A 9/11 charity fundraiser in London got some help from Prince William and Prince Harry as BGC Partners honored the memory of the 658 employees who died in the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Center in New York. BGC’s annual Charity Day, now in its ninth year, has so far raised more than $89 million for various charities by enlisting celebrities to help land currency trading deals with its corporate clients.
All of the profits from the trades during the course of the day are donated to good causes, including Prince William’s SkillForce and Prince Harry’s WellChild organizations. During their visit to the trading firm Princes William and Harry met workers from the groups, as well as people who have benefited from the charities.
Prince Harry took time to chat up 6-year old Lily-Anne Chart, asking her about her “cool chair” and also razzed his older brother at every opportunity as they competed to raise the most money. Harry was overheard telling William at one point to “Stop flirting, get on with it.”
Their good-natured ribbing helped the princes combine to land a $35 billion currency deal, setting a record for BGC’s largest currency trade ever. During the phone negotiations Harry told one side, “Are you feeling like making some money for charity today? Good. Whatever you’re thinking you can double it.”
He then urged brokers to raise the value of the deal, calling out figures and lifting his hand to indicate the final figure needed to be higher. The princes moved about the frenetic trading floor, switching from desk to desk negotiating deals with firms including Barclays and Merrill Lynch.
The money that each celebrity helped raise will be donated to their respective charity cause. Other celebrity fundraisers particpating in the 9/11 fundraiser at GBC included Rod Stewart, Cherie Blair (wife of the former Prime Minister), Spice Girl Melanie Chisolm, Thandie Newton, Idris Elba, and various sports stars and media presenters.
BGC Partners was part of the Cantor Fitzgerald financial services firm whose corporate headquarters on the 101st-105th floors of the One World Trade Center building were destroyed during the September 11, 2001 attacks.