First Round: Say hello to my little friend

An evening with Al Pacino. Or not, as the case may be.

You won’t be surprised to learn that as one of the top 50 or 60 media ‘properties’ in the private equity world (ok then: top 100, definitely), First Round gets invited to a lot of high-calibre events.

OK, so it’s not like the golden days before the Bribery Act, where one of the banks would helicopter you over to Paris for an early supper and then back to London in time for an evening kick-off. But there are still plenty of good envelope-openings on offer for the determined ligger.

So it was with some excitement lately that First Round received notification of an upcoming event at the London Palladium theatre: ‘An Evening with Al Pacino’, an unprecedented opportunity to “explore the myriad highlights of one of the most celebrated careers in acting history with the actor himself in intimate theatre surrounds”, followed by a VVIP dinner. 

The do was being backed by Indian entrepreneur Deepak Kuntawala’s finance boutique – or “leading financial alchemist DVK”, as the release puts it – which has just launched a new private equity fund to finance “the world’s best entertainment and film projects”. Believe it or not, this is the first one. 

“This is going to be very much ‘one moment in time’ and a once in a life-time opportunity that one must seize,” Kunterwala gushed in the communiqué. And this is a man who knows all about unique experiences: he was recently presented with a global entrepreneur of the year award jointly by UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and 90s-pop-star-turned-UK-reality-TV-stalwart Peter Andre.

But just as First Round’s anticipation began to reach fever pitch at the prospect of watching Screen Legend Al Pacino overact tediously through a few of his old soliloquys, it had a sudden realisation: it wasn’t actually invited. Looks like we’ll have to go to that PR firm summer drinks after all.