IT’S been rich pickings indeed for the hedge fund community this year, if leaked information from the Sunday Times Rich List’s rundown of the wealthiest hedgies in town is anything to go by.
Apart from two individuals whose wealth has stayed the same over the past year (Nat Rothschild at Atticus and Steven Heinz at Lansdowne Partners), all of the 25 richest hedge fund managers on the list have seen their wealth swell since the 2009 Rich List.
Brevan Howard co-founder Alan Howard enjoyed the largest jump, coming in 133 per cent richer in 2010 with £875m, and now ranked third among the hedgies.
EIM’s Arki Busson (best known for being actress Uma Thurman’s man candy and the organiser of the City’s most popular charity event of the year, the ARK gala dinner) grew his pot of gold by 71 per cent to £180m, putting him in 22nd place in the sector.
But riding the wave out in front is still Louis Bacon at Moore Capital. Bacon has had a rough month, what with Moore execution trader Julian Rifat being arrested and questioned as part of the FSA’s mammoth investigation into insider trading. But The Capitalist imagines that a 69 per cent surge in Bacon’s personal wealth, making him a billionaire this year for the first time with £1.1bn, has proved to be a soothing enough antidote to all the strain.
After last week’s prize for most amusing research note of the week went to Steve Fleischman at Bank of America Merrill Lynch over in the States, this week we have a new contender. (Fleischman, talking about the bank’s collection of its top stock picks, bravely titled his note “Dick’s added; BJ’s removed from US-1”.)
This week’s offering comes courtesy of strategist Ian Williams at Altium Securities, who yesterday released a note on the effects of the possibility of a hung parliament on the equity markets, the value of sterling and so on.
Its title? “Electile Dysfunction”.
THREE MEN AND A...
Tales of City folk making their way back to work via all manner of transportation during the volcanic ash crisis have been flooding in thick and fast, as many try to claim the most intrepid adventurer’s crown. But the following, if The Capitalist may say so, is pretty darned impressive.
Three management consultants from EC Harris – Tim Robb, Tom Morgan and Peter Hogg – got home all the way from Russia earlier in the week. After begging and borrowing a car at a heaving Moscow train station – a Suzuki Liana, made famous as Top Gear’s “Star in a reasonably priced car” feature – the trio set off for Blighty with a boot full of provisions.
On the way they encountered wolves on the side of the road; had to “bribe” Russian officials with a few thousand roubles when they were caught speeding and had no translated documents; took a “short cut” through the forest tracks of Poland (without stopping for directions, obviously) and finally made it back to the UK 43 hours and 3,000km later, having stopped not once for a bit of shut-eye.
Trouble is, they’ve now got to figure out a way of getting the car back to Moscow. Any volunteers (with petrol and ferry expenses fully paid, of course)?
Remember the Taxpayers’ Alliance “debt clock”, the lorry-mounted digital calculator currently on a tour of the country to alert Britons to the scale of the national debt crisis?
I hear the clock rocked up to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s mammoth headquarters at Gogarburn, near Edinburgh, this week, to lambast the ordinary working folk for the government’s bailout of the bank in the depths of the crisis.
“It’s safe to say there was a fair bit of consternation,” chirps campaign director Mark Wallace, gleefully.
Perhaps they’d like to park it in front of Sir Fred Goodwin’s Edinburgh pad, too?
Today is St George’s Day, which gives us all the perfect excuse to drink and be merry in celebration of all things English. In that spirit, the City of London livery company the Armourers and Brasiers is putting on a pageant in honour of our patron saint, with its own “St George” parading through the streets of the Square Mile mounted on horseback, accompanied by the figures of the King, his daughter and a lamb led by a maiden.
Watch out for the parade – which starts at the Armourers Hall in Coleman Street at 11.45 – as it processes via Gresham Street and St Martins-le-Grand through Paternoster Square, passes in front of St Paul’s and then returns via Cannon Street and King Street.
Not that you’ll miss it if your offices are en route, mind, since the procession will be escorted by the Band of the Parachute Regiment, soldiers and armoured combat vehicles.
How’s this for unusual extra-curricular shenanigans, courtesy of James Hogan, a partner at City spinners College Hill.
Hogan is a keen oil painter in his spare time, who tells me he has worked “every weekend and holiday” on his art since taking it up again four years ago.
And now, he’s ready to show the product of his endeavours – at a Cork Street exhibition in the week commencing 7 June.
“I found that I had stored hundreds of abstract images in my head and that I had a story to tell,” Hogan says of his sprawling work, which consists of three ‘chapters’ of 75 paintings each. “It is an abstract story which interweaves my life-story, reading of history and philosophy. The work is also very contemporary, tackling difficult subjects, including 911 and Haiti, in what I hope is a beautiful way…”
Art buffs can visit www.jameshogan.theworldthroughart.com for more details.