Friday afternoon was cold and damp and we had to walk from a parking point in the Hurlingham to All Saints Church on the north side of Putney Bridge for Tony Shearer’s memorial service – he died of a brain tumour a few months ago.
He had been an approximate contemporary of mine at Rugby and subsequently enjoyed quite a career. This was first at Deloittes (where inter alia he investigated a colossal fraud at Lloyd’s implemented by Ken Grob and Ian Posgate). Then came a spell as CEO at M&G and, eventually, CEO of Singer & Friedlander where he found himself in an unhappy dilemma. This was that he had to get the best price for shareholders in cash whilst knowing that the Icelanders were supreme con artists and would destroy Singer & Friedlander in a few months. They knew nothing about lending money and everything about manipulating share prices of investments as a credit to profit and loss account. Tony sold Singers and marched across to the FSA where the thickos there encountered never understood anything. The eventual cost to taxpayers was massive.
He had of course had a long session as chairman of Uruguay Minerals, now Orosur (LON:OMI), and it must have been extremely galling that the orebody kept on flattering to deceive. It happens.
Anyway, Tony was obsessed with Elvis Presley and even changed his second name from Patrick to Presley. Not many do that.
After that a cheerful session occurred at The Palm Court at the Hurlingham.
All in all, a memorable afternoon.
Last Wednesday, I attended the lavish premises of FTI at 200 Aldersgate to listen to their client Polymetal (LON:POLY). This Russian precious metals miner is run by what I reckon to be a very intelligent man, Vitaly Nesis. Here he was assisted by Eugenia Onushchenko, as corporate finance officer and in charge investor relations. She is very engaging.
I think POLY is probably fairly cheap at 738p but its problem is that Vladimir Putin is not understood in the West and almost all POLY’s assets are in the FSU.