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They do things differently at Goldman

I have to express admiration for Goldman Sachs – it really does do things differently.

For instance, I got an invite to an informal cocktail party it is hosting; but far from being the traditional pre-Christmas jolly loved by journalists, Goldman is holding it in January – the month when most of us go on the wagon.

On a more serious note, it was announced on Wednesday that the bank is planning to take a 10% stake in CMC Markets. I’ve heard rumours for the best part of a year that something was up between the two companies, but I would not have guessed it was this.

Neither company will divulge how much Goldman is paying. In February of this year, CMC’s founder and executive chairman Peter Cruddas said he believed the company was probably worth in excess of £1 billion (Trading platforms: CMC postpones float to 2008, Euromoney). In a press release announcing the tie up with Goldman, Cruddas, who still owns around 95% of the company, says: “I am delighted to welcome Goldman Sachs as an investor and partner in CMC who shares our vision and drive to grow the business over the coming years. We have been growing at 40% per annum and have expanded our presence to 22 offices globally, but there are considerable opportunities still to realise.”

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