Mrs Moneypenny

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Full name: Mrs Moneypenny

Area of interest: Investment banking

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times


Personal website:

Website: |







Career: 'It has been speculated' that Mrs Moneypenny is the nom de plume of Heather McGregor, a director of the executive search firm Taylor Bennett

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  • also writes/written for:

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Viewpoints/Insight: Careers advice from Mrs Moneypenny - City AM, 20th January 2012

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Current Forums: Share your views on a Mrs Moneypenny column

Financial Times:

Column name: Mrs Moneypenny

Remit/Info: Chronicle of life as an investment banker, business woman and middle-aged mother of three


Role: Commentator



Website: / Mrs Moneypenny

Commissioning editor:

Day published: Saturday

Regularity: Weekly

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Average length:

Articles: 2013

Articles: 2012

  • Christmas joys and sorrows - ‘Last month, I lost a friend and former colleague and the world is a poorer place without him’ - 22nd December
  • I’m dreaming of an austerity Christmas - The Cost Centres have been notified that although Santa will be filling stockings as usual, further gifts have been cancelled - 15th December
  • Rising to the (university) challenge - ‘Alumna I might be, but I am not sure about prominent and even less sure about my general knowledge’ - 8th December
  • When running is an uphill task - ‘My centre of gravity is in the wrong place, I land too much on the front of the foot and my arms are not helping at all’ - 1st December
  • A lesson in the library - Even at 50, I have hopes for the future – mine and that of my children. If you want a better future, you have to look back - 23rd November
  • Welcome aboard, Lord Mayor of London - Roger Gifford’s main responsibility is to promote the City – and thus the financial services sector – to the rest of the world - 17th November
  • The mother of all trips down under - Travelling with an 84-year-old who needs at the least a walking stick, and very often a walking frame, is a whole new experience -10th November
  • Flights of fancy - A visit to Dublin via Liverpool yields some unexpected media mileage - 3rd November
  • A night off? You must be joking - ‘While other parents were queuing to meet the physics teacher, I was headlining an evening of female stand-up comedy’ - 27th October
  • Lock, stock and smoking jacket - Wardrobe quandaries and the logistics of getting from a pheasant shoot to a dinner with George Osborne - 20th October
  • Ladies who launch - As our business celebrates its 30th birthday, we have decided to publish a book to commemorate the event - 13th October
  • An alma mater for life - One thing that even the best schools can be slack about is careers advice and help through the university maze. Isn’t it natural then for a parent to intervene? - 6th October
  • May I have your attention? - Waving frantically is undignified but the other day I was treated to something we could call the napkin approach - 29th September
  • Why I sleep easier in Singapore - The city state is such a productive place – from airline internet access to the threadcount of hotel bedsheets - 24th September
  • A book by any other name - Why are books often given a different title in the US to the UK? It is mightily confusing for the readers - 16th September
  • Following (slowly) in Mo Farah’s footsteps - Mrs Moneypenny does something she never thought she would do, and signs up for a public run - 8th September
  • Some things never lose their sparkle - This year, the Queen and I added a piece of jewellery from the same jeweller to our collections - on the same day - 1st September
  • Goodbye snow machine, g’day Australia - A trip to Australia gets Mrs Moneypenny thinking about what it means to be female in the media - and how she should with an internet troll - 25th August
  • Sweet steams are made of this - As I embrace the self-investment principle, I encounter lots of things for the first time’ - 18th August
  • A superhuman feat for breakfast - Tackling the first piece of toast had left me so exhausted that I went to lie down - 11th August
  • Spot the teenager - When your youngest child asks you to buy spot cream while you’re doing the weekly shop, you know you’re old - 4th August
  • The good, the bad and the one in make-up - A visit to Italy yields a fair share of marvellous encounters and annoying inconveniences - 28th July
  • I think I may have to leave the country - Unrelenting summer rains have created a summer of nightmares - 21st July
