Stanley Fink’s table. Sponsored by Lord Fink (£400 per head. At least £130,000,000 in combined wealth at the table.
* Lord and lady Fink: Former Conservative party treasurer. Wealth: £130,000,000. Personal donations: £3,160,000. 691st on the 2014 Sunday Times Rich List 2014
Ed Miliband asked of the Prime Minister,David Cameron “Can the prime minister now explain what steps he’s going to take about the tax avoidance activities of Lord Fink?” Countered by the reply “Fink was living and working in Switzerland at the time he had a HSBC Swiss bank account — so no tax avoidance”.
But Fink’s intervention threatening legal action if the claims were repeated outside the Commons begs the question. How would the High Court look upon defamation proceedings brought on by a man who freely admitted that he lobbied George Osborne to turn the UK into a tax haven: Fink’s quote:
“I lobbied George Osborne when the Tories were in opposition. I have long felt that the British government loses jobs to tax havens by allowing the revenue to have these rather archaic rules”. And perhaps he might explain why he has been a Director of at least three different companies which have operated with parent companies or subsidiaries in tax havens?
* Marex Spectron — owned by Amphitryon Ltd (Jersey) and Ocean Ring Jersey Co Ltd (Jersey)
* ISAM Services (UK) Ltd — Cayman Islands parent company
* Earth Capital Partners LLP — investment partnership with subsidiaries in Guernsey
Not to mention the many shares he has wrapped in a “bare” trust, a type of vehicle which can be used to minimise capital gains and inheritance tax.
* Nicholas Candy: Property developer married to Australian pop star Holly Vallance. Personal + company donations: £73,706. Value of business 300million plus.
Candy is one of a number of businesses controlled by brothers, Christian and Nick including CPC Group, a Guernsey-based development firm owned by Christian Candy who resigned as a director of Candy, leaving Nick as the only Candy on the Candy board. The company previously explained the switch as part of a group reorganisation.
The brothers became London’s most recognisable property entrepreneurs and last month Nick was named entrepreneur of the year by GQ magazine. Their project to redevelop One Hyde Park into 86 luxury apartments, which the company sell for a minimum of £5m each, has become one of the highest profile developments in London. In the summer they announced sales had exceeded £1bn.
Earlier this year, Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, paid the highest price for a UK residence after buying an apartment in the building for £136.4m. Buyers of the flats are treated as permanent guests of the Mandarin Oriental, the hotel adjacent to the development. Each lease document, as well as outlining the property bought in each case, also specifies which part of the development’s wine cellar the buyer is entitled to.
One Hyde Park is owned by Project Grande, a Guernsey-based joint venture between Christian Candy’s CPC and Waterknights, which is owned by the prime minister of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani.
Analysis of the finances of the giant glass-and-concrete block of flats, sandwiched between Harvey Nichols and the Serpentine, reveals that the Candy brothers’ gamble has paid off. A letter from the developer’s lawyers, SJ Berwin, obtained by the Observer, reveals that the project has “fully discharged and repaid its £1.15bn development facility with Eurohypo AG”.
Records reveal extensive use of tax havens to purchase the properties at 1 Hyde Park with the British Virgin Islands, involved in 25 deals, the most popular choice. Critics of tax avoidance by the super-rich will point out that an estimated £750m a year has been lost nationally in duty due to the use of offshore vehicles. People who purchase the flats from the current owners can avoid stamp duty by buying the offshore companies used to buy them without triggering a taxable property transfer.
Westminster City Council launched an investigation into the current owners’ identities after discovering that only nine apartments have registered for council tax, five of which are for second homes. But the Candy brothers say all the buyers paid their stamp tax at the time of purchase, and they are not responsible for registering properties for council tax. Nick Candy said his hopes continue to be high for the development. “I am very confident of it as a solid investment for the future.
* Nathalie Dauriac-Stoebe: Is the founder and Chief Executive of the hedge fund Signia Wealth, a private banking and asset management company. She currently manages £2.2Billion for 93 clients worldwide. having previously been a Senior Client Partner at Coutts & Co and Lazards leading the international proposition for clients with foreign domicile. (Non-Dom’s)
She was one of the four founding members of the Coutts Private Office, which focused on advising Ultra High Net Worth clients.
She was elected one of the 40 Rising Stars by the 2008 & 2009 European Wealth Management Bulletin.
She was named in the Financial News 100 Rising Stars and won the Spear’s 2010 award for the Future Leader in the Wealth Management Industry.
She was nominated by Ernst and Young for their Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2013.
Prior to joining the private banking industry, Nathalie worked at Lazard & Co in their M&A Corporate Finance division.
She is a member of The Committee of 200, (C200), an invitation only membership organization of the world’s most successful women business leaders.
She is also a member of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organisation). Also an invitation only membership which connects successful young Chief Executives in a global network.
She read Finance at Cambridge University graduating with a Master’s Degree.
She is from Saint Emilion in France and is still actively involved in running her very rich family’s vineyards in France and South Africa.
