Mo Farah and Roger Moore at 9/11 charity trading day
Olympian Mo Farah helped a firm raise millions of pounds during a charity trading day in memory of those who died 11 years ago during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Global brokerage company BGC lost 658 employees in New York and, on the anniversary of the tragedy, the firm invited celebrities to help secure multimillion-pound deals, with all profits going to charity.
In total, across its offices around the world, the firm and its affiliate Cantor Fitzgerald raised approximately $12million, equivalent to just under �7.5m.
Traders at the firm’s office in Canary Wharf were keen to guide Farah through his deal, and he proved capable of multi-tasking under pressure as he performed his famous “mobot” with a phone pressed to his ear.
The runner, who won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the Olympics, was quick to join in with the frantic traders and looked like a natural as he shouted out commands such as “sell” and “how many are left?”.
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A roar of congratulations broke out across the trading room when Farah secured a final deal.
Other famous faces taking part in the charity event at the Canary Wharf offices yesterday included Roger Moore, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Lewis Hamilton, Joan Collins, Jo Brand, Lawrence Dallaglio, Joe Calzaghe, Andrew Strauss, Leona Lewis and Paul O’Grady.
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When asked how trading under pressure compares to driving under pressure, Lewis Hamilton, who won the grand prix in Monza at the weekend, said: “It’s a little bit more intense, there are so many people here and of course I don’t understand what is going on, you’re dealing with shares and everything and you don’t understand all the figures they are talking about.”
Comedian Jo Brand, who took part to support Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: “I don’t understand a word that anyone is saying to me but I don’t think it matters.
“I was a little bit worried about coming here because it is so testosterone fuelled but, having said that, last week I did a gig in front of 800 builders which was a lot worse than this.”
Actress Joan Collins brought a touch of glamour to the trading room in high heels and a fitted blue and white dress. She said: “I’ve never been to a place like this before, it reminds me of a film studio, everyone running around looking frantic.
“I hope you are all making lots of money and I hope you’re going to make lots of money for all our various charities, particularly for my special charity which is the Shooting Star Chase children’s hospice for terminally ill children and their parents.”
Sports personality Gary Lineker looked at home as he sat comfortably behind the trading desks with a phone pressed to one ear. He was supporting Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and said: “The charity I’m here to support is obviously very significant, blood cancer is something my child had when he was very young. If it weren’t for people raising money like we are today he would not have had the chance in life like he now has, so I’m really happy to be here and to raise much-needed cash so we can make a difference to so many other people who have these kind of diseases.”
Gold medal-winning cyclist Dani King was soon surrounded by traders as she did her best to raise money.
Paralympic cyclists Mark Colbourne and Jody Cundy were also among the London 2012 stars to take part in the charity event and they proudly showed off their medals to the traders.
Triple Paralympic medallist Colbourne said: “These medals around my neck just come to show that when you have a dream, and you pursue it, anything is possible.
“It was my pleasure to represent my country at the home Games but to come here today and represent a charity is a real pleasure and we need to try and raise as many millions as we can.”
Downton Abbey stars Sophie McShera and Jim Carter took to the trading floor as ambassadors for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Carter said: “Marie Curie Cancer Care do fantastic work and they really appreciate everything you are doing here today.”
Animal lover Paul O’Grady brought one of his pet dogs on to the trading floor to help represent his charity Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
He said: “Battersea Dogs and Cats Home does not receive any government funding, we rely solely on the good nature of the public so if you have any nice deals going give us a shout and I will get on the blower.”
BGC’s charity day took place in global offices including New York, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo.