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Foreign Exchange

Hooray! Harry gets the job done for Icap

Icap's 16th annual global charity day


It was off to Icap’s London headquarters on Wednesday to see the fun and games taking place as part of its 16th annual global charity day. The company donates all of its brokerage earned during the day to various charities. Last year, it raised a record £9.2 million and few realistically expected that figure to be surpassed.

However, despite the sombre mood in the markets, the atmosphere at Icap was very buoyant. Nearly all of the London staff were in fancy dress and as I left the building, I nearly bumped into what I initially thought was Michael Spencer in his outfit. I was mistaken though and it turned out to be a remote controlled R2D2.

A string of celebrities, including some bloke called Prince Harry, visited throughout the day. Most of them were persuaded to try out broking. Harry was no doubt able to track down one of his former posh-school chums who had moved into investment banking and do a bit of dealing. I can only imagine the conversation.

“What are you?”

“What does that mean? You know what I am, I’m a prince.”

“Yours shag? How many have you done and how are you left?”

“I did three last night and I left in the limo, like always. Now about this evening, see you at Bouji’s?”

One of the day’s highlights was a table-top performance of the haka by New Zealand rugby legend Zinzan Brooke. It certainly fired up Icap’s brokers to hunt out some more deals.

But while all this was fun, the main point of the day is to raise money. And to the surprise of many, Icap beat last year’s total by coming in with £11 million. Spencer did not exaggerate when he described this as an incredible achievement. The amount raised suggests several things:

• Markets are more resilient than many of us thought

• Icap is more resilient than some analysts have written

• Traders and brokers are less hard-hearted than often perceived.


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