(Bloomberg) -- Since Jerry Del Missier’s high-profile exit from Barclays, he’s had more time for passions other than finance: fashion, cuisine and honoring his Sudbury, Ontario roots on London’s charity circuit.
The Maple Leaf Ball he chaired Thursday night saw expat and visiting Canucks at the Victoria & Albert Museum raising money for the Maple Leaf Trust’s programs for U.K.-based Canadian veterans and scholars. The event also celebrated the 150th anniversary of Confederation, when British colonial holdings north of the U.S. were fused into a nation (the official birthday is July 1).
"Scots are Canadians who never left," said Lord Harry Dalmeny, the U.K. chairman of Sotheby’s auction house clad in red tartan trousers, before turning to some Brexit humor to whip up bids.
“Canada is to become Britain’s most important, and indeed only, trading partner,” Dalmeny said as he auctioned dinner for six with Janice Charette, Canadian High Commissioner to the U.K. “This is your chance to book dinner with Britain’s lifeline of trade with the West.”
The meal went for 7,000 pounds ($9,100).
Del Missier was Barclays’s chief operating officer under Bob Diamond before both resigned in the midst of the 2012 scandal over the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate. While he’s since branched out, including investing in east London’s Street Feast food markets, he still has a foot in the financial world.
Del Missier’s Copper Street Capital focuses on European financial companies and is shooting for $500 million in its latest round of funding. He said posturing in the initial stages of Brexit talks should fade and eventually result in a reasonable deal. “It will be fine” due to the resilience of London and the British economy, he said. “That’s not to say it won’t be bumpy.”
Last seen by many in front of U.K. Parliament in a sober banker’s suit, on this black-tie evening Del Missier wore a shiny black-and-blue-meets-jigsaw-camo jacket designed by Torontonians Dean and Dan Caten, the identical twins known to fashionistas for starting the Dsquared2 label in Milan. Unlike the Catens, Del Missier appeared to be wearing socks.
Whether it was hearing "O Canada" sung by British Columbian opera singer Eve Daniell, or being in the Raphael Cartoons room at the V&A -- which had an ambient noise level not so different from the old Winnipeg Arena -- a lot of guests were thinking about hockey.
The Ottawa Senators are up 2-1 in their best-of-7 series with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL semifinals, potentially giving a Canadian team its best shot at a Stanley Cup since angry fans rioted after Vancouver’s defeat in 2011.
Ottawan Carson Becke, the pianist at the reception, called the Senators to beat the Nashville Predators in seven games in the finals. Becke is in pursuit of a doctorate at Oxford with help from the Maple Leaf Trust-backed Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund.
Del Missier said he’s semi-grudgingly backing the Sens after his Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated earlier in the spring.
“Half of Sudbury were Leaf fans, the other half were Canadiens fans,” Del Missier said. “Sudbury is still old school, Original Six. We don’t mess around with expansion teams.”
Jean Charest, the former premier of Quebec and now a partner at ball sponsor McCarthy Tetrault of Montreal, mingled with compatriots including Stephen Harper -- not the former prime minister, but the director at Del Missier’s Copper Street -- and ex-politicos including Onex Corp.’s Nigel Wright. Charest, who was in London on business, dissented from the hockey consensus.
“It’s going to be Nashville,” he said somewhat ruefully, because of P.K. Subban, the superstar defenseman Montreal controversially traded away last summer.
Guests dined on sous-vide lamb canapes, maple-cured salmon, and braised shin of beef, with a Niagara Peninsula Riesling from Cave Spring to wash down dessert.
Also spotted: more than a few managing directors from Royal Bank of Canada, a sponsor of the event, as well as Karen Kain, artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada, in a gown by Toronto designer Greta Constantine; and Gordon Campbell, Charette’s predecessor at the High Commission and premier of British Columbia during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The event raised more than 230,000 pounds, including proceeds from the raffle. That prize: a 1-carat diamond from Rio Tinto Plc’s Diavik mine in the Northwest Territories.
--With assistance from Amanda Gordon
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