Charity Scandal Prompts Property Event to Highlight Conduct Code

Mipim organizers vow more communication on Cannes event rules Code reserves right to block or expel guests over conduct

Organizers of Mipim, the annual property conference held in Cannes, France, have pledged to “increase communication” with delegates about the event’s code of conduct in the wake of a London charity dinner scandal where alleged harassment took place.

“Mipim has a code of conduct applicable to everyone attending the event,” event director Ronan Vaspart said in an emailed statement. “If we are informed of inappropriate behavior we will take action. Mipim is committed to safeguarding the dignity and respect of all its participants.” The event is organized by a unit of Relx Group Plc.

The Financial Times reported allegations of widespread harassment at the Presidents Club Charity dinner in London on Tuesday, naming several members of the real estate industry among the 360 guests who were waited on by 130 female hostesses wearing skimpy outfits and matching underwear. Property companies including Residential Land Ltd. and Frogmore Property Co. were among the table sponsors at the event.

The alleged use of prostitutes by some Mipim delegates was called into question by property magazine Estates Gazette two years ago, in an article entitled “not the industry’s finest hour.” The code of conduct for the event says the organizers reserve the right “to refuse entry, or to have expelled, any participant whose presence, conduct or behavior threatens the image, peace or safety of the event and or of the other participants.” Financial News earlier reported Mipim’s code of conduct.

The organizers of the Presidents Club will not host any further events and will be shutting down, according to an emailed statement from a spokesman. Earlier, in a separate statement, the club said it was “appalled by the allegations of bad behavior at the event asserted by the Financial Times reporters.” The event raised several million pounds for disadvantaged children, according to the statement. “Such behavior is totally unacceptable. The allegations will be investigated fully and promptly and appropriate action taken.”

Mipim attracts about 24,000 people from 100 countries, according to its website.

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