Saturday December 20, 2014 2:30
Get Adobe Flash player
Thursday, 12 December 2013 18:13 | Author: Ian Brodie

Barclays clients gain insights for 2014

MONACO NEWS, MONACO BANKING: Francesco Grosoli, CEO of Barclays Monaco, welcomed clients and guests to the 2014 Outlook conference over lunch in the Hotel de Paris on Wednesday. He said that 2013 has been a busy year for the bank, particularly as it celebrated its 90th Anniversary in the Principality...
In introducing Craig Lewis, Head of Global Investments and Solutions at Barclays Monaco, Mr Grosoli said that Barclays Monaco has not only the largest team in the Principality but also the best. Craig Lewis kept the lunch guests both informed and amused with a quiz that playfully tested their knowledge and understanding of events over the year.
Fabio Fois, from Barclays Milan, pointed out that 2014 will be an important year for Europe with elections to the European Parliament due in May. He said that one of the major challenges for European economies is that banks remain adverse to risk and much of the money pumped into them by quantitative easing was placed in financial markets rather than into businesses. What was needed, he said, was for governments to guarantee commercial lending.
Hans Olsen, Chief Investment Officer of Barclays America, said that although the US economy is doing increasingly well, the best bargains for acquisitions continues to be European companies that are being sold at a discount on a discount.

Following the presentations, several questions were put to the speakers as clients sought to better understand not only current market dynamics, but also underlying fundamentals as 2014 approaches.

PHOTO: Hans Olsen, Managing Director - Chief Investment Officer, Barclays Americas; Francesco Grosoli, CEO - Managing Director, Barclays Monaco; Craig Lewis, Managing Director - Head of Global Investments & Solutions, Barclays Monaco; Fabio Fois, Southern European Economist - Investment Bank, Barclays Italy  Ian Brodie

Article tags: monaco news monaco banking

To see related stories, click the tag name.

Monaco's photographer...


Claudia Albuquerque has been taking pictures of sports stars and royalty for many years and has recently left an atelier overlooking Port Hercule. Here she talks to Ian Brodie about her favourite photographs and her winning technique.


Monaco Life Events...

Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, at the Salon Bellevue of the Cafe de Paris in Monte-Carlo, a two-day conference of professionals serving the HNW and UHNW sectors. Distinguished speakers from around the world will address the major issues of the moment. Organised by the publishers of in association with Boyarkin & Partners. More info:

Friday, 19 December 2014 7:00

Letters to the Editor

Top restaurants

Dear Sir,
Further to Annette Anderson’s (of Stars N’ Bars) letter to you published (below) in Monaco Life, may I also express my disagreement with Louise Simpson’s comments on certain restaurants.
Stars N’ Bars serves Tex-Mex food and does it well, Tex-Mex is never going to be a gastronomic delight but the produce is fresh and the service is generally far better than most ‘high class” establishments. There is no guilt to be attached to serving good hamburgers made with real beef, fast food enterprises have hi-jacked the hamburger and given it a bad name. The ones served at Stars N’ Bars are the best I have tasted anywhere over the last 30 years or so.
I consider the Monte Carlo Country Club restaurant to be one of the best in Monaco for quality/value for money with a limited but well balanced menu, again with fresh produce very well cooked and presented. Every meal I have had there has been a delight.
The Automobile Club is also a top rate and reasonably priced restaurant.
I agree with Ms Simpson that restaurants in Monaco are generally overpriced and at best mediocre with the service often very poor but I also agree with Ms Anderson that this looks like “clever text for the sake of being published”.
Rents are very high in Monaco which explains the prices but there is no excuse for failings in produce, cuisine and service.
Perhaps Ms Simpson should turn her attention to the so called ‘top” restaurants which are really a disgrace and reflect badly on the Principality.
Yours sincerely,
David Solomon


Unfair review

We do not know when Louise Simpson last ate at the Automobile Club but her account certainly bears no resemblance to our own experiences. As members of many years’ standing, we lunch and dine there frequently and find the daily-changing menus and ingredients to be of the highest quality whilst, at the same time, tasty and healthy. There is even a “menu allegé” every day, to which cream and other less than healthy “70s” products are most definitely strangers! The salade d’haricots verts and chicken breast, followed by grilled salmon with leeks last Friday were outstanding examples of Chef Olivier Ribaute’s extremely attractive  and consistent cuisine which never fails to please and impress – please take a new look, Louise!
Vivienne H Taylor and Richard Hale, Monaco


