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Sex & drugs & rock'n'roll: Essential summer reading for private bankers
06/07/2018 , Freddie Pooter

We always look forward at this time of year to the summer reading list from J P Morgan, chosen by its advisers to entertain and challenge all their clients. The list, now in its 19th year, invariably has some gems to take away on your hols.

Personally, we will read at least one of the latest works in the JPM compilation: The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonise the Cosmos. Actually, our best chums all thought it would be a jolly helpful to prepare a personal reading list for our favourite people in the dear old private clients market in London to help them relax while enjoying the sun.

Here are our combined, tho’ rather lamentable efforts so far.

Michael Morley, Deutsche Wealth Management London:  A story of overwhelming German power and might, against which few forces could stand for long. For years, it spanned the European continent, taking few prisoners and was ever-hungry for new conquests. Yes, there was even much talk of a 1,000-year reign. Inevitably, such hubris was punished as an increasingly deranged leadership led it on to utter disaster.

So surely the definitive ”Stalingrad” by Antony Beevor is essential reading for anyone in Deutsche Bank these days.

David Durlacher, head of Julius Baer UK. To remind Mr Durlacher fondly of his former boss, Boris Collardi, we recommend any decent history of Louis XIV, known of course as the Roi Soleil.

Peter Hall of Schroders Wealth Management. Perhaps The Care and Breeding of the Middle White Pig, a useful little treatise will give newbie Peter something to talk about when he first meets the venerable Bruno Schroder.

Alexander Hoare of C. Hoare:  Mr Hoare has a deep love of the briny so a classic like Two Years before the Mast will be very acceptable. As a deep thinker, a re-reading of The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith could be instructive for this complete banker.  But, please shipmates nothing on wealth management under any circumstances, even a flat calm.

Peter Flavel, chief executive of Coutts & Co.  Hailing from the desiccated outback, Mr Flavel has understandably fallen deeply in love with the green and lovely roof garden at 440.  So classics like The Compleat Gardener would make great holiday reading for this splendid Aussie. But nothing on cross-pollination or reproduction as that whole subject is very touchy these days, even behind the potting shed at Coutts.

Karen Frank and Dena Brumpton of Barclays: Whatever happened to Baby Jane?

St James’s Place chief executive Andrew Croft:  We’ll make him an offer he cannot refuse-The Godfather Trilogy.

Anthony Cooke-Yarborough of EFG International UK: The latest version of Debrett’s would be very acceptable as Cookie does love keeping up with all his many aristo friends and relatives.  Debrett’s of course passes as the hallowed family bible among the Cookie clan.

Adrian Crichton of Weatherbys Private Bank: Although he officially retired as head of private banking last year, Adrian still remains very close to key clients. So, something vaguely horsey like The Client Whisperer? 

Paul Millar of Arbuthnot Latham: What else but the 2003 Boris Becker autobiography, Stay a Moment Longer. (Not to be confused with, Stay the Writ a Moment Longer.)

Nick Tucker of UBS Wealth Management: Mr Tucker is very keen on next-gen wealth succession planning.  So how about that much loved family drama, The Forsythe Saga? Or the Munsters?

Tom Kalaris, founder of Saranac: A difficult choice for Mr Kalaris has been a great supporter of the Hay on Wye book festival over the years and so is much more literary than all of us.  With hay fever rampant this hot summer, we personally swear by the NHS guide, to Avoid Catarrh.

Andrew Wheeler of Kleinwort Hambros:  Not a lot of people know this, but Mr Wheeler is a long-standing councillor for lovely Wonston Parish, near Winchester.  So that classic, The Natural History of Selborne by the Rev Gilbert White would be just right.

Philip Howell, chief executive of Rathbones. Chums recommend The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie so he can learn all about the new Morningside type of client he is acquiring with Scotland’s Speirs & Jeffrey.

Guy Paterson of Stanhope. Obviously, an entire bound set of The Shooting Times.

Damian Cocking of Rathbones. Surely the choice must be, Housetraining a Problem Dog by Barbara Woodhouse.

Guy Monson of Sarasin. This very brainy cove should be happy with The Complete Works of Immanuel Kant, to peruse on the beach this summer.

Charles Costa Duarte of Rothschilds. There are those who think Mr Duarte is related to the coffee chain and vote for a Barista type of read. Quite wrong, for this dashing chap will be quite happy with a derring-do novel like, Flashman on the March.

Rupert ‘Chobham’ Phelps of Smith and Williamson. Mr Phelps spent much time as a tankman when with The Life Guards. So we choose General Heinz Guderian's Panzer Leader. (Our alternative, the autobiography, Margaret Thatcher, In Her Own Words, is perhaps a little too blood-thirsty).

Lord Balfour of Virtus Trust. Roddy has fond memories of the Royal Air Force as his pater was the last head of RAF fighter command.   So we choose that definitive work, The Story of the Spitfire. 

Investec senior investment director James de Broë-Ferguson.  Mr Ferguson was in The Black Watch so will well know, when wearing the kilt, it is customary for troops to "go regimental" or "military practice", with no underwear. So how about that mercifully short one-page essay, A Brief Evolution of Scots Underwear: from the loin cloth to the present day?

Hugh Tottenham of Heartwood/Handelsbank. Mr Tottenham nowadays sports much face-fuzz so his read could well be the Dahlesque novel, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil.

David Scott of LGT Vestra: The Great Escape, the story of allied prisoners breaking out from Stalag Luft III, which must rather remind Mr Scptt of his famous bid for freedom from UBS all those years ago.

Joe Norburn of Coutts:  Will I go or will I stay-The Clash (DVD)

 Sandy Swinton of RBC Wealth: The Piano (DVD)

Nathalie Dauriac of Hay Hill Wealth: The new book based on the TV series, Escape to the Chateau, would be perfect for our wonderful Nathalie.

Warwick Newbury of Sandaire. For this famous chap, we choose Edna Healey’s Coutts and Co 1692-1992: Portrait of a Private Bank.  Indeed, legend has it that ex-Coutts boss Warwick was very helpful to Edna in her research with his personal, first-hand recollections of working with Angela Burdett -Coutts.

*On the QT, Mr Newbury is very well placed to be the star entry in our forthcoming ranking, Top 90 Private Bankers over 90.

Pip pip


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