Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron invited several hedge fund executives to dine with him at his London home. The three top executives apparently made significant donations the Conservative Party in the U.K and now they are reaping the benefits.
On July 14th of 2010, Michael Farmer, founder of RK Capital Management; Michael Hintze, founder of CQS, and Paul Ruddock; founder of Lansdowne Partners enjoyed a special thank-you dinner that was exclusive to major Tory party donors and their wives. The party came just two months after Cameron won the election, the first in thirteen years to replace the Labour Party. In November 2011, Michael Hintze and his wife were invited to another dinner party. It seems like Cameron has a solid business relationship with these hedge fund managers.
Despite the reported high costs of the dinner parties, David Cameron explained that he has been well-aquainted with the guests and that parties were not paid from tax-payer income. Hintze also claims that he supports the Global Warming Policy Foundation and that “we are supporting Nigel Lawson’s initiative.” The GWPF did not disclose their list of donors.
Michael Hintze not only is the founder of CQS, his hedge funds company, but he also created a philanthropist organization Hintze Family Charitable Foundation with his wife. The charity currently donates to about 150 programs that focus on things like education and health. Paul Ruddock is the CEO of his hedge fund company Lansdowne Partners, chairman of the renowned Victoria & Albert Museum, and Trustee of of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
If companies want to donate to a party or program they believe in, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as everything is pretty much disclosed for that matter. I will give David Cameron and his friends the benefit of the doubt. European politics, are not that different than US politics, or so it seems.