," muses a former board director at a traditional watering hole. "He had this secretary and she had the most amazing thighs. She'd sit like this at board meetings with her skirt here and no-one listened to a bloody thing he was saying." Much guilty smirking.

"Of course, you remember her. It was that thing with Nelson Abanto. The poor girl had to go to Australia to get away from all the fuss." Knowing sniggers. The story - which is one of the City's best old chestnuts - is that Abanto (who had recently been hired from Morgan Stanley as a bond trader) had indulged in a spot of extra-curricular activity with the secretary but had carelessly allowed this to be recorded on a security video.

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