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Brokers try out fencing skills at Beazley International Trophy tournament
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Fencers and brokers alike gathered at the Mansion House on Tuesday for a fencing tournament at the Lord Mayor’s office. Financiers and bankers were invited to watch the semi-final European fencing tournament, sponsored by Beazley Insurance Company.</p> <p>Great Britain, France, Italy, and the USA competed in the semi-final matches of the Beazley International Trophy tournament. Bankers and brokers watched as the sportsmen lunged and parried against the backdrop of Corinthian columns and stained glass windows in the 18th-century mansion.</p> <p>Great Britain was the overall winner, beating Italy in the final after defeating France in the semi-final. Italy overtook the USA in the semi-final to advance to the last stage of the tournament. Team USA took the bronze medal. Here are the full results from British Fencing.</p> <p>Beazley Insurance had their own private guest list of brokers, but the event was also open to the public free-of-charge, for those who managed to sign up on time.</p> <p>While the professionals were taking a break between rounds, a so-called ‘white-collar fencing’ master class was held, so brokers got an opportunity to try out the sport, albeit with plastic fencing tips and masks. The fencing competition was followed by an evening gala.</p> <p>It is the first ever fencing match to have taken place at the Mansion House, which is often used for official City events hosted by the Lord Mayor, a position currently held by Alderman Alan Yarrow.</p> <p>Beazley has invested about £1m in British fencing since 2011 and is a premier partner of British Fencing. The insurer says the sport requires similar skills as a successful insurance broker- discipline, agility and precision. British Fencing is still looking for a sponsor to take the reigns from Beazley.</p> <p>This story first appeared in FinBuzz.</p> <p>Photo: Bastien Mejane</p>
Dick Fuld’s Big Wood River Estate breaks records
<p>Remember Dick Fuld’s Big River Estate? The interwebs were abuzz when “the most hated man in America” decided to put it on the auction block.</p> <p>Here’s what we wrote about it:<br /> “Set on over 70 acres of rolling Idaho plains with 2,100 feet of Big Wood River frontage, the Gorilla of Wall Street’s estate is supposedly “the first and last property of its kind in Sun Valley,” and is expected to be sold by Concierge Auctions for around $30 million to $50 million – a record for the area – according to the New York Post.”<br /> It didn’t! But CNBC reports that it did break records as it sold for more than $20 million Thursday, surpassing the previous record of $19.25 million and taking the crown of the most expensive property ever to be sold by auction.</p> <p>Who the buyer was and how much he paid for it exactly was not disclosed, though we do know that he got a lot for his money, as you can see from the estate’s promotional video:</p> <p>Big Wood River Estate — from Concierge Auctions</p> <p>As for Fuld, I’m pretty sure he’s not hurting. While he may sold this and his Park Avenue penthouse, he still has his Connecticut estate and all signs point to his wife still owning the notorious $100 Florida mansion.<br /> Photo: Wiki</p>
Video: The 3 best finance movies ever made
<p>With the “Wizard of Lies” and “The Big Short” set to hit the screens next year, I thought it was best to revisit some finance movies we’ve loved over the decades and see which ones still pack a punch.</p> <p>Here’s my top three:</p> <p>Margin Call, 2011</p> <p>Arguably the best – and most realistic – finance movie of the 21st century so far, Margin Call chronicles 24 tense hours inside an unnamed investment bank (rumored to be Goldman) that has just discovered its MBS holdings are about to go horrifyingly toxic. Its stars Jeremy Irons as the creatively-named bank CEO, John Tuld, Kevin Spacey as the firm’s S&amp;T chief, Sam Rogers, and a whole host of A-listers which includes Demi Moore in a very Erin Callan-esque role.</p> <p>American Psycho, 2000</p> <p>Okay, so this isn’t exactly a finance movie, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anything as cult-followed as this – save for my #1 – within the community. American Psycho follows Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), a Vice President at Pierce &amp; Pierce’s M&amp;A department who has unhealthy desire for all material things as well as a penchant for a bit of rape and serial killing. Interestingly, Bale used Tom Cruise as an inspiration for the role, noting his “very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes.” Check it out, it’s bone.</p> <p>Wall Street, 1987</p> <p>The gold standard. Hilariously, Oliver Stone set out to create Gordon Gekko as the absolute impersonation of greed, only to have Michael Douglas play the part a little bit too well. Aside from winning an Oscar for his role, Douglas inspired thousands to land a career on Wall Street – and has been routinely stopped on the streets because of it. Hell, there's even a lizard named after Gordon, Cnemaspis gordongekkoi.</p> <p>Honorable mentions:</p> <p> Trader, 1987<br /> Trading Places, 1983<br /> Rogue Trader, 1999</p> <p>Anything else I missed?<br /> Photo: R. Measel Photography</p>
