02 June 2008

Au Revoir Maître Saint Laurent

The first time I was aware that some things are finer in life, was with Mum.

I must have been about 5 years old and fell IN LOVE with a purple georgette drapé evening gown.

"Yves Saint Laurent. He is a fashion designer. His designs are the absolute chic" Mum aproved of my taste - a rightly rare moment in my child/teen-hood.

- the bees knees, I thought. A man worshiped for drawing and making beautiful dresses. I realised this may be a career move.

13 years and a round trip Sydney/Paris later, after having dealt with the fact that I had absolutely NO talent in fashion design, I stood in front of the exact same store window.

The elegant black lacquered mannequins, the same breathtakingly simple style, the purple/green palette.

I remembered Mum's words.

And I was awed. With the stroke of a pen, one man could connect a starry eyed girl and her much more blasé mother. A feat that none had managed.

For that, and so so much more, thank you Maître Saint Laurent.

10 April 2008

Wealth Management Quiz and other related Trivia

A personal post for some of my financial friends

NorthStar Wealth Management Quiz

According to AEFeldman.com :

Exceptionally rich families around the world are creating increased demand for wealth management services, according to the FT. Although investors remain cautious in their outlook on the U.S. economy, a recent survey of ultra-wealthy investors conducted by PNC Wealth Management finds that respondents express increasing optimism about their investment portfolios in 2008. Executive search firm, A.E. Feldman, reports that the trend is creating opportunities for financial advisors. Firms are staffing up as they expand retail banking and wealth management operations.

The ultra-wealthy are likely to think longer term about their investment, according to a recent survey conducted by PNC Wealth Management. Thomas Melcher, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Hawthorn, the division of PNC Wealth Management that serves clients with $20 million or more in investable assets, says, “With a greater capital base, the ultra-wealthy are often in a better position to withstand market volatility. Markets rise and fall over time. But the act of investing is long-term by definition and we advise people to diversify in order to smooth out the bumps.”

Meanwhile, banks are working to provide more sophisticated wealth management services, according to the FT. The report states that UBS Wealth Management pegs this to the increase in wealthy families with complex arrangements. Demand is also increasing for consolidated reporting of international assets and investments. Lastly, the FT reports that philanthropy is another area where wealthy families are taking more advice. The FT quotes Darren Allaway, Managing Director of its UK family office group, as saying, “The two trends we’re seeing are volume - there are many more families of substantial wealth - and sophistication.”


Private banking assets under management are up 128% to 7.6 TrillionUSD

= the combined GDP of Germany, France and UK

= 200 million Ferrari 599s

= 441,000 Sunseeker 37 tri-deck yachts

= one and a half times the market capitalisation of all companies listed on the London Stock Exchange

Net income growth for the private banking industry is averaging 44% year-on-year globally with the fastest growth coming from China.

06 April 2008

Baselworld 2008

Here are a few images from the highly exclusive watch and jewllery trade fair (4th to 10th of April 2008)


29 March 2008


Pallinghurst Ressources restructures and clarifies coloured stones business.

By buying the prestigiuous Fabergé name from Unilever, Fabergé will once again be synonymous with exceptional quality ( - and not awful aftershave).

In its quest to create a new industry business model and restructuring the coloured stone distribution channels, Pallinghurst has constituated a rather large gemstone mines portfolio and has proposed a reverse takeover bid in Gemfields (miner listed on AIM).

Fabergé Limited has agreed to grant Gemfields an option to acquire a worldwide and exclusive 15 year license to use the Fabergé brand name in respect of gemstones (excluding diamonds) mimicking De Beer's mine-to-market business approach and creating further value under the Fabergé name.

Using the De Beer's (again) led Kimberly Program as a model and in a bid to increase the stones' value, their origin will be disclosed and the mines will be subject to monitoring to ensure that the gems are produced "ethically".
"We will guarantee the provenance," CEO Pallinghurst Gilbertson said.

Fabergé Ltd has appointed Tatiana and Sarah Fabergé to its supervisory council. The two are great-great-granddaughters of the founder of House of Fabergé, Gustav Fabergé, and will oversee product development for the business.

The House of Fabergé, jewellry, tableware and iconic egg maker from Russia was nationalized by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Sam Rubin, an American unrelated to the family, founded Fabergé Inc. after World War II, sold it in 1964, and the company was eventually bought by Unilever, which only sold it to Pallinghurst in January of this year.

A "well done" must be uttered for the very simple and effective Fabergé web page.
Fabergé Ltd Press Release