Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ciroc Vodka, Next Model Sponsorship, and the Mystery Hedge Funder

We recently highlighted the ‘banker’ who splashed out £71,000 on a drinks binge at a top London nightclub in one single evening - and with just nine money-making wannabees. Now, in our follow up exclusive, TheBigRetort  uncaps the bottle. At the bottom of the glass we discover a 'sponsored' jolly for  a top model agency and a publicity stunt gone awry. Our report pours ice on a little-known drink someone has styled 'Methuselah'...

What do a bunch of party-going models and a drinks firm have in common?  Answer: A give-it-large hedge fund owner with more money than sense.

To recap... It took place just off Oxford Street. In a club called The Rose. You may recall that this is the place (if you've got no soul) that was recently promoted by its gloating owners as the wannabe hangout of the embarrassingly wealthy.

And boy do we mean e-m-b-a-r-r-a-s-s-i-n-g.

The Rose has a thorn after all...

It recently made the Evening Standard and the Daily Mail and other 'tabs' when it was claimed by its owners--strange uh?--that one wealthy patron, himself the owner of a hedge-fund firm, blew a small fortune on drinks for his young all-male staff -  a paltry £71K for ten, what a Scrooge!!

According to the club's owners, the man who caused all the fuss  wished to remain anonymous. (So why draw attention to yourself by throwing £50 notes around the club 'like confetti' then?) However, i
ronically, and somewhat contradictorily, the club's publicity-seeking owners appear not to have understood that the announcement would garner some negative publicity.

Various blogs commented on the 'disgusting' behaviour of the individual concerned.

A witch hunt was recommenced against yet another 'banker' drunk on his plunder. (But he wasn't a banker. He was the owner of a hedge fund firm.) Or so it was claimed... 

The Rose Club promoters also presented a copy of what they insist was the 'check';  presumably to firm up the story for the (unsuspecting?) reporter who filed it.

Remarkably it revealed that the waitress got extremely lucky that night.

She received a £10,000 tip!  

The club owners' claimed that ‘Margaux’ on the bill was not in fact 'a real name'. But since our last post (in which we outed waitress ‘Margaux Nina’) she has posted a copy of the bill confirming the tip. 

So that’s that then?

Well, not quite… don't forget the models.

Next Models London celebrated what was the end of 'an amazing year' with an "exclusive" party for its models, clients and friends at The Rose. 
According to its Facebook page, Next Models Management also reveals that the event at the Rose Club, which took place when the hedge funder was also there, was sponsored by... wait for it, “CIROC vodka.” 

But, what' oh what is this: £44,400 was charged to the hedge funder's bill for a drink recorded as  “Ciroc Methuselah“. A drink that we could not find listed anywhere else other than on the club's 'check'. Odd that.

So, why would an extremely rich hedge-fund owner, who wishes to remain (partly) anonymous, invite negative publicity by spending £44,400 for a drink that was sponsored--presumably gratis--by the drinks manufacturer?

Strange behaviour for a news-shy multi-millionaire who did not wish to be named?

Or was it we ask a publicity s-t-u-n-t.

If so, hoodwinking the unsuspecting public is not a very good way to develop trust around a brand.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Man charged with lift fire murder

Jerome Isaac, 47, has been charged with murder and arson following the death of Deloris Gillespie, 73.

The victim was set alight after being sprayed with a flammable liquid when her lift stopped on the fifth floor of her apartment block.

The incident was captured on CCTV together with images of her attacker dressed as a pest controller who was seen entering the lift in Brooklyn, New York.

The video went white as the woman was set on fire.

Dorinda Thomas, 56, told the New York Post. "She was a wonderful lady, you understand."

Breaking News... Boris bus motorway breakdown

Following the much-publicised introduction of the new Routemaster bus, reports just in...  Boris Johnson’s new bus, named the “Son of Routemaster”, has broken down on a motorway just south of Luton.

The new Routemaster took the unscheduled stop leaving its driver looking forlorn.

The Routemaster, which has its hazard lights flashing, is flanked by police in a lay-by.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rose Club Big Tip Waitress Unmasked

In our last Retort, we reported on the City hedge fund banker who received national publicity when it was revealed that he blew £71,000 on a single night out for ten in a London nightclub. Added to the largess he left a tip for one lucky young lady... of £10,000. TheBigRetort exclusive...