Mr. Tepper builds his dream house
<p>A lot of great things have been done out of love, but few are as awesome as those done out of spite.</p> <p>Jon Corzine, the bearded former CEO of the ill-fated MF Global, reportedly passed over David Tepper for a partnership at Goldman Sachs – twice – while he was ran the firm back in the early 90’s. Well, the future multi-billionaire did not take kindly to that.</p> <p>Fast forward to 2010, Tepper bought Corzine’s former beachfront mansion from the man’s ex-wife, and promptly razed the 6,165 square foot pad to build his own mini fiefdom on the 6.5 acre oceanfront plot instead.</p> <p>Further sticking it to Corzine, Tepper told the New York Mag “you could say there was a little justice in the world” when he bought and leveled the place.</p> <p>And it’s finally finished! The 15,000 square foot mansion now boasts a T-shaped pool, an elegant-looking motor court, a tennis court with an ocean view, and various other amenities fit for a man who bagged $4 billion in 2009 alone.</p> <p>Curbed Hamptons has some pretty cool aerial photos of the place here. Check it out.</p> <p>Photo: Wiki</p>
Hedgie gives NYC teachers a pay boost
<p>Reward good teachers instead of punishing the bad, says Jim Simons, founder of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies.</p> <p>Simons' philanthropic organization, Math for America, gives high performing teachers a bonus, reports Business Insider. The 20-year-old group awards 800 math and science teachers in New York City public schools $15,000 a year. U.S. teachers are paid about $56,383 annually on average, lower than other developed countries, and about 1.3% lower than 13 years ago.</p> <p>"Beating up the bad teachers" does nothing but hurt the education community, says Simons in a recent TED talk interview. Rewarding the good teachers is a better approach, he says. "There's a great morale among them. They're staying in the field. Next year, it'll be 1,000 and that'll be 10 percent of the math and science teachers in New York [City] public schools," says Simons. </p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: collectmoments<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Singapore lets wealthy motorists live the high-life with a "sky garage"
<p>We have all been there. You have just bought a brand spanking new Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 but you live in a luxurious high-rise apartment in the heart of the city, meaning most of the time your new purchase is left stowed away in a basement carpark, unseen and unloved. It’s a classic dilemma.</p> <p>Well, the Hamilton Scotts residential building in Singapore has a way to bring your Lamborgini into your living room, so you can gaze upon its loveliness from the comfort of your chaise lounge. It called the Sky Garage.</p> <p>CNN reports that this building’s unique feature lets residents drive their cars into the basement and park it on a movable metal plate before entering a code that moves the car into an elevator shaft that brings it to one of 56 units across 36 floors - high-tech super villain style. The project’s director Calvin Sim Chen-Min explains:<br /> “Basically the way we conceived the parking lot in the sky was that you would park your beloved toy ... and it (would) became part of the living room ensemble.”<br /> The aim, he adds, is for the car to be a piece of furniture that from the living room you could admire like a piece of artwork.<br />  Photo: Reignwood</p>
Welcome to the jungle: Morgan Stanley trader runs Amazonian ‘ultra-marathon’
<p>Sergey Ionov, 27, is an exotic equity derivatives trader at Morgan Stanley and often clocks in 12-hour days. So how does he kick back and relax? By running several hundred kilometers mutli-day races in the Amazon and Alps, known as ‘ultra-marathons’.<br /> Perhaps inspired by his position at Morgan Stanley, Sergey’s taste for the ‘exotic’ permeates his running style. These are not your common run-of-the-mill city marathons. Ultra-marathons can take place in the jungles of the Amazon or at 3,000 metres altitude in the Alps. He started training about four years ago and took part in his first marathon three months later.</p> <p>Faced with a busy office schedule and the resulting difficulties in finding time to train, Sergey said he chose running over other physical activities because it is in every aspect the most practical choice. You don’t need a gym, equipment, or a particular schedule. And you can easily convince your friends to join.</p> <p>“During the week I just run to the office: I have two routes – a short one is about 6 km and a long one is about 12 km. I work in Canary Wharf so I can just cross Tower Bridge and go from there, or else run to Greenwich and take the tunnel.”