Prop. Notes: Our Proprietor invents the Marlon Brando test for industry awards and misses some old City ways – The Property Chronicle
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Prop. Notes: Our Proprietor invents the Marlon Brando test for industry awards and misses some old City ways

Prop. Notes

I am a LinkedIn new boy or, in the jargon, a late adopter. I didn’t join until last year, and now I realise that its main use is to approach total strangers with whom you might do business. What it is not is an interesting platform for content. In fact, if I were in charge at LinkedIn I would ban all corporate puff pieces. 

They are boring, predictable and, I think, counterproductive. Every time I read another post where someone pats themselves, their colleagues or their clients on the back I think the worse of them. And anyone who tells us all about some self-serving industry award should be banned for six months until they grow up. 

If you are ever tempted to tell the world that you have won an industry award, ask yourself two questions. Firstly, does this award pass the Marlon Brando test? (In 1972 he refused to accept the Oscar for Best Actor.) In other words, if you told the organisers that the whole thing was BS and you were not going to show up and collect it, would you still win? Secondly, would you really quake in your boots if one of your commercial rivals won this award? 

The answer to both questions for 99.9% of all industry awards is no. In which case, do yourself and all of us a favour: enjoy the evening, but do not think anyone outside the four walls of your office and, maybe, your immediate family care. And if you’re wondering how to tell which awards really are worth entering, see Peter Bill’s advice later in this issue.

A couple of snapshots of a changing City…

Last summer I was playing in a golf day and a young lad came up to me to ask whether it was true I had worked at the old Swiss Bank hedge fund. I did and, during the 1990s, had a ringside seat as my boss effectively bankrupted the bank with a series of outsized foreign exchange bets. 

Prop. Notes

About Stephen Yorke

Stephen Yorke

After Cambridge University and a few years at the Commercial/Chancery Bar, Stephen spent two years in John Major’s Political Office at Number 10. He then laboured on the FX/ Bond trading floors of two investment banks during the 1990s. In 2004 he founded (and ran until this year) a small Real estate Fund management company. In 2017 he founded 'The Property Chronicle' and is now a new boy publisher.

Articles by Stephen Yorke

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