Criticism 'not valid'

Dear Editor

We were disappointed to read your "Monaco Foodie" remarks about our restaurant and the "tasteless freezer to microwave tat". We try to be open to valid criticism ....we certainly are not perfect....and we act on it.  In fact we give customers a card with a direct link to Trip Advisor to "grade" their meal and give us feedback.  But, we have to admit, it's soul- killing to see food "critics" who enjoy writing clever text for the sake of being "published".

Our cooks arrive at 7 a.m each  day and prepare freshly delivered vegetables, meats and ingredients to create about 500 meals during a non stop food service of 12 hours. (Yes, we are guilty of serving burgers but the meat is 100% organic. ). Has your Monaco Foodie actually ever been in a kitchen?  Probably not, but we would like to invite her to spend a day with the cooks that she has so thoughtlessly belittled. Heck, we'll even share our recipes with you, Louise.  You can roll the chicken filet in the flour, bread crumbs and egg wash to make our chicken fingers.  

We are very sorry that Miss Simpson dislikes the restaurant but we do thank the thousands of regular customers, especially the families, who often come daily and who have supported us for more than 20 years.  (The editor of this newsletter, MonacoToday, in fact, and his family are customers.). Sorry to take this personally but I know the people who work hard everyday to serve our customers and they deserve a more professional review.

Annette Anderson


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR CAN BE SENT TO Please include a telephone number.

Previous letters can be found at MORE

Monday, 15 December 2014 0:02
Author: Louise Simpson

Monaco Foodie...

Kitchen Nightmares

“Is that a corkscrew in your pocket or are you pleased to see me?” This was the first line of a scathing restaurant review that marked the death knell for a famous London restaurant client back in my PR days. For several years, I swore that restaurant critics belonged to one of the nine circles of Hell.  

It is perhaps ironic that, through my travel writing, I have ended up reviewing restaurants for everyone from the FT Weekend to Zagat. Tellingly, I have tended towards praising culinary excellence rather than decrying ineptitude. However, a decade in Monaco facing elevated prices for mediocre food served with a grimace has worn me down. The time has come to name and shame some of the principality’s icons in the hope that culinary standards will rise to match prices.

Microwave Mania
Stars‘N’Bars (6 quai Antoine 1er, tel: +377 97-97-95-95) underwent an expensive (yet strangely invisible) renovation recently. Yet this Monegasque legend obviously forgot to revamp the kitchen. Tex-Mex shouldn’t mean tasteless freezer-to-microwave tat. The kids’ menu alone would be enough to get Jamie Oliver in a sweat. When I complained, one endearingly honest waiter admitted that he wouldn’t dine at Stars’N’Bars either. I guess it’s best to stick to drinks at the bar.

Cream Club
The restaurants at Monaco’s prestigious sports clubs, Monte-Carlo Country Club (155 avenue Princess Grace, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, tel: +33 4 93 41 30 15) and the Automobile Club de Monaco (23 boulevard Albert 1er, tel: +377 93-15-26-00), have one thing in common: cuisine hailing from the 70s with copious dollops of cream infiltrating dishes from starter to dessert.  It’s time to update the menu to join the millennium.

Dinner Downer
Saliére (28 Quai Jean-Charles Rey, tel: +377 92-05-25-82) and Avenue 31 (31 avenue Princesse Grace, tel: +377 97-70-31-31) are the eminence grise of smart, reasonably-priced lunchtime dining in Monaco.  Yet these excellent sister restaurants fall down at dinner. For double the price of the lunchtime menus, diners are subjected to long waits between courses and mislaid orders. The root of the problem seems to be staff shortages for evening shifts as many waiters commute into Monaco from Nice and even Italy so lunchtime shifts are preferred.

