This week, a consultant makes a guest appearance on the silver screen, the HVCA hangs out at the Bafta headquarters and the new RIBA president faces the flashbulbs of the international press
I had to chastise my colleagues last week for their surprise upon arriving at a swanky do in the City of London, hosted by UBS. For some reason they were expecting to spend the evening with a bunch of Swiss bankers and not the good people at UBS Hoists & Access. An easy mistake to make, perhaps, but the Swiss investment bank of the same name doesn’t appear to take the threat of a mix-up too seriously. Apparently, it offered its namesake money to change its moniker. The amount on the table? A cool £200.
Good to see Sunand Prasad, the new RIBA president, getting through the tiresome business of making his first blunder in front of the international news media last week. The occasion was the launch at RIBA HQ of a sustainability report by the Conservative party’s Quality of Life group. The diminutive prez stood at the lectern, flashbulbs popping, and introduced Oliver Letwin as “the chairman of the group”. Enter Letwin, who quickly told reporters that he wasn’t the chairman of the group, but chairman of the review that had commissioned it. Oops. Let’s hope Prasad brushes up on his Hansard before the party conferences start.
One last detail …
Someone at law firm Fenwick Elliot dropped the ball at its annual summer bash at west London’s Kensington Roof Gardens last week. The event was planned down to the last detail, complete with roast pig and champagne. The only problem was that they forgot England were playing Russia at football the same evening. One hastily arranged TV later and everyone was happy. I’m not sure how many people were enjoying the roof terrace, though.
This week’s most opportunistic press release comes to me from consultant Tuffin Ferraby Taylor, who are thrilled about their cameo in Hollywood blockbuster The Bourne Ultimatum. Apparently, TFT’s logo can be seen in the background at Waterloo station. Dan Cooper, an employee, who spotted the logo, was so surprised he “nearly spilled his popcorn”. Will we see TFT providing cost estimates for the rebuilding of Bruce Wayne’s manor in next summer’s Batman sequel? Only time will tell …
I hear the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association went to great length to make its annual lunch relevant to its members. During the pre-dinner drinks at Bafta HQ, the temperature crept to tropical heights and flustered guests were seen staggering outside for a breather.
Entertaining staff can be expensive, but Willmott Dixon has found a novel way to cut costs. More than 50 of its trainees and managers recently slept rough on the streets of Bristol as part of a team-building trip. As well as saving on hotel bills, they raised £4,000 for homeless charity Shelter.
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