Tag Archives: Shopping

Rosebank: Time to Shop

Wanda and Geraldine went to Rosebank, another district with hotels, shops, businesses and housing to do some shopping.  They have a famous Sunday morning market, selling African ware, clothes, food, flee market. Took opportunity to buy gifts: African jewellery and glassware.  It was very busy and outside, lots going on with steel drum band playing and big area of restaurants and bars.

Geraldine went out for dinner with some local actuaries.

The Sandton Sun and a Candidate for Lunch

Arrived in Jo-burg and went straight to hotel, the Sandton Sun located in Sandton, a large business and financial district filled with hotels, shopping complex and residential area.

We found the traffic to be very congested on the highways from the airport to Sandton.  It took about 50 minutes.  First impressions of the hotel were very good.  A large 5* hotel, big rooms with internet connections, large flat screen TV.  Room service entailed two visits, once to clean and change towels etc and later to turn down bed /close curtains, put out slippers etc and of course the chocolate on the pillow!

They are very geared up for the business traveller with a Business centre offering computers, printers, faxes etc.  From inside the hotel you have access to Sandton City Shopping Centre, large collection of department stores, fashion shops variety of smaller shops.

We managed to get lost quite a few times trying to get our bearings.  But found Mandela Square with all the restaurants surrounding the statue of Nelson Mandela.

We met with a candidate and took him to lunch in the hotel restaurant.

Networking in Scotland: Breakfast and Dining Clubs

I am in Edinburgh ahead of the GAAPS Actuarial Careers Fair at Heriot Watt. I interviewed an excellent candidate first thing this morning over breakfast and am now working on placing him. I then went to visit a client who has given me international contacts for his organisation around the world.

As usual I have found time for shopping but rather than shoes I am now one skirt up.

At this morning’s meeting I was told about a Faculty meeting that I hadn’t realised was taking place and will now be attending the Faculty meeting and the Scottish actuaries dining club afterwards.

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Flying Interviews

Usually, when I go on client-candidate visit, I try to turn it into a long weekend so that I can get a feel for the environment and to have an element of enjoyment. At the moment, we are so busy that I could only afford a day’s time.

I went to Madrid to conduct two candidate interviews. It seems incredible that it takes a whole day to do what was essentially three hours work but there is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting.

As we met at the nearest Regus offices – only twenty minutes from the airport – the only thing that I can really tell you about Spain is to describe Madrid Airport.


The airport is absolutely enormous and it takes a long time to walk from the entrance to whichever terminal you require, whilst taking in the unusual architecture. There are lots of shops but, unusually for me, I could not find anything that I wanted to buy. The day however, was worthwhile as I met with two excellent candidates.


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Geraldine in Zurich

Having arrived late on Thursday night because of a delayed flight we found ourselves in a delightful hotel. First thing next morning I had a visit to the chief executive of a reinsurance company and, amongst other things, discussed a potential non-exec.

The view from his window over the lake was stunning. I can understand anyone wanting to work in Zurich.

I went from there to a lunch with a different client and then to interview a potential candidate.

My husband arrived for the weekend and we took a taxi from the centre of Zurich to a spa on the top of a mountain, a journey of 25 min in total. A most relaxing weekend.

Monday morning I transferred back to a city hotel and my husband returned to London. More meetings, plus, how on earth could I come to a city like Zurich without allowing some time for shopping? 3 pairs of shoes and lots of useful contacts later I returned to London on Wednesday morning.

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Shoes, Pensions, Manchester and Leeds

I went to Manchester for a morning of back-to-back meetings with clients and then followed it by catching up on the shopping that we missed in Dublin. At Selfridges I bought a beautiful pair of sandals at half price – adding to my enjoyment. Then back to the hotel to finish packing before catching the train to Leeds for The Actuarial Profession’s 2009 Pensions Conference at which I presented a workshop on “The Future of the Pensions Actuary” and generated a lively debate from the actuaries present.

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Geraldine and Sima hit Dublin!

So second-time lucky with the trip – we were actually able to leave the country this time and no snow in sight (Hailstorms were forecast for Dublin but again we were lucky and no umbrellas needed!)

The Society of Actuaries was holding a pensions meeting with a talk from the very eloquent Gerry O’Carroll about the continuation/resurrection of Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes.  There was a record number turnout (obviously due to our arrival!!) and an interesting debate about how to save DB pension schemes.

Having first thought that we would have the opportunity to see Dublin (and shop…) our time suddenly became full of back-to-back meetings – which proved extremely interesting and worthwhile.

We will be going back soon and hope the exchange rate will be more favourable for the overdue shopping!

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