THE GLAMOROUS world of hedge fund philanthropy had a shuffle at the top over the weekend, as Ian Wace – co-founder of Marshall Wace – took over from hedgie “godfather” Stanley Fink as chairman of Arki Busson’s charity, Absolute Return for Kids (ARK).
Wace will now be tasked with the dual responsibilities of overseeing ARK’s work – including its new maternal health programme in Zimbabwe and a rotavirus vaccination programme in Zambia – and raising as much dosh as possible from his moneyed industry colleagues.
Top of the latter agenda, of course, is ARK’s annual gala dinner next summer, the most extravagant charity event of the social calendar. This year, the event – held in the old Eurostar terminal at Waterloo for the second year running and featuring a live performance by the Killers – drew the likes of Queen Rania of Jordan, models Eva Herzigova and Sophie Dahl and actor Kevin Spacey to rub shoulders with the financiers present, including GLG co-founder Pierre Lagrange, Moore Capital’s Greg Coffey and Icap boss Michael Spencer.
This coming year’s event will need to be doubly special in order to mark ARK’s tenth anniversary – and I hear that a third outing at Waterloo has already been ruled out, leaving Wace to lead the search for an even more unique and spectacular venue. No tall order, then.
BABY BOND BOOM
An interesting note pops into The Capitalist’s inbox from Schroders’ senior fixed income portfolio manager David Harris, who reckons that the “baby boomer” generation’s lifestyle preferences are currently heavily influencing the bond market.
Apparently, following periods of very loose Fed policy in the past, baby boomers have invested their cheap money heavily into particular asset classes, depending on their age – first goods and services in the late 1970s; then into stocks in the late 1990s; then into housing in the mid-2000s.
And now, as they crave stability on the approach to retirement, the boomers are piling into bonds. “Cyclical forces will normally dominate other factors, however the collective force of the boomer investment can keep yields lower for longer than might otherwise be the case,” Harris reasons. Investors, take note.
Wannabe City boffins should start putting their heads together now, ahead of the upcoming annual Brain Game, in aid of St John Ambulance.
This year’s quiz will be hosted by funnyman David Mitchell, the star of Peep Show, who will lead the teams in eight rounds of questions on topics ranging from history to literature and art. KPMG are the ones to watch, since they triumphed last year at an event which raised £52,000 for charity. (This year’s is on 20 October at the Guildhall and costs £2,010 for a table of ten. For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been a busy time over the past couple of weeks for business-related Hollywood film ventures, and this weekend was no exception, with the debut of “The Social Network”, following the story of billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The movie raked in $23m over its opening weekend, according to preliminary estimates yesterday – earning it the number one spot at the US and Canadian box office.
For comparison, that’s quite a bit stronger than the opening of the second Wall Street film, “Money Never Sleeps”, which took $19m last weekend in the highest grossing debut weekend of director Oliver Stone’s career.
This week, Wall Street 2 was pushed in rather undignified fashion into third place, with $10.1m, by “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” – a good-vs-evil family romp featuring scores of wide-eyed owl soldiers.