What a dashed pity that those elaborate tax-efficient film finance schemes have ended in tears.
As many as 500 investors, who put minimum of £100,000 into Ingenious's various film projects, are suing the firm after receiving huge tax bills from the HMRC, which called “it’s a wrap” and promptly sent the tax wheeze straight to DVD (dead, very dead).
So tragic. Various chums of ours at EFG, Goldman Sachs, Coutts, Barclays and Credit Suisse had personal investments in the scheme, as well as their clients.
We had all been enraptured by the Ingenious wide-screen method, and had drafted up a series of very good screenplays for future movie projects, based on leading characters from the London private banking cast-list. Most of these projects would of course have been sure-fire blockbusters, to wit:
Marie Antoinette: A role that our very own Nathalie Dauriac was born for though the script takes great liberties with historical fact. Instead of getting the chop, Marie flees to London to rooms in Hay Hill where, proving very successful in business she plots against the French revolutionaries and a ruthless sect called Les Signeuse. Revenge is sweet when Robespierre (played convincingly by John Caudwell) gets his head handed to him. This movie should have very great appeal, especially for lawyers.
The Godfather: Bruno Schroder, known as Der Baron, heads a famous family business, Schroders. Despite his advancing age of 85, the Baron retains an iron grip on the family firm, helped by hitmen enforcers from his old regiment, The Life Guards. His latest move apparently is to move to place his daughter Leonie Fane on the Schroders board and so ensure family control and continuity. Much controversy as Leonie appears to have little knowledge of the business. Indeed, she is notable for roles in such organisations as the Red Squirrel Survival Trust.
Schroders meanwhile has named the canteen at its posh new offices as Bruno’s. The Middle White pork rolls are to die for, we’re told.
When Harry met Sally: Much-loved movie, with this remake due to star Harry McGowan aka Lord McGowan of Cazenove and Sally Tennant, OBE, founder of Acorn Capital Advisers. The restaurant scene is cut, however. Pity.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?: A defining film noire and just right for Nicola Horlick.
Mutiny on the Bounty: Lord Willie Waldegrave as Captain Bligh with Michael Morley as Fletcher Christian, who sailed his mutineers off to the balmy and idyllic Deutsche Bank. Great guest role by Duncan MacIntyre, head of Lombard Odier UK, as head of a team of feared press-gangers which lurks around the Strand.
The Perfect Storm: Alexander Hoare skippers world cruises aboard his luxury yacht, Cape Horn supported by Rennie the cabin boy. His voyages are super-exclusive for would-be voyagers are only accepted if they can get three references from previous passengers. On her latest cruise, Cape Horn is caught in mountainous seas off the Grand Banks (aka Hoare’s Bank). Cap’n Alex orders the ship to be lightened, and wealth management clients are swiftly jettisoned along with Annamaria Koerling (always unlucky to have a woman aboard ship, shipmates). No further cruises are being offered, though disappointed clients receive free day passes on the Woolwich Ferry.
Treasure Island: Fortune hunters descend on the fair island of Jersey in droves, attracted by reports that huge stashes of gold, jewellery, along with foundations and private trusts are easily to be found. Why, on every Jersey beach you find lovely shells. Movie highlight is Geoff Cook, chief executive of Jersey Finance, who voices Long John Silver’s parrot, which squawks ‘pieces of eight, pieces of eight’ to treasure seekers from all corners of the globe.
In the Roof Garden of Earthly Delights: A young Australian (Peter Flavel) is forced to sell his farm after devastating droughts in his home country. Peter comes to London to seek his fame and fortune. To his great delight, the Aussie finds a tropical paradise in the unlikely spot of the roof garden at Coutts at 440 Strand - so very different from his desiccated homestead back in Oz. Soon, he makes a pile from organic beansprouts and even Kew Gardens acknowledges him as the world expert on brasiccas.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers: David Durlacher and Tracey Reddings lurk in the dark alleyways of the City, recruiting the unwary to their nefarious cause. Victims are lured to secret Baer offices in Zurich, next to Dignitas, where they are transformed into private bankers. While seemingly human, these recruits are actually alien, distinguished by their utter lack of emotion.
The Eiger Sanction: Watch with bated breath as hero Nick Tucker has a death-defying battle on the famed North Face of the Eiger in this perennially watchable thriller. And yes, he does get the girl in the end, helped by a crampon or two. Sponsored by UBS.