  • How to build bridges – and apply yourself - I can think of many better ways to spend the £7,500 needed for help with my son’s university application - 14th July
  • Keeping up appearances - I try to live life vicariously by getting my chosen avatars to attend things in my place - 7th July
  • The case of the missing maths teacher - Over lunch in the Channel Islands, Mrs Moneypenny and her school friends remember the inspirations of their formative years - 30th June
  • The cheque is in the washing machine - Anyone over the age of seven who says things are unfair needs a reality check, but it is difficult when clients drag their feet over payments - 23rd June
  • A sartorial lesson learnt - When it comes to clothes, there will be no room for a fashion faux-pas at Royal Ascot - 16th June
  • A dilemma to get my teeth into - I am not planning liposuction, or stomach stapling, or even a facelift. I am, however, seriously considering major dentistry - 9th June
  • Friends in high places are just the ticket - One can always use some help in getting superior access to the year’s best social events... - 2nd June
  • A costume drama with bite - I aspire to being a good mother, so I offered to buy a dog suit for Cost Centre #1, who has written a play - 26th May
  • Riding on a wave of apathy - There are countries in the world where people are dying for the sort of electoral freedom that the UK enjoys - 19th May
  • Austerity calls for DIY entertainment - The self-catering element extends right down to the milk and tea bags, as well as providing your own amusement - 12th May
  • Austerity calls for DIY entertainment - The self-catering element extends right down to the milk and tea bags, as well as providing your own amusement - 12th May
  • In the right place at the wrong time - When your husband sends your child to school a day early, don’t scream at him - 5th May
  • Sticks, stones and Samantha Brick - There is no escaping the fact that there are plenty of women who do not like to support others of their sex - 28th April
  • More exercise ... Who am I kidding? - ‘I’m a member of two gyms neither of which I get to with any regularity, and now I think I am going to train at home?’ - 21st April
  • The trials of turning 50 - ‘I’m attending a top-level summit in Nassau to discuss this with, and draw inspiration from, some of the Girlfriends’ - 14th April
  • My liberating flights of what I fancy - ‘It was totally liberating to have nothing more to worry about for a whole week than the availability of aviation fuel‘ - 7th April
  • Around South Africa in a small tin can - It was not exactly a lap of luxury, but a girl can never have too many days flying around a beautiful country - 31st March
  • Fear is a roomful of the well-groomed - I am not at someone who feels at ease with fashion and beauty journalists. They are all beautiful and stylish, adjectives that have never been used to describe me - 24th March
  • A busy day, but what was achieved? - Why do we even still need an International Women’s Day? If we do, then we should be focusing on areas where little progress is being made - 17th March
  • My solution to the thanking crisis - A nerve-wracking guest invited to a shooting weekend in Spain raises the standard for gestures of appreciation - 10th March
  • Michael, I’m a huge fan, but… - ‘Could the education secretary really know that I was taking CC#3 out of school? I certainly felt horribly guilty’ - 3rd March
  • Helping hands for lonely hearts - It is precisely because the internet presents us with endless possibilities of connections that meeting people face to face is more important than ever - 25th February
  • A little paperwork goes a long way - A few minutes reading the school’s letter would have spared Mr M from his pointless anxiety over CC#3’s whereabouts - 18th February
  • Why my son won’t be getting his bonus either - CC#2’s cash incentive is unpalatable during tough times and, anyway, he doesn’t need it - 11th February
  • A break with tradition - Despite breaking an arm after slipping on ice, Mrs Moneypenny gains an object lesson in Swiss courtesy and efficiency from her Davos experience - 4th February
  • A rare appearance, undone by a cheesecake - Mrs Moneypenny finally manages to attend a dinner for the parents of children in her son’s class, but finds herself in a tricky situation.. - 28th January
  • Davos in an age of austerity - As she prepares for the World Economic Forum, Mrs Moneypenny wonders if she should be setting herself a budget - 21st January
  • Who’ll bid me high self-esteem? - Mrs Moneypenny’s competitive instincts are brought out at auctions and being auctioned off herself for the FT’s annual seasonal appeal, is no exception - 14th January
  • Ambition with style - Mrs Moneypenny meets clothing designer Eileen Fisher, one of the ambitious businesswomen who inspired her new careers advice book - 7th January

