Every industry needs an annual party to reflect on past glories and do some good for the community. For Asia's stressed brokers, dealing with record volumes, huge bonuses and happy clients, they too deserve to let their hair down.
On April 22, the second annual Asian Brokers Awards dinner will provide just such a setting. Last year the inaugural dinner was held in Hong Kong and raised some HK$800,000 for two charities, the Hong Chi Association and Crossroads International. This year, Operation Smile will be added as the third featured charity and the aim is to top HK$1 million while having a little bit of fun.
Last year's dinner saw 250 of Asia's leading stock jockeys attend a dinner that was a huge success. Slightly altering the traditional awards dinner format, where people actually want to win the awards, the industry handed out its now famous ABBAs (Asian Broking Awards), which were voted by fund managers throughout the region.
The winners of last year's awards included some notable names whose extra curricular talents were recognized by the industry. Amid stiff competition, Lee Wallace of UBS won the Leaving Las Vegas Sober Dealing Desk of the Year award.
Deutsche Bank won the highly competitive Hugh Heffner Entertainment of the Year for their infamous 'wine tasting' night. SG Securities (RIP) won the Mini Me Downsizer of the Year.
John Ross, ex-Goldman scooped the Eliott Spitzer Recommendation of the Year for his call on ProMOS. Morgan Stanley as a whole won the Steady Safe Corporate Finance Deal of the Year (although mainly for not showing up on the night, rather than for any particular deal).
But the fund managers were not left out. Three awards were handed out as voted by the brokers themselves. Harold La of CRMC won the Ted Turner Award for Humility. Roger Ellis from JF Investment Management won the Warren Buffett Maximum Reward for Minimum Effort award. The Fund Manager of the Year prize went to Johnny Mytton of GAM.
The organizers promise that all these awards - plus more - will be on offer in this year's dinner. There will also be a series of auctions and blind auctions to add to the amount raised for the charities. This year prizes include the ownership rights at Happy Valley for a racehorse owned by one of Hong Kong's leading brokers. One investment bank has even pledged a summer internship as one of its prizes, although some were hoping for an intern to be put on the block.
To decide who would be organizing this year's event, the organizers held a reverse blind pledge where every bank had to offer a sum to get out of the onerous task. JPMorgan pledged the lowest and they now face the chore of getting the 2004 event off the ground. If you would like to attend, or even vote in some of the categories, please contact Xen Gladstone at JPMorgan ([email protected]) who will be more than happy to assist.