Since we ‘outed’ the lucky 'Rose Club' waitress at our last retort the recipient of the windfall has now posted a photograph of the receipt - showing a tip made out to her to the value of ten thousand pounds. Yes - TEN THOUSAND!

Who's the lucky girl, then?

TheBigRetort can now reveal that she is none other than "Margaux Nina".

Or at least this is the name under which she currently Tweets. "Wooooooop ahahahaha !!! ;-) watch out…" Ms Nina wrote in one tweet following the enormous tip. She even thanks the London Evening Standard, presumably for reporting on the tip?

Woooooop ahahahaha indeed.

Friday, December 16, 2011


The new alternative to the hated Bendy-Bus was seen on London streets today as LBC's Nick Ferrari, and former MP Michael Portillo put two very large bums on seats. 

Their verdict: a big thumbs up for Mayor Johnson's "Boris Bummer.".

The old Bendies never did find much popularity (except amongst fare dodgers) and if Ferrari and others are to be believed, the Boris Bummer is likely to bring in the punters due to its lighting and sleek glass design, which also manages to retain the heritage of the old much-loved Routemaster.

Will is be a success amongst the travelling public?

Fares ladies and gents, please.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Rose Club Tipper

When newspapers recently reported the largesse of a mysterious hedge fund manager who is said to have frequented a London club where he spent £71,000 on a single evening out - TheBigRetort couldn't resist querying the bill...

The Evening Standard, together with the Mail and various additional newspapers of note recently carried a feature on the 13th December that came in for a lot of scrutiny by we poor due to the amount of money that is said to have been spent, in a single evening, and by just one rich individual at a club styled 'The Rose'; and which (significantly) recently opened off Oxford Street.

On Thursday evening into the Friday morning the club is said to have played host to a big-spending banker and his cohorts - with more money than it seem sensitivity in what are arguably straightened times, for the many at least.

But is all as it seems in this remarkable story of riches to riches?

Apparently this right ‘banker’ (call him what you will) allegedly splashed out that night  like there were no tomorrows, or even mornings after for that matter. The Bachanalian soiree he threw for his grateful staff is said to have included a £10,000 tip to a lucky waitress, apparently hiding behind the nome de bottle “Margaux“. (More on which later.)

But readers can rest safe in the knowledge that this may be nothing more than a marketing campaign, a fiction, a leg-pull - with the sole aim of promoting what is ostensibly a new venue: The Rose Club.

In fact the questions the mainstream press should have asked--do they ever--is what was the name of this big spender, the real name of the lucky waitress who served this party, and why certain things on the bill do not, how shall we put it, tally? For instance, the receipt records a cover charge for ‘fifteen‘ guests and not ten. (Perhaps the group had additional ‘friends’ and the hedge funder and his team did not want their presence known. I wonder why?)

The Rose Club was founded by entrepreneurs Piers Adams and Nick House, who are no strangers to courting publicity for their various ventures surely. However, if the claim of a big-spending banker is to be believed, and it has been accepted as Gospel by many, the pair prove themselves to be maestros of publicity when it comes to new club openings.

Be that as it may....

Messieurs House and Adams claim the following was spent by the hedge fund individual that they did not name, and amongst his (just) nine guests (fifteen on the cover charge sittings note):

£44,400.00 on Ciroc Methuselah, Dom Perignon Rose Magnum £7,2000.00, Wahiki Coconut £1,120.00. Together with additional items and service charge £7,965.60 and a £10k tip to waitress ‘Marguax) (Apparently not her real name) the grand total was £71,000.60. Or the price of a garage in some parts of London.

But don’t be resentful…

A little birdy informs that this bill will fall under the scrutiny of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs because it contains the VAT number 107717911.

This number is registered to a company styled BLAYSET LTD and which was incorporated in December 2010. Blayset is yet to file accounts and the nature of its business is not supplied, but when it is HMRC would expect to see it ticking over quite nicely.

According to HMRC, the club, or Blayset, would have to register for VAT if its taxable sales were likely to be above the current VAT threshold. At the prices charged and achieved at the club this seems likely. The company will then have to apply VAT at the standard rate of 20% on the items it sells - such as food and drink - and the services it provides - this is known as 'output tax'. The company would then be able to reclaim any VAT it pays on purchases such as Dom Perignon - this is known as 'input tax'.”

The club’s owners will have to therefore send off to HMRC the difference between:

all the output tax it has charged
all the input tax is has paid on purchases

And the interest doesn’t end there...

