ICAP puts royalty and celebrities to work on charity day
LONDON Dec 3 (Reuters) - British interdealer broker ICAP transformed its often testosterone-fuelled trading floor into a setting fit for royalty on Tuesday, as its brokers were joined by the Duchess of Cornwall and a host of celebrities to raise money for charity.
For the company's annual charity day, ICAP's brokers, usually found shouting over one another to match buyers and sellers of bonds, currencies and swaps by telephone, ditched smart business attire for fancy dress and adopted a more polite tone to carefully steer the Duchess and stars from the world of music, sports, stage and screen through the trading process.
All the company's revenues and commissions raised on the day will be donated to more than 200 charities worldwide.
Brokers dressed as pirates commandeered the Duchess, who spoke to a number of clients by telephone and successfully negotiated a series of deals.
Elsewhere, a group of bell-ringing nuns whispered instructions to Homeland actor Damian Lewis as he juggled phone calls, while charity day veteran, actor Ray Winstone, looked at home as he notched up some trading successes.
The annual event, an ICAP tradition since 1993, has so far raised more than 100 million pounds ($164 million). In 2012, the day generated 11 million pounds, equivalent to approximately 4 percent of the company's full-year pretax profit. The 2013 total was not yet known.
ICAP Chief Executive Michael Spencer will welcome any positive attention the day's activities bring to ICAP, after the broker hit headlines earlier this year when it was fined $87 million in relation to the manipulation of Japanese yen Libor (London interbank offered rate).
The former Conservative party donor has been keen to draw a line under the affair, as well as years of declining trading volumes, saying the company is well-positioned to profit from a roll out of global financial market reforms.
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