We arrived late yesterday in Helsinki in advance of tomorrow's start of the annual EBAday conference and exhibition to find an impressive sight -
the 115 metre long Pelorus
, the world's 12th largest private yacht, moored right next to the conference venue at Katajanokka Quay.
Formerly the property of Chelsea FC owner and Russian oil oligarch Roman Abramovich, it apparently now belongs to his second wife Irina after their 15 year marriage broke down last year.
According to that reputable source the Daily Mirror the split was the world's most expensive divorce as she recieved cash, country estates and other properties, and also the keys to the Pelorus. But Roman probably isn't too worried about that, as The Eclipse,
soon to be the world's largest private yacht, is currently being built for him in Germany.
So has Irina taken in interest in the latest developments in the European payments landscape? Is she going to contribute her many years of experience in high-value cross-border payments to the event's discussion and debate?
Sadly the answer appears to be no, as the Pelorus slipped her moorings after lunch today, and we waved goodbye to the surly Russian crew as they headed out of the harbour.
No great loss though, as the agenda for EBAday's day and a half conference
programme is looking pretty impressive
without her client-side transaction expertise.
I'm particularly looking forward to the corporate afternoon sessions tomorrow to see how much progress has been made since last year in including corporates in the debate about the future of payments.