Swiss Born Henry Angest – Tory Party Financial Backer – Scottish Estate Owner Registered in Jersey – Donated £100,000 to the Better Together Campaign. Claims nearly 58,000 farming subsidy from the Scottish Taxpayer.
Henry Angest is a Swiss born banker.
He was an international executive with The Dow Chemical Corporation in Europe, USA, Latin America and Asia.
He was until recently the Chairman and Chief Executive of Arbuthnot Banking Group and is a former master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers.
He and his wife, were named as having had dinner with David Cameron The Prime Minister, courtesy of his enormous financial donations to the Tory party which formed part of the infamous “cash for access” row that engulfed the party in March 2012.
According to an Observer investigation, Angest provided almost £7 million to the Conservative party in loans and donations between 2001 and 2010.
He was also a funder of Atlantic Bridge, the disgraced charity that the commissioners forced to close after identifying it was a front for the ultra right wing British American Foundation.
He also owns Ashmore-Strone & Dalmunzie estates in Perthshire under the name of Rora investments Ltd., a company registered off shore in Jersey.
The estates comprise 8,000 include farming activities, forestry, Deer and Grouse moor, holiday cottages and 9 hole golf course.
The estate claimed £57,614.71 farming subsidies in 2016
Queen’s Birthday Honours: Sir Henry Angest, banker who gave Tories millions, is knighted in reward for ‘political service’
Swiss-born multi-millionaire millionaire banker, Sir Henry Angest, one of the Tories’ biggest financial backers with links to a high-interest loans company “Everyday Loans”, a company charging members of the public an average of 74 per cent APR, has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, as are others who donated to the Conservatives during the election.
Angest, a former party treasurer gave the Tories a £5m overdraft facility just before the 2010 general election through Arbuthnot Latham, a private bank in which he owns a majority stake.
He has also given £1.9m to the party in his name and through his companies, Arbuthnot Banking Group and Flowidea.
The Arbuthnot Banking Group and Secure Trust Investment Bank
He was chairman of the group and associated companies from 1982-2016 before stepping down as Chairman on 19 October 2016.
He remained an executive member of the board retaining the role of chairman of the Remuneration Committee and member of the Nomination Committee.
He is a past Master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, Chairman and Chief Executive of Arbuthnot Banking Group and Chairman of Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Limited.
He gained extensive national and international experience as an executive of the DOW Chemical Company and DOW Banking Corporation.
He was chairman of the banking committee of the London Investment Banking Association and a director of the Institute of Directors.
He has a law degree from the University of Basel.
Angest owns Flowidea, a City-based investment company which has given £484,981 to the Tory party since early 2001.
William Hague, MP, stated, in his members’ interests, that Flowidea, “makes financial support available to my office”.
Flowidea is a subsidiary of the investment bank Arbuthnot Securities, which is owned by Secure Trust Banking Group, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange
He supported the Better Together campaign at the time of the 2014 Scottish referendum donating £100,000 to its coffers.
Murdo Fraser’s leadership campaign and other funding
Fraser’s bid to lead the Scottish Tories was bankrolled by a secretive Swiss-born financier with links to right-wing pressure groups.
He took £5000 at the start of his leadership campaign from Flowidea Ltd, controlled by reclusive millionaire stockbroker Henry Angest.
The same company has given cash to controversial groups, including The Atlantic Bridge, the charity set up by the tarnished former Defence Secretary Liam Fox.
Flowidea has also funded groups which are sceptical about the UK’s membership of the Europe Union and man-made climate change.
The donation to Fraser, declared in Electoral Commission records, is the first glimpse of the tens of thousands of pounds being pumped into the Scottish Tory leadership race.
A past master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, Angest is a publicity-shy ex-treasurer of the UK Conservatives, but remains one of its biggest donors.
Since 2001, Flowidea has given £1.4 million to the Tories, while Angest’s private bank, Arbuthnot Latham, has loaned the party a further £5m.
The 71-year-old recently complained that bankers were being “ demonised” by politicians, and called the £ 2.5 billion bankers’ bonus levy “grossly unfair”.
Flowidea offered the cash to Fraser’s leadership drive in August, before the Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP had officially entered the race.
At the time, Fraser had already settled on his campaign platform: a pledge to axe the “toxic” Scottish Tory brand if elected and start a new party of the centre-right instead.
Fraser accepted Flowidea’s £5000 on September 9, four days after he launched his campaign to replace Tory leader Annabel Goldie.
Angest, a former lawyer, became a British citizen in 1985.
Through Flowidea, he has funded an array of right-wing pressure groups, many opposed to the UK’s membership of the European Union.
In 2006, Flowidea gave £ 2000 to the Freedom Association, which campaigns for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and offered a platform to sceptics of so-called “climate change alarmism”.
