The LPPM Platinum Dinner - The National Gallery, London

Wednesday, 15th May 2019

Unusually for Platinum week, it was a barmy and dry May evening when the LPPM Chairman and Board members welcomed approximately 300 members and invited guests to the annual Platinum Dinner, the highlight of a busy week for many. For the first time, the dinner was held in the beautiful and historic setting of the National Gallery, just off Trafalgar Square in central London, where diners were surrounded by works of art by Canaletto, Goya, Turner, Botticelli and Titian to name but a few.

The welcoming speech was made by John Metcalf, his first as the newly elected Chairman of the LPPM, commenting on yet another turbulent year of political instability, uncertainty over Brexit and volatility in the palladium market. Though on a more positive note, he referred to speculation surrounding efforts to party replace palladium with platinum in some autocatalyst platforms that could, depending on feasibility and adoption, ease the situation in the palladium market in the future while supporting platinum prices. John went on to thank LPPM members for professionally maintaining the OTC market in extremely volatile conditions, the LBMA for their help with the new LPPM Responsible Sourcing programme, the LME for the administration of the twice daily auctions and the LPPM Management Committee members, referees and consultants for their continued work and support.

Following on from the success of last year’s guest speaker, Gyles Brandreth, the LPPM had again searched from outside of the PGM world for the 2019 guest speaker spot. This year, we were very fortunate to have Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5 from 2002 – 2007 regaling us all with a few stories she could tell us, without having to kill us, from her time in the security service. It was a timely reminder that while metal prices and lease rates are important to us there are perhaps far more important things going on in the outside world! Rather disappointingly, she dispelled the myth that the security service was anything like the tv programme, Spooks, apparently not all agents are beautiful, sex-mad assassins who solve crimes in 60 minutes! She told us had once found herself part of a team having to blow-dry a cat so the person they were targeting did not realise they had been in the house planting listening devices - the cat had inexplicably escaped out into the rain and as there was no catflap, the target may have been suspicious. Not quite a plot from Len Deighton! Eliza was kind enough to circulate around the dining room during the food service to answer questions from members, I believe questions about Salisbury figured quite highly from the Russian contingent.

Following the dinner service, the traditional ‘thank you’ speech was given by Tim Pearce, who was up until February of this year the Chairman of the LPPM. Having recently retired from Johnson Matthey Plc after 41 years, Tim reflected on his 30 plus years in the market and the changes that have happened over that time, not least in technology, gone are the telex machines, daily phone calls to ‘Fat John’ on the Nymex trading floor and calling out for two-ways prices, a flashing Bloomberg screen, whilst highly efficient, seems far less satisfying or fun. Tim continued by thanking the LPPM, Referees and Consultants on behalf of the Members and wished everyone a very successful year.

Please find below a link to some photos taken of the rooms and set up. These photos are the copyright of Lara Arnott Photography and should not be reproduced without written consent. - password is BWOM

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