Articles: 2011

  • For the men in my life? A list… - Mrs Moneypenny lives in hope that Mr M will buy her a Christmas present that is something that a) she wants and loves and b) she didn’t ask for - 17th December
  • Give generously – your CV will thank you - Are business schools the answer to getting more women ahead in their careers - 10th December
  • Making (radio) waves on high pay - Mrs Moneypenny is invited for an interview about executive compensation but her views cause a storm on Twitter - 3rd December
  • Hat’s entertainment - Mrs Moneypenny spends a day cycling, complete with her orange Orvis hat, and contemplates the mysteries of teenage dating - 26th November
  • My kind of tune - Mrs Moneypenny goes back to Japan, her favourite country, where both whisky and golf are venerated by the majority of the male population - 19th November
  • A (saline) solution to my woes - A plastic bottle and a few sachets were all it took for Mrs Moneypenny to stop coughing in time to witness the swearing-in of a new High Court judge - 12th November
  • Strictly snug seating - Mrs Moneypenny reminds her middle child to not take things for granted and to deal with discomfort - 5th November
  • Good: golf greens; Bad: blue jokes - Mrs Moneypenny visits the Isle of Man and is made to sign a document confirming she will not use ‘swearing or profanities’ in her dinner speech - 29th October
  • We need more high-flying women - Quotas lead to token appointments in boardrooms. Mrs Moneypenny hopes to meet targets by encouraging chairmen to look for qualified candidates - 22nd October
  • The gifts that keep on giving - The ultimate re-gifting exercise - involving six magnums of champagne - ends in failure due to a few minutes of lost concentration at a wine auction - 15th October
  • Prescription drugs and sausage rolls - Mrs Moneypenny has been feeling too ill to go shopping, but manages to procure birthday presents for her husband and son - 8th October
  • Maps maketh the man … - My children may have missed out on map-reading but one thing I do hope I have taught them is to be courteous to others - 1st October
  • Mother of all mishaps - A recent drama involving locked doors and unanswered phone calls has reminded Mrs Moneypenny that parenting is not her strongest skill - 24th September
  • Why I come with a manual - It can be sobering to learn what other people think of you, says Mrs Moneypenny, after reading her assistant’s 15-page guide to looking after her - 17th September
  • A grouse about shooting surprises - Seeing men in clothes in which you are unaccustomed to seeing them can really affect how you perceive them - 10th September
  • Embarrassing? Who, moi? - Mrs Moneypenny ogles at Douglas Henshall and basks in the delight of sharing the carriage with a Queen guitarist on a train to Edinburgh - 3rd September
  • The highs and lows of risk-taking - After reading an academic paper, Mrs Moneypenny takes issue with its conclusion and wonders if there’s a way to identify risk-seekers among CEOs - 27th August
  • Wrinkle-free investment - Costly anti-ageing creams may prompt more of us to resort to something stronger than OMG in the beauty salon - 20th August
  • A challenge to tut-tut parenting - If Mrs Moneypenny finds anything harder than caring for her own children, it is exercising her role as surrogate parent to other people’s offspring - 13th August
  • A breakfast with built-in indigestion - Mrs Moneypenny wanted to treat a girlfriend to something she will remember. Unfortunately, the date at a Mayfair hotel turned into a disaster - 6th August
  • A family appetite for the staycation - The triumph in all of Mrs Moneypenny’s holiday budget expenditure has been CC#1’s decision to attend a week’s residential cookery course - 30th July
  • Women to watch - Mrs Moneypenny praises female leadership – on the boards of public companies and at the helm of entire countries - 23rd July
  • My walk-on part in Chicago - Dressed as gangsters, bankers celebrated achievements at the Euromoney Awards for Excellence before out-donating each other for a school - 16th July
  • Cleaning up our act - Mrs Moneypenny hires a cleaner and finds that it is the one thing that will get an extremely busy Mr M to tidy up the house - 9th July