The following year, Flowidea donated £ 1000 to The Atlantic Bridge, a charity founded by Liam Fox which fostered closer links with the US and was accused of being a neoconservative front.
The charity denied this, but was later wound up for being too political.
Its UK executive director was Adam Werritty, Fox’s former flatmate, whose special access to the Defence Secretary resulted in a breach of the ministerial code and Fox’s resignation last week.
In 2008, Flowidea gave £10,000 to Global Britain, a Eurosceptic “geopolitical think tank” co-founded by Lord Pearson of Rannoch, ex-leader of the UK Independence Party.
The same year, Flowidea gave £5000 to a failed campaign by Eurosceptic millionaire Stuart Wheeler to force the then Labour government to hold a referendum on ratifying the Lisbon Treaty, which replaced the European constitution.
Over the past decade, Flowidea and Angest personally have given around £35,000 to the local Tory parties in Perthshire and Tayside, where Fraser has his political base.
Fraser, current deputy leader of the Scots Tories, is competing for the leadership with three other MSPs – Jackson Carlaw, Ruth Davidson and Margaret Mitchell – all of whom oppose his idea to scrap the party and start afresh.
Last week the Sunday Herald revealed Davidson’s opponents had jointly demanded an independent investigation into possible bias, and had in turn been challenged to produce evidence.
Mike Weir, the SNP MP for Angus, said: “Murdo Fraser wants a new party, but it seems he is still happy to take donations from the same old Tory sources.”
A spokesman for Fraser said: “ Murdo’s proposal attracts support from all corners of the business community … those people will inevitably have differing political viewpoints.”
Flowidea donations to the Tory Party
25/06/2001 Flowidea Ltd £60,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
14/12/2001 Flowidea Ltd £30,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
18/03/2002 Flowidea Ltd £25,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
20/06/2002 Flowidea Ltd £29,250.00 Conservative Party Central Party
26/09/2002 Flowidea Ltd £35,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
22/11/2002 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative Party North Tayside
03/03/2003 Flowidea Ltd £10,650.00 Conservative Party Central Party
25/04/2003 Flowidea Ltd £50,800.00 Conservative Party Central Party
30/06/2003 Flowidea Ltd £22,863.01 Conservative Party Central Party
17/09/2003 Flowidea Ltd £21,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
10/12/2003 Flowidea Ltd £105,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
17/03/2004 Flowidea £10,000.00 Norris for London Campaign
11/05/2004 Flowidea Ltd £54,553.37 Conservative Party Central Party
16/08/2004 Flowidea Ltd £26,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
27/09/2004 Flowidea Ltd £3,865.00 Conservative Party North Tayside
01/10/2004 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 North East Says No Ltd
20/12/2004 Flowidea Ltd £25,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
01/03/2005 Flowidea Ltd £105,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
04/03/2005 Flowidea Ltd £5,444.71 Conservative Party Angus
31/05/2005 Flowidea Ltd £3,658.86 Conservative Party Angus
20/06/2005 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
30/06/2005 Flowidea Ltd £1,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
13/01/2006 Flowidea Ltd £1,896.43 Conservative Party Angus
18/01/2006 Flowidea Ltd £50,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
16/06/2006 Flowidea Ltd £1,800.00 Conservative Party Central Party
08/08/2006 Flowidea Ltd £8,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
10/10/2006 Flowidea Ltd £2,000.00 Andrew Mitchell MP
07/03/2007 Flowidea Ltd £109,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
04/06/2007 Flowidea Ltd £20,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
07/09/2007 Flowidea Ltd £11,344.39 Conservative Party Central Party
07/11/2007 Flowidea Ltd £2,000.00 Conservative Party Brentford & Isleworth
22/11/2007 Flowidea Ltd £2,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
05/12/2007 Flowidea Ltd £102,750.00 Conservative Party Central Party
02/03/2008 Flowidea Ltd £15,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
23/06/2008 Flowidea Ltd £34,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
01/09/2008 Flowidea Ltd £5,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
02/12/2008 Flowidea Ltd £5,000.00 Conservative Party Angus
09/12/2008 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
10/03/2009 Flowidea Ltd £60,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
16/06/2009 Flowidea Ltd £17,670.00 Conservative Party Central Party
14/07/2009 Flowidea Ltd £46,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
08/12/2009 Flowidea Ltd £7,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
26/01/2010 Flowidea Ltd £5,000.00 Conservative Party Angus
03/02/2010 Flowidea Ltd £3,000.00 Conservative Party Totnes
01/03/2010 Flowidea Ltd £50,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
17/06/2010 Flowidea Ltd £133,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
30/09/2010 Flowidea Ltd £18,800.00 Conservative Party Central Party
31/05/2011 Flowidea Ltd £50,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
24/08/2011 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
09/09/2011 Flowidea Ltd £,000.00 Murdo Fraser MSP Central Party
30/11/2011 Flowidea Ltd £11,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
08/03/2012 Flowidea Ltd £5,000.00 Conservative Party Perth & North Perthshire
08/03/2012 Flowidea Ltd £7,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
20/06/2012 Flowidea Ltd £57,450.00 Conservative Party Central Party
27/09/2012 Flowidea Ltd £75,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