What about tips? Well, that brings us to the elusive "Margaux".  The Inland Revenue takes a keen interest in tips, nevermore so than in a venue where high rollers drop fifty pound notes like confetti. The Tax Man is waiting to wash his boots in bubbly and will seek his cut from ‘service charge‘ (a tip or gratuity surely) and Marguax‘s £10k windfall, sadly.

According to Twitter, “Margaux” is actually the name of a waitress at the club. Remarkably though she makes no mention of such a thrifty group at the club that night, or the £10,000 tip the “Margaux“ on the receipt is said to have received.

In one Tweet she distances herself from the owners' claim by posting:
"Love my life , love my job, love my BF !!! What else ?? Nothing !! Amazing !! Hapiness (sic) thank (sic) to @TheRoseClub."

Nothing? Perhaps she is right.

[News just in... this was the same night as the Next Models' Christmas Party. See..http://blog.nextmodels.com/?p=4710]

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Kepler 22b renamed: "Keptoo-toobe"

The recent discovery by astronomers of an extra-solar planet designated Kepler 22b comes just one year after a treasure trove of stars was unveiled by the space telescope Kepler at NASA.

“This is the biggest release of candidate planets that has ever happened,” said scientist William Borucki at that time.

NASA expected only 50% of these so-called alien candidates to actually turn out to be real planets.

Kepler 22b, almost two and a half times the size of the Earth, has not only been confirmed as a real planet after moving through its third rotation around its parent star, it is also the most interesting, the crown jewel of planet hunting.

”Fortune smiled upon us with the detection of this planet," declared NASA scientist Dr Borucki. "The first transit was captured just three days after we declared the spacecraft operationally ready. We witnessed the defining third transit over the 2010 holiday season.”

But why was this the most ‘phenomenal discovery in the course of human history’ - ever - kept from the world for 18 months? 

Did the Vatican have something to do with it?

Will world religions fall?

After all the newly discovered Earth has been around long before God uttered the words that his chosen species would record in a book and pass down through the millenia: 'Let There Be Light.’

So that would have the Church in a right flap, right? 

The Kepler team came under fire by others in the science community last year for keeping 400 candidate exoplanets to themselves for later confirmation by other telescopes used by the same team. To confirm a ‘candidate’ three transit observations were required of the target star.

But if this was the ‘defining’ third transit, why was its discovery only mentioned… now?

Could the “2010” third transit be a reporting error? Or could there be another reason why NASA was slow to reveal to the world that this new world had been discovered?

That said, it would be very interesting to see a maths wiz work out the date of the first sighting, and the date of the second, which would give us the exact date of the ‘third event’.

So what has NASA been doing since that date?

NASA was stumped for a new name having tried a number of them - ’Earth Two‘ - nah. ’Vulcan’ - forget it! 'Borucki?' -  y’know the way it goes at NASA it's all up in the air…
And that is the reason why we have rushed to name the planet Keptoo-toobe.

Get it?'



Monday, December 05, 2011

People Before Profit

George Hallam, an economist at Greenwich University, has been nominated as the London People Before Profit candidate in the forthcoming bye-election in Feltham and Heston. But can he do it?

The challenge by Mr Hallam follows the death of MP Alan Keen (Labour), who passed away this November aged seventy-three. Mr Keen had been ill with cancer for some time.

The London People Before Profit movement grew out of what was the former Lewisham People Before Profit (LPBP).

People Before Profit was set up, not by politicians, but by community campaigners in South London who were angry about Government and political leaders who simply put the interests of Big Business before community need.

The London People Before Profit Party brings together a broad group of people of varying political backgrounds who are united under one banner, the People‘s banner: Community Need Before Private Greed.

Such was the rush to meet the qualifying deadline for the bye-election that the London People Before Profit emblem was overlooked and so will not appear on the ballot paper.

However, as London People Before Profit spreads its message across the London boroughs, the choice of Hallam as its candidate looks set to cause election upset.

At Feltham and Heston, George Hallam will represent the only political party to support the 2 million public-sector workers on strike this week.

Simply known as ‘the candidate from nowhere’ Hallam is now gaining much ground, aided with the backing of local union branches and, due to a lack of coverage by the national media, via public engagement on blogs, Twitter and Email, together with Facebook. The message is clear: Hallam is the people’s choice.

But can George do it?

The bold move by Lewisham People Before Profit gives some Hounslow voters the chance to choose a candidate for London who may soon answer that question.