  • Elegance on a plate - What Mrs Moneypenny remembered most from her host’s 50th birthday party was not the personally embroidered napkins, but the standard of the speeches - 2nd July
  • Fast-track to a sticky wicket - Mrs Moneypenny wanted to attend engagements at St John’s Wood and Sevenoaks but spent three hours travelling in between - 17th June
  • My half-term education - Though Mrs Moneypenny forgets to bring CC#3’s textbooks on a trip to the Hay Festival, she manages to replace them with lessons on geography, the arts and current events - 11th June
  • My life as a celebrity - After two million viewers followed her short television presenting career on Channel 4, Mrs Moneypenny puts to the test how far her stardom will take her - 4th June
  • Me, go on a diet? Fat chance - Mrs Moneypenny goes to lunch with her girlfriends, who all seem focused on food, making her wonder if there is a global conspiracy to get her to lose weight - 28th May
  • Why living next to the pub is always a safe bet - What is the correct parental response if you find out your son has settled the family’s account at the pub by using winnings from gambling - 21st May
  • The real cost of skimping on defence - Mrs Moneypenny wonders if cuts to the military budget may be going too far and cites the Nimrod Review, which warns against promoting spreadsheets at the expense of safety - 14th May
  • How my fete was sealed - Having foolishly offered to handle the raffle at their village’s summer landmark event, Mrs Moneypenny whips her family into line to sell tickets - 7th May
  • Hold that invite – it might be illegal - With the Bribery Act set to become law, Mrs Moneypenny is not sure whether accepting an invitation to shoot grouse in autumn is likely to bring the police to her door - 30th April
  • Not quite ready for my close-up - The world of TV continues to baffle Mrs Moneypenny. All the grooming and haircare just to get a four-minute footage of her vacuuming and flushing a lavatory? Forget it - 23rd April
  • Japan stays in our thoughts - After the earthquake and tsunami, it is some comfort to know that the Japanese have a rock-like resilience. But what can we do to help from here - 16th April
  • Honey, we’ve lost the children - A missing child and problems at the office look like Mrs Moneypenny’s Easter holiday is jinxed but she and Mr M later realise they were fooled - 9th April
  • Lights, camera … wardrobe change - Television novice Mrs Moneypenny picks up the nuances of positive TV talk where ‘wonderful’ means you need a complete change of clothes and a tortuous undergarment - 26th March
  • The world is not your oyster - In spite of the fact that she has been visiting the country regularly for 20 years, Mrs Moneypenny realises in a most painful way that her US geography is not up to scratch - 5th March
  • My tabloid shame … - Raising puppies can be so much more rewarding. For one thing, they will not berate you for failing to instruct them in how to use a fish knife - 26th February
  • A life of two halves - Mrs Moneypenny is so getting ready for the second half of her life – with oestrogen or no oestrogen - 19th February
  • A new opening in my life - Fully aware of what an honour has been handed to her after being invited to cut the ribbon at their village fête, Mrs Moneypenny promises to try not to feel like too much of a fraud - 12th February
  • A mad hatter’s guide to Davos - Bitter experience has taught Mrs Moneypenny that failing to take the right clothes to the annual World Economic Forum is as disastrous as forgetting one’s business cards - 5th February
  • A dramatic mix of cash and chaos - Mrs Moneypenny places her bet on an Oscar-nominated documentary on the financial crisis. After all, provoking debate on the use of tax-payers’ money is always healthy - 29th January
  • Fond farewells - After attending two funerals over the holidays, Mrs Moneypenny ponders what kind of funeral she wants to have, but more importantly, what kind of friend she wants to be - 22nd January
  • The patter of tiny paws - Mrs Moneypenny marvels at how a birth in the family has made Mr M a changed man - 15th January
  • A cut above the rest - On the day her show opened in New York, Mrs Moneypenny gets the star treatment – from a Frédéric Fekkai haircut to jewellery from Asprey - 8th January