16/11/2012 Flowidea Ltd £2,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
12/02/2013 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative/Unionist 1922 Committee
16/05/2013 Flowidea Ltd £50,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
12/11/2013 Flowidea Ltd £2,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
11/02/2014 Flowidea Ltd £50,000.00 Better Together 2012 Ltd
11/02/2014 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative Party Wirral West
15/05/2014 Flowidea Ltd £50,000.00 Better Together 2012 Ltd
03/07/2014 Flowidea Ltd £10,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
03/07/2014 Flowidea Ltd £876.00 Conservative Party Central Party
04/02/2015 Flowidea Ltd £8,400.00 Conservative Party Central Party
Arbuthnot Banking Group
01/07/2005 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £50,000.00 The Rt Hon David Davis MP
27/10/2009 Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC £25,000.00 Conservative Party
01/03/2010 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £25,000.00 Conservative Party
10/02/2011 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £893.00 Conservative Party
11/02/2011 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £20,000.00 No Campaign Limited
17/02/2011 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £8,400.00 Conservative Party
01/07/2011 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £800.00C Conservative Party
06/09/2012 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £16,810.00 Conservative Party
£21,500.00 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £21,500.00 Conservative Party 29/07/2013 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £13,760.00 Conservative Party
24/10/2013 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £8,600.00 Conservative Party 11/02/2014 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £7,500.00 Conservative Party 11/09/2014 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £2,600.00 Conservative Party 11/12/2014 Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc £20,500.00 Conservative Party
The Henry Angest Foundation and Perth College
Angest established The Henry Angest Foundation in April 2006 and donated a total of £285,000 to Perth College Development Trust, 2007 (£125,000), 2008 (£80,000) and 2009 (£80,000).
This represented 75% of all of the Foundation’s charitable giving in the period 2006-2010.
Since then Perth College/UHI has had no income.
The size of the donation was substantial and invited investigation, which Andy Wightman, MSP for the green Party duly did.
He extracted information from the original provided to him by Perth UNI under the FOI act.
In January 2007, Perth College announced the “donation of £285,000 towards research into Scottish estates.” The research, it is announced, will “look at the economic and employment benefits of estates to local communities and how owners and managers ensure that their estates fulfil their diverse roles.”
On 21 September 2007, Henry Angest received an Honorary fellowship at Blair Castle.
By early 2008, research students had been recruited and had begun work.
By early 2010, the question of further funding arose and Angest wrote to Professor Martin Price, the “Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies” to lay out two issues.
The first was redacted in its entirety. The second is revealing. Angest wrote:
“Before I could even consider any further support for the project, I would want to see the outcome of the studies.
I have no idea what the conclusions are.
I would not wish to give further support to a project where I would personally find the conclusions wrong or unacceptable.”
Angest, as a private donor is perfectly entitled to give money to whomsoever he likes but his statement reveals a inappropriate motive – namely the wish to be assured that the outcome is not “wrong” or “unacceptable.”
It should be obvious that such reassurance could never be given since it would be impossible (or should be) to know at the outset what the results of any inquiry will be.
In May 2011, Angest wrote to Professor Price to congratulate him on a recent research presentation to a meeting of the owners of Scotland’s largest estates.
He then went on to address community-owned estates.
A whole paragraph was redacted but he stated:
“Having observed some of these community estates as a businessman, I have great trouble in believing that they can be truly financially viable, for the following reasons:
Some of these estates have been endowed with huge amounts of public money, including money from charities.
They were therefore acquired without debt and some may well have surplus funds.
Furthermore, I would be very surprised if they didn’t continue to draw subsidies, including possibly, personal benefits for the people living and working there.
I don’t consider that such a privileged situation makes an estate independently financially viable (or sustainable).”
Professor Martin Price, in the 10th annual report of the Centre for Mountain Studies, thanked Henry Angest “for financing what will, I hope, be regarded as a landmark study on estates.”
However, the fact remains that this is the most substantial research programme on Scottish “estates” in recent decades and yet begins from the premise that such landholdings are a given.
But the inquiry failed to consider a range of issues central to a critical understanding of their role and function such as succession law, taxation, land tenure, the role of charity law, offshore trusts, trust law and the peculiar fact that these estates are exempt from business rates.
If I can be sure of one thing, it is that Henry Angest would never have funded research that examined these questions and that might have undermined the legitimacy, benefits or role of Scottish estates.
The full report can be found at: (http://www.andywightman.com/archives/category/research/page/2)