Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Nick Gartside is leaving Schroders

By the end of this year he will be gone. Yes, Nick Gartside, head of global fixed income at Schroders, is leaving to join JPMorgan Asset Management. He'll be working with Bob Michele on some sort of Strategic Bond vehicle. [I don't know anything about it. Don't want to know, really.] They know each other well. Well, they used to. Bob Michele is an old Schroders man. But Bob has changed a lot in the two years since they were together at Schroders. Maybe Nick won't like those changes. Maybe he'll be intrigued. Who knows? Or cares?

I care. There are all sorts of things that can happen to you in the desert. Some good, some bad. Some delightful, some horrific. Bob Michele has had mixed fortunes. He has a few scars. So do I. [Physical, not just astral.] I am not ashamed of my scars. I doubt that Bob is ashamed of his. But Nick may find them a little upsetting - if he ever catches Bob in a state of undress. Maybe after a game of squash or something. [I don't know what they will be getting up to. I don't want to know, really.] The teeth of the ghosts of the dead financiers. Even I had to put up with them in the early days. On my skin. The blood dripped into the sand. The sand was burning. I was crying. My bare feet were in flames. I was in agony. But it made a man of me! Bob knows what I'm talking about. He's been there. An experience like that changes you. But Nick is still a kid in many ways. Fresh-faced, nice smile, untroubled. The man is carefree. I can tell. I can always spot a carefree man. And Bob was like that, once upon a time. Well, two years ago. Only two years! He has crammed a lifetime into those two years. Well, the lifetime of a cold earth wanderer, anyway. Burning mystics, financial shamans, are different. We can live a lifetime in one night. Just ask Bob. I'm sure Nick will be curious. He'll be asking Bob all kinds of questions. And if Bob has the desire to answer them, his answers could have quite an effect on young Nick. Nick may find himself dreaming of the desert. That wouldn't be so bad. But the nightmares! Oh, the nightmares he could have! With them grabbing him in his sleep. Their cold eyes staring into his. Their hot fingers on his face. Oh! I don't want to remember. I wouldn't blame Bob if he refused to answer any questions. I'm sure Bob doesn't want to relive those horrors any more than I do. But it's the young ones, you see. They insist on knowing.

Nick, mate, if you're reading this, do me a favour, yeah? When you start to work with Bob again, try to be sensitive. It's not much to ask. I don't think I'm out of line here. Bob has changed. He's not the man you used to know. Just bear that in mind. Thanks.