Articles: 2010

Articles: 2009

Articles: 2008

  • 2008: The good, the bad, and the frankly unforgivable - On Mrs Moneypenny’s list of villains are British Airways, the idiot who thought up the one-size-fits-all capital gains tax and the CEO who suggested she go on a diet - 27th December 2008
  • The day I acquired a one-way ticket to Stressville - Mrs Moneypenny will need rest and recuperation over the Christmas and New Year break after a gruelling trip to the Passport Office - 20th December 2008
  • On the perils of speaking without notes - It takes a lot to make Mrs Moneypenny nervous. But when she recently had to speak before a large audience, she found herself struggling for a killer opening line - 13th December 2008
  • Of sons and mothers - Mrs Moneypenny is not sure if she has raised an equal opportunity household as all of her three ‘cost centres’ seem reluctant to engage with domestic machinery - 6th December 2008
  • A few festive suggestions – and none of them extravagant - Mrs Moneypenny has taken pity on Mr M, who finds gift-giving an unusually onerous responsibility, by flagging up in about June what she would most like - 29th November 2008
  • Who says there’s no romance in Hatfield? - A one-time site for jetliner testing, film production and wartime espionage is now part of an online grocery revolution - 22nd Novembe 2008
  • Never so glad to be stood up, I took off - With her meeting with Panama’s first lady postponed, Mrs M finds she has the time and perfectly glorious weather to take her first solo flight instead - 15th November 2008
  • Tumbling markets – and stumbling columnists - On a recent visit to Dubai, Mrs M found herself at the feet of an esteemed sultan after losing her footing - 8th November 2008
  • Women bankers: credit where it’s due - Mrs M is not worried for her company, an unsecured creditor of Kaupthing, because a woman is in charge - 1st November 2008
  • Let me put this diplomatically. Be nice. Or belt up - Mrs M has a piece of advice on what the diplomatic male should say to a woman about her weight - 25th October 2008
  • A banker both boring and Swiss? Bring him on! - In these troubled times, Mrs M seeks safety by selecting a yawn-inducing lender to refinance her company - 18th October 2008
  • The financial collapse and other causes for concern - While everyone had their attention on the market meltdown, Mrs M and other women had theirs on maternal mortality - 11th October 2008
  • Things have changed around here: Tread carefully, Mr M.. - Change is stressful. Starting a new job, moving house and divorce are often cited as three of the most common causes of stress - 4th October 2008
  • Why am I being made to subsidise my customers? - Business, rather than love, in a cold climate. In these straitened economic times the standard opening question on the drinks party circuit is: “How’s business?” - 27th September 2008
  • Yes, Sarah – you’re the beauty queen. But I’m the Aga goddess - I blame Sarah Palin. It is not enough to be able to shoot, manage a large family and a husband and hold down a challenging job in order to be considered a success as a woman. You also have to cook like a dream and win beauty competitions - 20th September 2008
  • At last, a place for an unsung war hero in Trafalgar Square - Anniversaries are important. I am usually good at remembering anniversaries, such as the first time I met anyone significant, the first time I did anything special (shot my first grouse, for example) - 13th September 2008
  • How new leaves affect turnover - Do plants belong in the workplace? - 6th September 2008
  • Faint hearts and fair maids - Cities are some of my favourite places. I am at my most comfortable right in the heart of a city, being part of its energy, watching the people. London, of course, is my favourite - 30th August 2008
  • Slights of hand and eye - How do you handle rejection? I’m not good about it, on the whole - 23rd August 2008
  • Theirs but to do or dye - There is more to life than hair, but it’s a good place to start. For my female readers I am sure this rings true. Men have it so easy, don’t they? - 16th August 2008
  • Holidays begin at the airport - For my holiday this year I stayed at home. Yes, home. I don’t mean that I went on holiday in England either. I mean that I just didn’t go to work for two weeks - 9th August 2008
  • In full swing - Wanted, new wife for Australian golfer in his early fifties. Must be blonde, good at tennis and preferably have won several (specifically 18) Grand Slam titles - 2nd August 2008
  • Stumped by the British summer - Summer has been here since April. No, I am not talking about the weather - 26th July 2008
  • Recline and fall - What do the governor of the Bank of England, the editor of this newspaper, the mayor of London and I have in common? - 19th July 2008
  • A night on the (bathroom) tiles - Clean and well-stocked bathrooms are critical. That’s what I told the cleaner last week before the Mother-in-Law arrived for one of her State Visits - 12th July 2008
  • Lessons for life over a tricky cup of instant - First impressions count. At our office we are careful to make sure that every visitor is made to feel extremely welcome: they are greeted at the door, shown to a meeting room and offered tea, coffee or a cold drink - 5th July 2008
