Attracting the rich and famous has long been a strategy to give a city an economic boost. But London’s colourful mayor Boris Johnson has taken a very different approach to plumping for billionaire business.
He wants broken-hearted billionaires of the world to come to London to formalise their divorce proceedings.
“I would never encourage anyone to sue, but if one oligarch feels defamed by another oligarch, it is London’s lawyers who apply the necessary balm to the ego,” Johnson said in a speech.
“I have no shame in saying to the injured spouses of the world’s billionaires – if you want to take him to the cleaners… take him to the cleaners in London, because London cleaners will be grateful for your business.”
Johnson, whose tongue never seems to be far away from his cheek, does make a good point: Lawyers are typically the only ones who ever win from a divorce proceeding.
It’s certainly never good for the fortune of an entrepreneur.
Take last week’s example from Hong Kong, where China’s richest woman, Wu Yajun, lost her title after announcing her divorce and the transfer of 40% of her stake in property group Longfor Properties to her former husband.
According to Bloomberg, the deal takes Wu’s fortune from $US7.3 billion to $4.2 billion – and makes an instant billionaire out of her husband, Cai Kui. The operations of Longfor will continue as normal.
Whether a marriage succeeds or fails, billionaires (and millionaires) are seen by some as possessing the perfect qualities for a mate. Qualities that transcend attributes like age, looks, or personality.
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