Spear’s editor Edwin Smith introduces a new issue of the magazine
The idea for our latest cover story was hatched when I met with a spy.
Well, an ex-spy – if ‘spying’ is what goes on at his former place of work, GCHQ, the British government’s intelligence headquarters.
Over coffee at the Delaunay, Cameron Colquhoun told me how the firm he runs now, Neon Century, analyses a client’s digital footprint to identify weaknesses that could be exploited by bad actors. I was stunned when he described innocuous seeming ways in which anyone could inadvertently leave a digital door ajar, and the easily available tools that can be used to pry into troves of personal information.
The risks are bad enough for most people, but for HNWs – with business interests, public profiles and families to protect – they are exponentially worse. So I asked one of the leading technology writers in the country to speak to experts at the junction of security, the internet and reputation management, and to write a piece that would show Spear’s readers just what they might be up against. The result marks Chris Stokel-Walker’s debut in the magazine.
Elsewhere in the issue there is another Spear’s debut for a leading writer in the form of a feature by New York Times contributor Peter Wilson. He delves into the rise of ‘expert networks’ – the companies making a pretty penny from connecting their clients, often hedge funds, with experts who have deep knowledge of a particular business or sector. With the biggest firm in this multi-billion-dollar industry eyeing an IPO, Peter takes stock of what it could mean for investors, business owners and the ‘experts’. There are potential pitfalls for all involved.
If those two stories are about new things, written by writers new to Spear’s, then we also have something that resounds with history. As the oldest family-owned bank in the world, C. Hoare & Co., prepared to celebrate its 350th anniversary, Alec Marsh met with five of its key figures to discover the secret of its longevity.
For this issue, we also travelled to Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair to congratulate the winners of the recent Spear’s Wealth Management Awards, and quiz them about their success.
In our regular Briefing section we assess the prospects of London’s super-prime residential market, crunch the data on the best places to invest in alpine property and visit Highclere Castle (better known as Downton Abbey) to hear how the Countess of Carnarvon runs the stately home as a thriving business.
We also meet the new CEO of British Airways, scrutinise the top dog at the New York Times, revel in the allure of historical buildings and marvel at the mania that has struck the luxury watch market.
I hope you enjoy the issue.
Individual stories will be published here on spearswms.com over the course of the coming weeks.
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