Big Trouble in Little China: After studying Bruce Lee movies, Peter Boyles, chief executive of HSBC's global private banking business, brings stunning wealth management Kung Fu to this Asian martial arts film. Thrill as HSBC gets its private client Feng Shui spot on, although the script lacks credibility with the claim that HSBC will recruit a million more private bankers in Asia by 2022: 100,000 is much more realistic.
Oh! What A Lovely War: A futuristic remake where Rupert Phelps of Smith and Williamson leads a squadron of tanks from his old regiment, The Life Guards, across to Dunkirk in a Brexit invasion of Europe. He wins the VC when Jean-Claude ‘Bunker’ Juncker, surrenders in his Brussels redoubt and is forced, after a bottle or two of Gordon’s best to sign the Chequers agreement. 50 percent proof!
‘The only version of Brexit I would be happy with.’- Nigel Farage.
Mamma Mia!: The ultimate feel-good movie stars Nancy Curtin, head of investment at Close. With a passing resemblance to a younger Meryl Streep, Nancy brings all her American vitality and flair to the role. Her version of Money, Money, Money brings the house down every time among risk-averse clients. Fun for all the family offices.
Gentlemen prefer Blondes: Lovely Penny Lovell of Sanlam UK is the bombshell who makes this movie truly come alive. She plays Lorelei Lee, a role which Marilyn Monroe once made her own. But Penny outdoes her with the updated hit song, 'Non-correlated investments are a girl’s best friend'. X-rated.
Braveheart: Starring Ray Entwistle, outgoing chairman of Hampden & Co. Ray defies the Sassenachs and bravely forms the first new private bank in years. Trailers showing Greyfriars Bobby as an example of the dog-like trust and loyalty that Hampden offers are, in fact, even better than the film.
Dirty Harry: Starring Rob Taylor, head of global asset management regulatory strategy at the FCA. Best line in the movie is when Rob tells a wayward compliance officer in for a carpeting, “The FCA rulebook, the most powerful in the world, and would blow your career clean off, so you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” QCF4 rated.
The Da Sanctis Code: Claudio de Sanctis, who has just become the new head of Deutsche Bank Wealth Management in Europe after switching from Credit Suisse, follows mysterious and obscure clues to one of the great world mysteries. For can he decipher the final 12th century code, Tallis sanctus sanctorum in sanguine Christi, to find out whether Deutsche can really make private banking work better?
Kramer vs Kramer: A specially adapted version of this film has the two warring branches of the Rothschild dynasty scrapping over the family name. After tense courtroom scenes, both sides agree to forego the use of the Rothschild brand in isolation, while continuing to use their own specific variants, and to unwind cross-shareholdings. We hope Dustin Hoffman will reprise his original role, this time as David Rothschild. Meryl Streep should undoubtedly play Arianne de Rothschild. Adults only.
The Great Gatsby: Jamie Black is superb, bring much more depth to the Jay Gatsby character than Leonardo DiCaprio. Just shows you what life at Sarasin can equip you for.
Down and out in Beverly Hills: Now we know why Hugh Tottenham, a formerly immaculately turned out cavalry officer, nowadays sports that rather unpleasant face fungus at Heartwood. He’s up for the lead role as the vagrant in the remake of this great movie, and is sure to eclipse the Nick Nolte version. We’re told the swimming pool scene is devastating, based on first-draft scripts.
Lawrence of Arabia: Roddy, Earl of Balfour, stars in this remake of the legendary David Lean film. Like T.E. Lawrence, Roddy unites warring Arab tribes into a formidable fighting force. This is, er, a Trump card to defeat Turkey. A key scene is where all the tribes pledge to follow Roddy, in a huge feast with lashings of Hamas and eggs. But then much dissent when a declaration is made that one of the tribes should have much of Palestine as its permanent homeland.
‘A great film, except for the bits on Israel.’—Jeremy Corbyn.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: Warwick Newbury and James Fleming are the rumoured stars for the reprise of this iconic movie. Butch (Warwick) and James (Sundance) are in fact undercover sheriffs in the remake, quietly imposing the very strictest regulations and compliance rules on the frontier town of Sandaire Springs. A gang of unruly night-owls is soon run out of town.