</p> <p>He believes running reduces the stress accumulated at the office: “I normally work 12 hours in a row and get very tired. It helps you to relax and even find better solutions to work-related problems.” Running has also become a big part of his social life. When planning holidays, Sergey and his jogging mates always try to find a place where they can take part in a race.</p> <p>Just a few weeks ago, Sergey took 1st place in the London to Cambridge 100 km marathon.</p> <p>“I don’t really focus too much on winning. It is nice though. It improves the attitude of people towards you. They know you have achieved something great in spheres of life other than finance and at the same time you are able to fulfil your daily duties professionally,” he said.<br /> Jungle run<br /> It all started as a personal challenge, the most difficult challenge Sergey has ever attempted in his life. It took Sergey about 6 months to prepare: every morning he ran to his office with a 12 kg backpack and soaking wet sneakers. “It is quite important to get used to this before. Otherwise, you can have a whole leg turning into one huge blister,” he said.</p> <p>However, as Ionov went through the hardships of the difficult training, he became more and more motivated by the fundraising opportunities the Jungle Ultra Marathon offered him. He chose to use his participation to support Gift of Life, a charity that offers help and care to children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses in Russia.</p> <p>The competition took place near Santarem in Para, Brazil. Sergey had to complete a distance of more than 250km in 6 days, running along pre-existing paths, trails and tracks through the thick jungle, overcoming natural obstacles such as streams and shallow rivers, and the occasional encounter with local fauna.</p> <p>“When you concentrate on the route you won’t face any danger. Snakes, caimans, they don’t go on the road. They are more afraid of you than you are of them. The bigger nuisance is posed by smaller creatures – all sorts of mosquitoes and ants. At the end of the day you go to the medical check-point and have the swarms of ticks you’ve c</p>
David Rubenstein loves baby pandas
<p>Even financiers have a soft spot for fuzzy baby animals.</p> <p>David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, is donating $4.5 million to the National Zoo's giant panda research and conservation program, reports the Washington Post. The Washington, DC zoo says the money will help fund panda reproduction research, training programs, and upgrades to the giant panda habitat through 2020. This isn't the first time Rubenstein has given a big donation to the fuzzy bears. In 2011, Rubenstein gifted another $4.5 million to the pandas.<br /> “The National Zoo’s panda program has been a remarkable success — two healthy pandas in just two years — and I am pleased to support it for another five years,” Rubenstein says in a press release.<br /> The National Zoo is known for its pandas, including a baby boy born August 22. Giant pandas are native to China and a critically endangered species. China owns and leases all pandas held in the U.S. The National Zoo pays $500,000 a year to lease its pandas, and is currently negotiating a new lease. All cubs born at the zoo have to go to China when they turn 4.<br /> Photo: Will Sowards </p>
Traders react to Fed decision: Just watch what Yellen does to the VIX
<p>Traders react to news that the Federal Reserve is leaving interest rates at zero percent.<br /> LOL. VIX down 8% "@Henry_Chinaski: $SPY $VIX $VXX $UVXY this pic doesn't get old"</p> <p>— StockTwits (@StockTwits) Sep. 17 at 02:28 PM</p>
HSBC becomes HSBC UK in ‘radical’ rebranding
<p>After more than а month-long review on a potential name change, the UK’s largest lender has decided to keep ‘HSBC’ in its domestic banking division brand, Finbuzz reports. </p> <p>An internal staff email last week said of the change: “It soon became obvious that everyone preferred a name that maintains a strong connection to HSBC, and a clear commitment to the UK.”</p> <p>HSBC, also Europe’s largest bank, announced plans to rebrand earlier this summer. The announcement had the chatting classes speculating whether or not HSBC would revive its Midland Bank brand which it acquired in 1992.</p> <p>One legacy of Midland Bank that HSBC UK will adopt is location, as the 26,000 banking employees will be based in Birmingham, the former Midland Bank centre. The HSBC UK name comes into effect from 1 January 2018, and will be used at the bank’s 1000 UK branch locations.</p> <p>The name change comes ahead of the new banking rule that requires lenders to ‘ring-fence’, or separate, high-street and investment banking operations. “[Setting] up the UK ring-fenced bank in Birmingham is a key strategic action for the group,” Gulliver said.</p> <p>“Our ambition is to be the bank of choice in the UK and as a name, HSBC UK will build on the global connectivity and customer trust of the HSBC brand and differentiate us in a competitive market.”</p> <p>This article originally appeared on Finbuzz.<br /> Photo: Elliott Brown</p>