A sense of humour failure; naughtiness at Flare; embarrassing ringtones

Don’t mention the ******* car!

I gather than pensions minister Steve Webb has installed a swear box in his office. Every time a visitor says the word “Lamborghini”, it’s a penny in the jar.

Flaring up

While at the National Association of Pension Funds’ annual conference, I observed an unusual phenomenon. When asking people about their evening plans, some responded: “Oh, just a quiet dinner with colleagues”; others said: “I’m going to an asset manager dinner, but home straight after.” Still others said: “We’re just ordering room service.” However, without exception, every single one later materialised at classic disco nightclub Flares. So is: “I’m staying in” actually code for “I’m going to Flares”?

With A Little Help From My Friends…

Speaking of dancing, the Beatles tribute band got everyone on the floor after the NAPF’s gala dinner. John Dembitz, a new non-executive director at the NAPF, was first on teh dance floor, followed soon after by pensions minister Steve Webb. One bystander, a newcomer to NAPF conferences, described the occasion as resembling “a weird family wedding scene”.

Chairman of the cheesegrater

Aon Hewitt is a big fan of mergers - of chairs, that is. When planning their move to London skyscraper the Cheesegrater, theyw ere given the choice of two seats. They decided they wanted to splice them together and create one dream chair.

Chugging away

An independent trustee friend recently attended a posh dinner with various finance bigwigs and politicians, held to promote the High Speed 2 railway project. Unfortunately, just as one minister was about to start extolling the wonders of HS2, my friend received a text message. Even more unfortunately, his text alert is Choo Choo.