Overpriced and oversexed
Cipriani Monte Carlo (1 avenue Princess Grace, tel: +377 93-25-42-50) is the place to be seen as long as you’re wearing a micro-miniskirt. Luckily the ageing millionaires paying the bill are too busy eyeing up the candy to notice the sub-standard food and supercilious service. To be fair, let’s not forget that Cipriani does have some well-established competition on the overpriced and oversexed front around the corner: Sass Café (11 avenue Princess Grace, tel: +377 93-25-52-00).

Smoked Sushi
Compared to the tantalizing Thai restaurant at the back, the Maya Bay (24 avenue Princesse Grace, tel: +377 97-70-74-67) Japanese restaurant feels like the unattractive twin. On a recent visit, I was treated to a new concept: smoked sushi. The restaurant carries on its smoking-allowed-in-the-garden policy through winter months despite a hermetically sealed plastic enclosure that ensures diners are wafted with smoke from neighbouring smokers. Those who dare to complain should expect a sneer.

Louise Simpson is a food and travel writer based in Monaco. Since studying French literature at Cambridge University, Louise has written for The FT, The Times, Condé Nast and The Independent in the UK and for Zagat and Google in the US. She also publishes travel books with Frommer’s:

To read previous Monaco Foodies, please click on MORE


Friday, 12 December 2014 0:10


FOR RENT: Furnished apartment Beaulieu. 1 bedroom,  sea view, long term. Fully furnished 1 bedroom apartment in Beaulieu, quiet and safe.   Kitchen with gas hob and oven, microwave, washing machine.   Bathroom with bath and shower, separate wc.   Renovated.   Big balcony with panoramic view, close to shops. 6 minutes walk to train station or buses for Monaco.  Top floor, lift and cellar. Videophone. 1060 pm incl. consumables.  Photos available.   Sms to 0670103755.

FURNITURE: Moving apartments.  Must sell- Lovely furniture items, excellent shape, including Italian design couch, for quick sale, now only €1200; Danish design desk, asking now only €500; special French chest of drawers, asking now only €1450. High end loudspeakers, Avance Signature 8 Mk2, only €800. Will consider all reasonable offers as we must sell. For full information, including photos, and additional description, please contact

FOR SALE (Monaco plates): SAAB 9-3 Cabrio SE, year 06/2001, 110k km, grey metallic, gasoline ecopower engine 2.0l turbo 150hp (fiscal cat 10). The car is in a very good condition, low mileage, with spotless 2014 Controle Technique  SAAB 9-3 Cabrio SE, year 06/2001, 110k km, grey metallic, gasoline ecopower engine 2.0l turbo 150hp (fiscal cat 10) , manual transmission (5 gears), 4 full adult seats, dark grey leather interior, climatronic, electric roof, windows and mirrors, central lock, ABS, dual airbags, anti-fog lights, cruise control, aluminium wheels. New complete clutch (2013). Clean technical certificate. Bonus: + 4 winter tires on aluminium wheels. Asking Price: €8000

SERVICE: Computers, IT, Internet, BBC reception - Philip - 06 1542 3824

FOR RENT:  3 Bed / 3 Bathroom beautiful modern townhouse in the centre of St Jean Cap Ferrat's fishing village. Approx floor space 90m2 over 3 floors. Patio 16m2. On street parking. Air-con/heating throughout. Priced at €3000 PCM +33 6 01 43 55 89  

ANGLAIS: Parfaire votre communication écrite et orale en anglais. Cours d'anglais et/ou  accompagnement sur mesure pour groupes ou en individuel. Rédaction et révision de tous type de documents (CV, lettre de présentation, offres d'emploi, thèses académiques). Professeur de langue maternelle anglaise, Formation Berlitz, MBA et expérience professionnelle. Flexible et disponible - se déplace à domicile si souhaité. Téléphone:  0678635709   Email:

LANGUAGE SERVICE: Improve Your Communication in English — Written and Spoken. English language training, coaching and consultancy tailored to your needs. Group or individual. Help with Documents, CVs, Cover Letters, Academic Theses, Writing and Editing. English mother tongue teacher. Berlitz trained, MBA, professional background. Flexible availability. tel:  0678635709   email:

To see our terms and conditions, please click on MORE

Sunday, 11 August 2013 10:17
Author: Ian Brodie

Iceberg rescues Titanic*

MONACO MEDIA: The media world has been stunned this week by news that the founder of Amazon - the online shop - has bought the iconic Washington Post newspaper at what seems to be a knockdown price. The $250 million Jeff Bezos paid is just a little over one percent of his personal wealth of $23 billion, making a very small dent indeed in his bank account. Never mind that since its founding Amazon has lost money more than it has made, making Bezos a virtual billionaire in charge of a virtual empire. Perhaps he bought the Post because he yearned for something real.

