When 25k is too much for a bank to invest

Mon November 28, 2011 9:44 am

At a dinner last week I met an old friend who now runs a small corporate events agency. hes recently been invited to on sell hopsitality packages for the Games. High end hospitality ticets are the preserve of Prestige Ticketing . As I understand it sales have not been a runaway success.

Top end packages run to £4,500 but according to another friend, who is a partner at a big four accounting firm, fully loaded a top firm should expect to invest £25k per person to give a client an Olympic experience with a few days of tickets, accomodation, hospitality and other sundries throw in.

That’s a lot of money by anyone’s standards. But the standards of global investment banks , which generates in excess of £1bn profits a quarter from their clients it sounds like small change. Particularly in an environment where average bonuses for 2010-11 for the 231 top performers were over £2m and these sort of numbers are seen as the cost of retaining talent.

Barclays have apparently determined that they will only buy hospitality for clients who are Managing Directors (and I assume this means CEOs rather than whatver passes for an MD in a bank, though I could be wrong).  Apparently the numbers are too high to justify paying to entertain anyone else. Maybe  Barclays are baulking at possible scrutiny in the light of the UK bribery Act .

Im not entirely sure what to make of this. Perhaps it shows legislation aimed at curbing coporate excess does have a meaningful impact on how business spends its money. It certainly seems to show that the rationale that an investment bank deploys for remuneration is wholly  different from the rationale it employs when considering the cost of doing business. Would that Barclays clients and shareholders take the same view….

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