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  1. Wealth
July 2, 2024updated 09 Jul 2024 11:36am

Introducing Spear’s Magazine: Issue 92

From the magazine: editor-in-chief Edwin Smith reveals what to expect from the latest issue

By Edwin Smith

One of the great things that good journalism can do is to find someone little known or little understood – but who really matters – and bring them out from behind the scenes, putting them under the spotlight for the first time.

[See also: How Richard Attias brought billionaires, bankers and politicos into Saudi Arabia’s big tent]

Perhaps this is not quite what we have achieved with our cover story about Richard Attias. After all, he does, quite literally, occupy the spotlight himself when he appears on stage at the conferences he organises. But, for some time now, the consequences and impact of his work have been recognised far more widely than the man himself.

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Richard Attias
Richard Attias, the man behind the scenes of ‘Davos in the Desert’ / Image: Bryan Cereijo

Having helped Klaus Schwab turn the World Economic Forum’s annual jamboree at Davos into the most important meeting of power brokers anywhere in the world, Attias is now applying his Midas touch to a different organisation: the Future Investment Initiative (FII).

If you’ve never heard of it, that’s probably because the organisation and the conference it runs is more commonly known as ‘Davos in the Desert’. Yes, the man who turned Davos into Davos, is now doing the same for Riyadh, working hand-in-glove with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the head of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, Yasir al-Rumayyan.

[See also: Saudi Arabia brings ‘Davos in the Desert’ to Miami]

Attias’s ability to convene the most important people in the world – such as bankers Jamie Dimon, Jane Fraser and David Solomon – is unmatched. So Spear’s contributing editor Robert Jackman flew out to Miami to meet him, and to understand his MO. Robert’s profile can be read online, while our cover illustration by Diego Abreu makes a playful nod to the way that Attias pulls the strings, evoking the marionette motif from The Godfather books and movies.

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Elsewhere in the edition, we visit the estate that inspired Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. Having been passed down through the Lygon family for more than 900 years, it is currently in the stewardship of Lucy Chevenix-Trench and her husband John. To maintain the estate and, hopefully, to help it flourish, they have teamed up with branding expert Bob Sheard, who has worked with Carole Bamford’s Daylesford and Andy Mackie’s pictures tell the story.

Our Briefing section this time focuses on family law and opens with Aisha Alli asking whether the reign of the so-called Queen Bees is coming to an end. For several decades both the profession as a whole, and the big-money divorces that garner so much coverage in the newspapers, have been dominated by five women. But as two of them dip out of the top tier of the Spear’s ranking of leading family lawyers for the first time, thoughts have turned to succession. Will new queens (or indeed kings) be crowned? Or will a new kind of regime hold sway?

[See also: The ‘Queen Bees’ of family law: long may they reign?]

The Queen Bees of Family Law
The ‘Queen Bees’ of family law have worn their crowns for decades. / Image: Eleanor Shakespeare

In the same part of this issue we also publish the results of our own family law survey, evaluate a new pilot designed to increase transparency in the family courts, chart the rising prevalence of cases related to surrogacy, cohabitation and other ‘modern family’ issues, and Rory Sachs interviews recently retired High Court judge Sir Nicholas Mostyn.

[See also: Enhanced Games founder Aron D’Souza on why his project is more than just ‘the doping Olympics’]

There are also stories about two of the most important events of the summer: the UK general election and the Paris Olympics. In the first of these, Martin Vander Weyer runs the rule over Sir Keir Starmer’s proposed VAT levy on school fees and concludes that the sums do not add up. In the second, I meet with the founder of ‘capitalism’s answer to the Olympics’, the Enhanced Games. Aron D’Souza is the man behind a controversial attempt to create what some refer to as the ‘doped Olympics’. As he told me over lobster linguine in Kensington, his mission – which is backed by libertarian tech billionaire Peter Thiel – is not just to see souped-up athletes break a few world records, but to ‘safely transition mankind to a new super-humanity’.

[See also: Privately furious: Top independent schools braced for Labour’s VAT grab on fees]

If that isn’t enough for you, then we have several interviews with people who are very nearly super-human already. One is with the actor and philanthropist Sophie Winkleman, then there’s a brace of encounters with two of France’s finest culinary exports: Yannick Alléno and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

These, like the rest of the issue, are magnifique. Enjoy the magazine.

This feature first appeared in Spear’s Magazine Issue 92. Click here to subscribe

Spear's magazine issue 92 cover
This feature originally appeared in Spear’s Issue 92 / Illustration: Diego Abreu

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