To decry the sale of the Post is not just to indulge in unworldly sentimentality. Its disposal marks another milestone on the way to the cemetery for printed newspapers as we have known them for the centuries since the Times of London first appeared in 1785 as the Daily Universal Register, changing its name three years later. In the ever-evolving world of media, print is in its death throes.

If it's almost all over for ink except the burials, and the standouts are disappearing fast, should we be surprised? No. Disappointed, sorry? Yes. The great newspapers of the past, including the Post, the New York Times, the Times, the UK's Daily Telegraph, are empty imitations of their former selves thanks to cost-cutting. The greatest loss as these titles decline and disappear is the quality of the journalism that called them home..

Monte-Carlo Diary

Friday, December 19, 2014

An ironic week

Booked a table at Bouchon, at least I thought I had. Turned up at 13:01. “Just a moment Mr Daniels,” said the ever-optimistic Georges. Ten minutes later I sat down. Water arrived, but no wine. I took out the back of an envelope and started to scribble some notes for this column, the title of which I decided would be ‘A week of ironies.’

I begin with the terrible event in Sydney at the start of the week. It turned out that the Lindt cafe killer of two innocent people was indeed ‘deranged,’ which somehow made it alright since he wasn’t a terrorist. I watched Kevin Rudd, an odd-looking little man with an Australian accent denounce the act as barbarous and so on, which no doubt it was, and yet, here is a man who is also very obviously mad. Crazy would be too active an adjective. Only this week his country has stood shoulder to shoulder with the US and another former English colony, Canada, in opposing moves for more sensible policies in the Middle East, such as the real pursuit of a meaningful future for the Palestinians.

Then in Pakistan, the Taliban, who are seriously and actively crazy, killed 140 people, mainly schoolchildren, in an act of revenge against the military. Ironic indeed that the army school was not protected against such a horror.

And so the irony went on, with Police in the UK saying they are actively investigating several murders dating back to the 1980s involving boys who had been coerced into disgusting acts with Conservative MPs and members of the Cabinet. An appeal has gone out to victims. It makes me nostalgic for the innocent gambollings of John Profumo and serves as an apt reminder that those elected to lead and set an example are very often the worst of characters.

On Thursday the US President said there will be rapprochement with Cuba. Vocal oppenents in Florida said Cuba is guilty of human rights abuses. This on an island shared with the US detention and torture centre at Guantanamo Bay.

To end the week, an armed services report is expected to announce that women will soon be allowed to fight in Britain’s dwindling forces. A number of generals and brigadiers are against the idea, saying this will sap the manhood of the normally belligerent other ranks. But hang on, the irony is that Britain’s women are no longer the shy and retiring demure types we may remember from 50 years ago. Anyone who has recently witnessed pub closing time in the less upscale parts of the UK will know that the women are much more aggressive, loud and uncouth than their emasculated cohorts. They are just what the army needs to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan, or did the Brits already leave?

I like Bouchon, but after a further 20 minutes without even the sight of a menu I was beginning to feel the first pangs of hunger. I had to remind myself that the worst place to expect to get fed in is a busy restaurant at lunchtime. But I left with the back of the envelope and another task almost complete. And, irony of ironies, I had promised myself I wouldn’t work over lunch.

Jeff Daniels

The Jeff Daniels column is published in the interests of editorial diversity, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the publishers.

to read previous columns, please click on MORE

APPROVED: THURSDAY DECEMBER 18 - The elected National Council yesterday passed the draft budget for 2015, 20 votes to four. Debate on the 1-billion euros budget has lasted a total of 30 hours over several evenings. The budget debate acts each year as a catch-all opportunity for members to raise issues of general interest. This year's debates have been relatively calm and cordial, helped by the fact that Monaco's economy is doing very well indeed, with GDP growth of 9.3 percent in 2013.

