Last week's Finance Live – the third such event – was another boisterous, good-natured affair in Grappa's Cellar, nestled beneath Hong Kong's Jardine House.
Organiser Steve Bernstein, chief executive of Hong Kong-based SinoPac Solutions and Services, was in generous mood. “Frenchy's the most famous person here,” he said of the event's celebrity guest artist, despite being handed that distinction himself by several attendees.
Bernstein had good reason to feel magnanimous. Roughly $10,000 was raised for nominated charity Hong Kong Generation Arts, including money from the sale of Frenchy's painting executed on the night. Grappa’s also donated 25% of revenues it took in above rental costs.
Many of the sponsors from the previous shows on November 21 last year and March 20 this year again provided their support, and a new addition to that list was Maybank KimEng. The securities firm had sent a contingent from Singapore to represent.
“They just started a prime brokerage division, so this was like a coming-out party for them,” Bernstein told AsianInvestor.
What of the stars of the show? First up were two acts that performing together for the first time in front of a an audience, losing their live virginity in front of 200-300.
Five-piece opener Old Kids on the Block, featuring a husband and wife, belted out a competent rendition of The Beatles' 'Come Together' and various Journey numbers.
By the time the second act took to the stage, the venue was packed, and heard IO – featuring a drummer and bassist from tech vendor InvestOrbit – turn out a blistering rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze and other classics.
No Eye Deer rounded out the early shift, banging out modern rock by the likes of Foo Fighters.
Two veteran acts – Black Cat Blues and League of Gentlemen (see picture below) – took to the stage for the 9-to-midnight slot.
Band members included executives from independent financial advisers The Henley Group, financial services firms Arwon Capital, Mariana Capital, Mizuho Securities, Goldman Sachs, UBS and Morgan Stanley. Hedge fund manager contributed a DJ from its ranks.
The prime broking sector were also out in force, with the likes of Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Macquarie, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and UBS with executives in attendance. Phil Tye and Heidi Blunt of the Alternative Investment Management Association (Aima) were also spotted.
Particularly prevalent were current and former bankers from Citi, where Bernstein had worked for 23 years.
Along with SinoPac Solutions and Services, several companies had sponsored more than one Finance Live event: software firm Advent, compliance consultancy Complyport, offshore law firm Harneys and InvestOrbit.
Sponsors other than Maybank KimEng were: Aima, Cap Intro Solutions, CMS Asia, DMS Offshore, EurekaHedge, Interactive Data, MHP Communications, Sallbo Design and Women in Finance Asia.