Hedge managers and city financiers are not all evil, it seems. More than 800 of the professionals dug deep into their pockets last week to raise more than £15 million for the Ark annual charity dinner. Ark, which stands for Absolute Return for Kids, was founded by Arpad Busson, the French financier and partner of actress Uma Thurman.
The evening, famed for its success — and excess — had a fundraising target of £10m this year, considerably down on the £25m raised last year: hedge funds have endured their worst year ever last year. But this did not stop the UK financial community smashing expectations to raise an impressive £15.6m. The same event in 2007 made a record £26.6m.
Ark trustee Jennifer Moses said: “It was an enormous success. We knew we were in a more challenging environment and would not raise the amount we did last year, but we raised substantially more than anticipated. People had the good sense to realise that whatever the size of the troubles they are facing in their industry, it is nothing compared to the troubles that the children are having.”
Meanwhile, Ark trustee Stanley Fink appears to be in a particularly giving mood. He has reportedly donated £1m to the Tories and is believed to be the largest donor to any party, as revealed in the latest figures from the Electoral Commission. Mr Mr Fink, the new co-treasurer of the Conservative party, hopes to raise £40m for the party’s election campaign.