CANNABIS: TUESDAY DECEMBER 16 - The father of a 24 year-old Monegasque, an employee of the town hall, called the police after his son started behaving oddly, the Monaco Criminal Court was told. It emerged that the young man had been smoking 10 joints a day during August, and had developed a dependence on the drug. He was sentenced to one month in jail, suspended, and ordered to undergo treatment for his addiction.

BOTTLE A DAY: MONDAY DECEMBER 15 - A 25 year-old Monegasque has been sent to jail for one month after having been found guilty of a vicious assault outside a bar in neighbouring Cap d'Ail. The case was heard in Monaco because of his nationality. The defendant had offered to pay his victim, who recieved serious injuries, the sum of 5,000 euros in compensation, the court was told. He admitted drinking a bottle of whisky a day and to having a serious problem with alcohol.


Recent videos: click to view

Nall on Nall

Pauline Litvin of the Chamber Music Association

Vasily Klyukin talks about his tall ambitions

Treorchy Male Voice Choir the stars of St Davids Day

Adriano Ribolzi is extending his Andy Warhol expo until the end of April

Nick Danziger was the special guest at a British Association of Monaco event at BOMO

Marika Taishoff, MBA Professor at the International University of Monaco, talks about luxury

Martina Brodie interviews top wildlife artist and Monaco resident Spencer Hodge

Sir Jackie Stewart and Roman Polanski at 'Weekend of a Champion' press conference

Father Walter Raymond tells us what's on at St Paul's Church this Christmas

Kory Tarpenning on opening the first Starbucks in Monaco

Dena Lyons and Art Factory Monaco

Anita Di Sotto talks about Whisky Weekend

Martine Ackerman talks about Child CARE Monaco

Martina Brodie interviews artist Laure Fissore

Martina Brodie interviews Peace and Sport champions

Ian Brodie interviews President of National Council

Ian Brodie interviews author of Mayhem in Monte Carlo

click on images to view


Monaco Events, Announcements

ANDY WARHOL: The exhibition “Andy Warhol” continues at the Galerie Adriano Ribolzi (Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 - 12:00 and 15:00 until 18:00). See also display ad at

Global High Net Worth Conference: Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, at the Salon Bellevue of the Cafe de Paris in Monte-Carlo, a two-day conference of professionals serving the HNW and UHNW sectors. Distinguished speakers from around the world will address the major issues of the moment. Organised by the publishers of Visit for more details.

Listings in Events & Announcements are free for non-profit associations, charged for commercial events and entities. To place listing email


Monte-Carlo Diary

Pushed to the Max

SATURDAY, JUNE 21: There will always be tensions when a large crowd of people are crammed into small spaces, especially when they take an instant dislike to each other or harbour long-term differences. I am not talking about the long-running opening ceremony of the splendid new Monaco Yacht Club attended by le tout Monaco - a splendid affair - but the lingering impact of the lengthy and tedious French rail strike.

Tasked with taking my youngest son to Nice for a Saturday rendez-vous with a schoolmate, I squeezed with him onto the 16:43 from Monaco - delayed for 18 minutes in Menton while the frazzled French border police sifted out the usual suspects, young Somalian males who, having crossed the inhospitable Sahara, are trying in considerable numbers to make their way to the economic paradise that is France. Or possibly the UK.

Most people were eminently sensible and moved down the train to occupy every available space to allow yet more frazzled and luggage-laden bemused first-and-last-time tourists onto the only TER regional express to visit Monaco for the previous three hours.
Someone sitting down said something to me. I assumed he was offering me a space to sit. I bent down to hear better. Translated from the French, what he said was: “Can you get your arse out of my face!”

To say I was astonished hardly covers it. A number of responses flashed through my hot head: “I am surprised you are bothered about my arse, since it resembles so closely your face,” was the most polite. I wanted physically to strangle him, and since I was standing up and he was sitting down I sure as hell had a good shot at it.

My nine year-old restrained me. “He’s an idiot Dad, don’t take any notice,” he said in a French that can only be described as impeccable. At the next available jolt in the tracks he managed to more or less fall onto the idiot’s mobile phone he was holding high in the air while playing what looked like patience, and make it look like an accident.

You can mess with me, but you can’t mess with Max.

Jeff Daniels

previous column at MORE