Buyout barons dig deep to raise cash for charity

BVCA chair Tim Hames speaks with entrepreneur Luke Johnson at the Norwood dinner
THE GREAT and good from the M&A world were at The Savoy earlier this week to raise money at Norwood’s inaugural private equity dinner.

Entrepreneur Luke Johnson, chairman of Risk Capital Partners, was special guest speaker at the event, which helped raise £135,000 for the charity.

Top notch auction and raffle prizes, including two tickets to the X-Factor semi-final donated by Simon Cowell and a Chelsea shirt signed by midfielder Eden Hazard, tempted the 330 private equity gurus in attendance to dig deep and splash the cash.

The dinner was the first of its kind laid on by charity, which counts ex-AA and RAC chairman Sir Trevor Chinn as an honorary life president.

Insiders from other private equity houses Advent, Synova, HiG, Lyceum, and TIC were among those putting business rivalries aside for the evening to raise money for the charity, which helps children with learning disabilities. Johnson, who took to the stage for a conversation with the president of the British Venture Capital Association Tim Hames, was on good form as he made the case for private equity to put its money to good use.

“I would like to see private equity throw away their toys and do something really useful with their money,” Johnson said.

Hear hear!

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has been named as the most influential lay Catholic in the UK by The Tablet, the weekly religious journal which counts Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene and Popes Benedict XVI and Paul VI among past contributors. It celebrates 175 years of uninterrupted coverage this week. Carney topped a list of 100 show business, political and financial services figures whose top ten included Dame Colette Bowe (pictured below), chairman of the Banking Standards Board (5th), Paul Polman Unilever chief executive (8th) and John Studzinski, former co-head of investment banking at HSBC and now a vice chairman at The Blackstone Group, (10th). England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney and his wife Coleen were ranked equal 46th. Chelsea manager Jose (the special one) Mourinho and footballer Didier Drogba, joint 48th. Factors influencing position included prominence of position, size of organisation and impact on public life.

A Tablet source said: “We did not require each person in the list to go to Church every Sunday but we sought to make sure that they at least self-identify as a Catholic.”