SCAM

The chairman is poised to jump on the internet dating bandwagon – with a difference. What could be better than finding your life partner through a shared love of having a fund time?

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” I asked the chairman of the imprudently sized investment company Second Coming Asset Management, as we enjoyed a bottle or two of Château Henze at The Allegra Van Hovell. “Well, it’s certainly an idea,” he replied. “That much is undeniable,” I agreed. “And indeed, coming up with ideas is something you are very good at.

“In fact, in common with one or two other members of Her Majesty’s financial services industry, it is your ability to come up with so many ideas that allows the law of averages to ensure one or two of them even come off. No, it is in no way the actual existence of this idea that concerns me, but its quality. At the risk of repeating myself, is this idea a good one?”

“Of course, it is,” said the chairman emphatically. “In fact, the only question I have about the whole project is why didn’t I think of it sooner?” “Maybe you lacked suitable inspiration?” I suggested. “Yes, that’s probably it,” the chairman agreed. “After all,” I continued, “it’s only in the last week or so that Penguin has announced its own plans to do something in a similar vein.”

“Really?” the chairman replied vaguely. “Oh, you didn’t see it?” I continued mischievously. “Penguin aspires to bring book lovers together with the launch of penguindating.co.uk, powered by match.com – ring any bells?” “I may have read a snippet of a paragraph somewhere,” the chairman conceded. “But my idea is a completely different matter entirely.

“For a start – and I trust I’m not going too quickly for you here – scamdating.co.uk isn’t powered by anybody in particular and, more obviously still, it’s designed for lovers of a good fund and not for bookworms. The way I see it, this launch will offer our investors a place to meet and indulge in the age-old art of writing love letters …”

“I’m sorry,” I interrupted. “It’s going to do what?”

“The launch will offer our investors a place to meet and indulge in the age-old art of writing love letters, as the boom in online dating fast restores the importance of the written word to modern courtship,” the chairman repeated patiently. “To help them in their quest to find a fellow fund lover, visitors will be asked to write in their profile about their latest investment.

“They can then use our very definitely not plagiarised search feature to hunt through the site’s dozens of registered profiles by their favourite fund or manager – from Aberdeen to Zemek.” “I’m not convinced,” I said, unconvinced. “How can you doubt me?” said the chairman exasperatedly. “I’m deadly serious about this.

“I’m supporting the site with a comprehensive PR and marketing push, including promotions across Scam’s own websites and maybe even a campaign in leading investment titles – or, failing that, the rag you work for. There will also be a series of advertisements in all Scam’s fund factsheets and key features documents, encouraging people to visit scamdating.co.uk and meet fellow fund lovers.

“The way I see it, sometimes a fund is a disposable adventure, an entertaining, temporary distraction that you don’t think about again once you’ve lost your last penny. But sometimes a fund means so much more – at Scam we believe the funds we cherish and regularly save with, those we feel a deep emotional connection with, say something defining about us and the type of people we are.

“Admit it – ‘What are you investing in?’ and ‘Who’s your favourite fund manager?’ are all standard first-date questions, and what better way to find your life partner than over a shared love for Lyttleton or a passion for Pattullo? We knew there was an opportunity for this type of service for our audience, and our little community provides the perfect forum to meet a like-minded special someone.

“If it helps, let me put it another way – would you rather be discussing scamdating.co.uk or whether – and, of course, with the type of fund one runs having no bearing whatsoever on your opinion – the IMA’s excitingly revamped bond sectors are a confused disaster or a triumph of administration.”

“Remind me again how you’re promoting your site,” I said.