Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

City Spy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

City Spy

Article excerpt

THE cabal of big swingers at the centre of Philip Green's operations to win over City investors can be named for the first time.

Phil Raper, head of corporate broking at Goldman Sachs, has already had his head thrust above the parapet by turning out to be the mole on the lawns at the Chelsea Flower Show who spiked the reputation of Stuart Rose on the alleged overheard testimony of Rosemary Thorne. But the man really pulling the strings for Green is Michael Sherwood, the 39-year-old onetime star Goldman trader who now sits on the all-powerful management committee of the London end of the US investment bank. Sherwood is, by turns, regarded as legendarily taciturn and peerless in his dealmaking and is being helped out by an improbably-named Goldman mergers and acquisitions star-in-the-making, Luca Ferrari, a former colleague of Raper's at Warburg back in the 1990s.

Sherwood's extraordinary personal wealth as a partner of the bank is valued at more than [pounds sterling]125 million, putting him among the top 20 wealthiest with a day job in the City, and has enabled him to be one of the highrollers secretly buying into Tottenham - an interesting investment given his board directorship at another quoted football club, Watford. With Green marshalling his last best efforts, Sherwood was last weekend private-jetting off to Monaco to impart his no-doubt priceless advice. As his bonus alone last year was reckoned to be [pounds sterling]13 million, one can assume Sherwood is doing this strictly for fun.

THE imminent defenestration of Richard Bowker from the stop-start vehicle known as the Strategic Rail Authority - along with the outright dissolution of the government agency - begs the question of who might become industry hate-figurehead in future. It appears likely that Network Rail, the Statebacked successor to Railtrack, will now have the biggest slice of responsibility. …

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