Absolute Return for Kids, the charity founded by hedge fund investor Arpad Busson, raised 14.5 million pounds ($23.4 million) in London last night, 2.7 million pounds less than last year, as the hedge fund industry struggles to pare losses due to the European sovereign debt crisis.
Bill Gates addressed the audience in a recorded video at the auction dinner, which was attended by guests including hedge fund managers Pierre Lagrange, founder of GLG Partners, and Ian Wace of Marshall Wace LLP and top model Eva Herzigova. British rock band Mumford & Sons and electronic music duo Pet Shop Boys performed at the Kensington Palace Gardens event, which Princess Beatrice of York also attended.
ARK founder Busson, 49, started EIM SA, a Nyon, Switzerland-based manager that invests in hedge funds.
The fundraising was “an extraordinary show of generosity at any time, but especially so given the challenges of fundraising in this climate,” ARK said in a statement.
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