  • Summer game shoots? Too dry for my liking - The game season finishes for feathered targets on February 1 and until the grouse season starts on August 12, the City has to put its shotguns away - 28th June 2008
  • Consumed by guilt, fuelled by fried bread - Nutrition is not a subject I have ever studied. I didn’t do biology O-level, so I have not even the smallest grasp of the nutritional properties of plants and seeds, let alone animals - 21st June 2008
  • Benign Neglect Of Cars And Cost Centres - An extra night in his own bed. That was the prize won by cc#3 for breaking his arm - 14th June 2008
  • Where Networking Blossoms - Gardens were not on the agenda. The purpose of the chelsea flower show gala preview is not, as i have explained before, to preview any flowers. It represents the largest annual gathering of corporate britain - 7th June 2008
  • Forever sipping bubbles - In 2002 I embarked on a love affair that has continued ever since. No, not with a man (or a woman!) but with a champagne - 31st May 2008
  • Why I need to be a party insider - I never want a surprise party. I like parties – I like giving them, I like going to them. But a surprise party? For me? No, thank you - 24th May 2008
  • At last, I’m back in the ring - Four months have sped by. In early January I had some surgery and as a result had to give up aerobic exercise – ie, boxing – for many weeks - 17th May 2008
  • The domino theory of teenage nutrition - Pizza parenting. That’s the social phenomenon that I believe explains Domino’s recent results - 10th May 2008
  • The Best-Laid Childcare Plans of Mothers and Men... - So what do you think of our new livery? In the magazine world redesigns do not happen casually - 26th April 2008
  • Fiscal jerks - Do you prefer your taxes arising or on remittance? I suspect that, like most of us, you would rather pay no tax at all. But if you are one of the 114,000 people living in the UK and registered as non-domiciled then you will have a vested interest in the difference between these two ways of assessing your taxable income - 19th April 2008
  • Heights of power - Warm and comfortable. No, that’s not a description of my personality and figure, but the dress code on the invitation for my recent ladies’ shooting day - 12th April 2008
  • The secret of longevity - “England and America are two countries separated by a common language.” If George Bernard Shaw were alive today, he might add that they are also separated by, among other things, 3,000 miles or so of sea and a totally different approach to advertisements for erectile dysfunction - 5th April 2008
  • Strategic play - I blame it all on Australian Rules Football. When Mr M announced last year that we were about to subscribe to Setanta at £10 a month... - 28th March 2008
  • Read my lips - I am not a literature buff. My reading largely consists of The Economist and historical biography, and I rarely pick up a novel other than when I’m on holiday - 22nd March 2008
  • Mind the gaps - What have you forgotten recently? I was stood up for breakfast the other day because someone who had fixed a date with me a month ago forgot they had done so - 14th March 2008
  • A place fit for heroes - In the first half of the 19th century, there raged in the newspapers of the day a great public debate. A military hero, long dead, remained – shamefully – uncommemorated - 8th March 2008
  • - Alarms and excursions] - One of Mrs M's cost centres is setting the world, or at least his school, alight - 1st March 2008
  • Well you did ask - As some of you might have noticed, I am not short of opinions. I am of the opinion, for instance, that holidaying with other people’s children is an acquired taste - 23rd February 2008
  • A heavy sleeper - On January 9 I was unconscious for four hours. No, I had not stood in the way of a golf ball, or taken my boxing training to new levels - 16th February 2008
  • Suited and booted - I was very nervous before going to Davos. No, it was not the thought of rubbing shoulders with more than 1,000 of the world’s business and political leaders (and apparently 10,000 support staff). It was about what to wear while doing so - 9th February 2008
  • Way to go - My father turned 80 this week. He continues to drive, work a day a week at the Citizens Advice Bureau, publish the parish magazine from his home computer and attend art classes - 2nd February 2008
  • Cold comforts - A group of people in a small Swiss ski resort at 1,500m will this weekend debate the pressing issues of the world. Before packing my snow boots, I considered how I was likely to contribute to the debate on world trends - 26th January 2008
  • The monstrous regiments - Women can be quite terrifying in large numbers. I am sure that men can be as well, but I am always slightly intimidated by large groups of women, especially when organised into fighting units - 19th January 2008
  • Down to earth - Visiting New York is always appealing.In mid-December, I went for 24 hours and managed to make every minute count - 12th January 2008
  • Profit of doom - Happy New Year. What does 2008 hold for you? I am never confident of predicting anything other than death or taxes, but one thing that I do confidently predict for me this year is that I am going to have to go through a refinancing - 5th January 2008

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