Bankers party like the recession never happened (again) at the Square Mile Summer Party
As Britain enters its first double-dip recession since the 1970s, the current economic climate looks about as certain as our British summer. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Whilst those of us at the shallower end of the pay pool are left clinging to whatever fiscal buoyancy aid available, for others, namely the city bankers, the recession signals a medley of cocktails, champagne and canapés at one of the biggest financial social events of the year – the Square Mile Summer Party.
For a fourth year, Square Mile, the leading luxury lifestyle publication for the City of London, hosted its annual soirée, previously billed as “a festival for bankers”, at its new venue – McQueen Lounge Bar & Club in the heart of Shoreditch. This year, the Summer Party formed part of a week-long programme of events – The Square Mile Festival, the launch of which was celebrated on 9th July, where anyone lucky enough to be in Exchange Square would have seen 15 swimwear models playing beach ball.
Glorifying all things glitz and glamour, the Square Mile Summer Party, which in the past has sparked public outrage for its lavishness, is fast becoming one of the hottest tickets on the financial district’s social calendar. And you could see why. When the festivities kicked off at 6pm on Friday 13th July, there were no signs of bad luck nor the effects of the dismal economy, as 1,000 freshly dressed finance professionals guzzled Louis Roederer champagne and Iceberg Vodka, whilst entertained by fire-breathing strippers, snake charmers and sword swallowers – compliments of all-girl dance troupe, Girls Roc.
If you like brash and flash – and judging by the hundreds gathered at this event, many of London’s elite do – then this was definitely the place to be. The suited bankers, from banks such as UBS, Barclays and Citigroup, were even treated to free drinks laid on by Square Mile. And if drinking and dancing got a little bit passé, a retreat was offered in the form of a chill out room sponsored by Small Luxury Hotels of the world, with Ibiza Angels massage girls offering their service to tired bankers.
Ex-Goldman Sachs trader and the star of the new issue of Square Mile magazine, Anton Kreil, was the special guest on the night. You may remember him from his role on the BBC’s show Million Dollar Traders, where he was mentor for a team of eight novices who were chosen to run a hedge fund. Arriving in a blacked out Mercedes, dressed in his flight suit and mirrored Ray-Bans with a team of mascot astronauts in tow, Anton, now the CEO of the Institute of Trading & Portfolio Management, is set to become the first person to make a currency trade from space.
Being an event well known for it’s late-night revelry, it was not surprising that the exclusive party went on until 6am when suited bankers could be seen staggering home. Commenting on the night’s events, Head of PR for Square Mile Magazine, Lorene Penney, said: “We’re known for throwing the most lavish parties for the banking industry”.
Photos: Martin Evans
For further information on Square Mile Magazine, visit the Square Mile website.