She currently lives in London with her husband private equity guru Konrad Stoebe.
* Liza Tchenguiz: Socialite and sister of the Tchenguiz brothers, London-based property tycoons. Personal donations: £100,000.
Princess Bea parties with birthday girl Lisa: If Princess Beatrice decides to marry her boyfriend Dave Clark and then it all goes horribly wrong, she can always turn to her new good friend Lisa Tchenguiz for advice. For Lisa is an expert on conducting a drawn-out divorce battle – she eventually won £15 million from her ex-husband, drinks tycoon Vivian Imerman, last February after a four-year fight.
And over the weekend she celebrated both her 49th birthday and the ending of her marriage at Annabel’s in Mayfair. Lisa’s boyfriend, aircraft entrepreneur Steve Varsano, had arranged a surprise – a 3ft-tall birthday/divorce cake. On one side it was a traditional party cake – but her 200 guests were amused to see that the back of it was full of references to Lisa’s divorce – including the image of a cheque which represented her long-awaited settlement. ‘It was all Steve’s idea — the cake was his birthday present to me,’ says Lisa, who has yet to open Beatrice’s birthday gift. ‘I’ve got 200 presents to open!’ she laughs.
Partygoers included Sir Philip Green and his wife, Tina, model and lingerie queen Caprice, Viscount Weymouth and his wife, Emma, and property figures Nick Candy and Jamie Reuben. How come Bea was in such august company? Apparently, Dave Clark – also at the bash – is pally with fellow American Varsano. ‘We see them all the time socially,’ adds Lisa.
Vincent Tchenguiz is close to offloading the £3 billion property empire that helped make the colourful tycoon one of Britain’s richest men. The American financial giants AIG and Met Life are among a clutch of bidders for a sprawling portfolio of properties that ranks among the biggest in Britain. Prudential, Britain’s biggest insurer, has also expressed strong interest in buying the business, which owns the freehold of 250,000 houses and flats — roughly 1% of Britain’s housing stock. The company, owned by the Tchenguiz Family Trust, makes money from annual ground rent payments from leaseholders.
The Serious Fraud Office inquiry is understood to centre on how some major depositors in Kaupthing were able to withdraw their money just before it went under, leaving millions of other investors out of pocket. As investigators combed the brothers’ Mayfair offices, both men issued a strongly worded denial of any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, on board his £10million 130ft super-cruiser Veni Vidi Vici (Latin for I came, I saw, I conquered) on Thursday night, the guests – quite possibly wondering whether the good times would roll for much longer – made the most of his generosity. Vincent Tchenguiz is famed as much for his largesse as for the way he cut a flamboyant swathe through the City. He is said to throw St Tropez’s best party. Always extravagant, its chief characteristic is an abundance of beautiful girls.
* Allen Jackson: Businessman. Personal donations: £276,650. Made his fortune running a training organisation. Sold his business for £23 million. Planned on retiring. But got fed up lying on far flung beaches in the Caribean and decided he needed a project to keep his interests alive. He heard that the “Jamaica Inn” the location of Daphne du Maurier’s famous novel was up for sale and put in an offer the very next day. Allen is full of plans and enthusiasm for his new business. And if all the plans are approved, he will be spend close £1.5 million on renovations and rebuilds. But it is clear he won’t be doing anything that would detract from the incredible history of the Jamaica Inn.
The blogger and the major donor. Sponsored by Sir Michael Hintze (£400 per head) At least £1,055,000,000 in combined wealth at the table.
* Sir Michael Hintze: Founder of the hedge fund CQS. Wealth: £1,055,000,000. Personal donations: £3,069,780. Personal + company donations: £3,181,473.
From the meeting room of the London headquarters of Convertible Quantitative Strategies (CQS) you can peer into the magnificent gardens and grounds of Buckingham Palace. It’s an appropriate vantage given the hedge fund’s extraordinary 59-year-old founder, Australian Michael Hintze, was knighted in this year’s Queen’s honours list.
Hintze’s is an Australian story like no other. He was born in 1953 in Harbin, China, to where his family fled during the Russian Revolution. The Hintzes made their way to Australia, where Michael studied physics, pure mathematics and engineering at the University of Sydney, and the science of acoustics at the University of NSW. Fluent in Russian, he served as a captain in the Australian Army, studied an MBA at Harvard and traded bonds for Goldman Sachs: it was a superhero CV even before his hedge fund elevated him to his status among Australia’s most wealthy investors.
CQS was founded by Hintze after he left Credit Suisse First Boston in 1999. The $200 million-odd of seed financing came from the Swiss bank’s equity division; Credit Suisse’s current global chief executive, Brady Dougan, approved the allocation that gave Hintze his start.
True to its name, CQS initially focused on convertible bonds but over the next decade added new strategies and expertise in credit and equities. Its proclaimed edge is in finding value along the corporate capital structure, be it equities or debt.
