As usual the STA Annual Dinner was timed to coincide with the Liberal Party’s annual conference, this year in sunny Bournemouth – as billed on their web site. This means that we had the whole of their gorgeous club pretty much all to ourselves and could roam freely between the library, dining room, grand pub, and its huge terrace overlooking the Thames and South Bank. Being a balmy evening many were able to spend a little longer catching up with friends, meeting new members, and being introduced to partners and guests – with a good clutch in attendance and a delightful extra too. We do hope they enjoyed their evening.
Drinks first giving ample time to manoeuvre public transport and unexpected delays. Then a formal sit-down dinner with round tables of 10; I do so prefer circular ones to rectangular as it gives one a chance to talk to all seated. A starter of smoked salmon, crab and fennel was a safe bet, followed by roast duck and rosti – veg as our charming waitresses urge us to have more of – and of course vegetarian and vegan options. After a lemon tart with raspberry coulis for pudding, coffee was served to accompany the speech, this year by Charlie Morris.
A member of the STA’s investment committee, Charlie’s has a high profile in the industry after 17 years as head of absolute return at HSBC. He now has what’s currently termed a ‘portfolio’ of roles with Newscape Capital Group, Fleet Street Publications, and CCData.CC.
His address was succinct, witty, and superbly delivered, as one would expect from someone at ease with public speaking and the media. Joking about fundamentals versus technical, his anecdote was smart. Q: Why didn’t you catch the knife? A: Why didn’t you move your foot? Retort: I had no idea it could go that low.
Interestingly he equated money to water where evaporation equals inflation. Frozen water does not move therefore zero inflation and the economy doesn’t thrive. Tropical money is the jungle which will eat you alive while the desert is terrible because the value of money falls. These four quadrants lead to a world which is usually stable.
I almost forgot to mention that our chairman, Axel Rudolph kept us up to date with what’s going on. Meetings will move to the ‘walkie talkie’ building in Fenchurch Street next year, which will be his last year in his current role. Tickets to the 50th year STA party to be held at City Hall, the Citroen headlamp-looking building by Tower Bridge, are currently on special offer at £25 for a member plus a friend. Rush as there is limited availability! He also reminded us that Katie Abberton who coordinates our admin has been sorting us out since 1998. Thank you Katie!