He is one of the British Conservative Party’s largest individual donors, and spent the latter part of 2011 in the British tabloids after being dragged into the influence-peddling scandal then engulfing David Cameron’s government.
Last year he was back there, after the Daily or worked out his CQS group had paid just £77,000 ($119,000) of corporate tax on revenue of £125 million, thanks to a Jersey-based headquarters.
He was also outed as the backer of a climate sceptic think-tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Other than that unwanted attention it’s been a good year for Hintze since last year’s Rich 200. CQS, which he set up in 1999, grew funds under management from $11.2 billion to $11.9 billion, and its flagship Directional Opportunities Fund returned a cool 28.9 per cent to investors in 2012.
* Paul and Orla Staines: Feared political blogger, working under name of Guido Fawkes. The last 15 years have been grim for most UK newspapers. Circulation has fallen as readers and advertisers migrate online. Paul Staines – better-known for his cyber alter ego “Guido Fawkes” – has been at the forefront of this shift, with his political blog order-order.com and digital advertising agency MessageSpace. But Staines only got into blogging after an eventful career in finance.
He started out with futures firm Cargill, before helping to run a hedge fund specialising in technology. The dotcom boom “made me think I was a genius”, says Staines – he ruefully admits that the fund’s value halved after the bubble popped. Due to a long legal dispute with his deep-pocketed backer, he was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2003.
By then political blogging was taking off, spurred by debate over the Iraq war. But most bloggers “were either closet Guardian or Telegraph leader writers”. Staines wanted to do something “more gossipy”. His wife was “livid” about his career move. But he set up his website in 2004, and it paid off during the 2005 election. A post on a controversial election poster made the front page of London’s Evening Standard, catapulting his daily traffic “into the thousands”.
* Dean Godson: Director of centre-right think tank Policy Exchange. He first joined Policy Exchange in 2005, running the think tank’s security research until becoming Director in 2013. Prior to joining Policy Exchange Dean was Chief Leader Writer of the Daily Telegraph. He also worked as Associate Editor of The Spectator and was a Contributing Editor for Prospect Magazine. He is the author of Himself Alone: David Trimble and the Ordeal of Unionism (Harper Collins, 2004), widely hailed as one of the most authoritative books on the Troubles.
He is one of the leaders of British neo-conservatism, who has openly called on British officialdom to wage an ideological and propaganda war on Zionism’s enemies, similar to that waged by MI6 and the CIA against communism during the Cold War. He is well placed to make such comparisons, since his father Joe Godson was an American diplomat in London who handled the CIA’s patronage of ‘moderates’ in the British labour movement, much as his modern equivalents seek to patronise ‘moderate’ Muslims.
Dean’s brother Prof. Roy Godson of Georgetown University is president of the U.S. National Strategy Information Center. In 1996 Godson’s NSIC issued a report on the Future of US Intelligence, calling for an increased emphasis on “strategic deception”. One of the report’s co-authors, Abram Shulsky, was then put in charge of the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans, which provided Donald Rumsfeld with intelligence suggesting that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and links to Al Qaeda.
* Lord William David and lady Trimble: He was the first First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2002, and the Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 1995 to 2005. He was also the Member of Parliament for Upper Bann from 1990 to 2005 and the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Upper Bann from 1998 to 2007. In 2006, he was made a life peer in the House of Lords and a year later left the UUP to join the Conservative Party.
Trimble began his career as a Professor of Law at Queen’s University Belfast in the 1970s, during which time he began to get involved with the paramilitary-linked Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party. He was elected to the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention in 1975, and joined the UUP in 1978 after Former first minister of Northern Ireland who defected to the Conservatives in 2010.
At a time when many other couples their age are thinking about winding down and taking things a little slower, life has never been busier for Lord and Lady Trimble. While David (65) is relishing his work in the House of Lords, Daphne (56) has decided she wants to have a role at Westminster in her own right as MP for Lagan Valley. The seat is, of course, currently held by Jeffrey Donaldson, a former Trimble protege who famously absconded to the DUP at a critical time in the fall-out after the Belfast Agreement. Naturally if Daphne could wrest the seat from Donaldson it would be a particularly sweet victory for the Trimbles. Coupled with David’s recent return to prominence during the prolonged Hillsborough talks on policing and justice and his role as a bridge between the UUP and the Conservative Party leadership, the dynasty is far from dormant.
* Paul Goodman: Executive editor of Conservative Home website. He was the Conservative MP for Wycombe for the best part of ten years – between 2001 and 2010. During that time, he served on the Conservative front bench as a Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government, Shadow Minister for Childcare, Shadow Minister for Disabled People and Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions.
He was also a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, and Parliamentary Private Secretary to David Davis MP when the latter was Party Chairman. In 2009, he announced that he’d stand down at the forthcoming general election, declaring that the Commons was becoming “a House in which professional politics predominates, entrenching and empowering a taxpayer-dependent political class distinct and separate from those who elect them…for better or worse, this future Commons isn’t for me”.