Bloomberg News

John Phelan in Aspen, Nobel Economist, Hedge Funds Care

July 31, 2012

Watermill Center

Edmund Phelps, director of the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University, Watermill Center founder Robert Wilson, and media entrepreneur Louise Blouin. Source: BFAnyc.com via Bloomberg

John Phelan, co-managing partner and co-founder of MSD Capital LP, and his wife, Amy, will host a party at their Aspen home tomorrow with a focus on wine.

Among the ski town sommeliers expected to attend are Jonathan Pullis of Montagna at the Little Nell, Alex Havier of Cache Cache, Oliver Jaderko of the Caribou Club and Gerald Theron of Syzygy.

The event is part of the Aspen Art Museum’s annual three- day ArtCrush, which Amy Phelan serves as chairman.

Mark Pincus, chief executive officer of Zynga Inc. (ZNGA:US) and Allen Questrom, a board member of Foot Locker Inc. (FL:US), are expected to attend the festivities.

The artist Tom Sachs, who recently brought a conception of outer space to the Park Avenue Armory, will receive the 2012 Aspen Art Award on Friday. He’s also made a work for the auction that night, titled “Poche Vide.”

Sachs dined with Nobel Prize-winning economist Edmund Phelps Saturday night at the 19th annual Watermill Center benefit.

The event, a pageant of performance and auction, raised more than $1.5 million to support artists’ residencies at the center, which was created by theater and opera designer Robert Wilson.

Phelps was a guest of media entrepreneur Louise Blouin and her husband, Matthew Kabatoff, executive director of the Louise Blouin Foundation.

‘Driving Force’

“It is wonderful to see such a benefit for creativity,” Phelps, director of the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University, wrote yesterday in an e-mail. “The event brings home the point that ideas are the driving force in the world. Yet, just as the development of creative ideas of commercial value requires backers, so the development of ideas having an artistic purpose also requires backers. This open, vigorous competition for financial backing of creativity is very American, I think.”

To Phelps’s point, on the same night the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation 13th annual Art for Life benefit raised more than $1.9 million to support arts programs for poor, minority populations. Marc Leder, co-CEO of Sun Capital Partners Inc., an honoree, brought his daughter Samantha, a student at Southern Methodist University. Shad Azimi, managing partner and founder of Vanterra Capital LLC, attended with his girlfriend, Paula Medeiros, a model.

Hedge Funds

Hedge Funds Care held its first-ever event in the Hamptons on Saturday. About 150 hedge fund professionals turned up for the “Behind the Hedges” cocktail party at the Southampton Social Club, which was organized by the charity’s NYC Young Professionals Committee. John A. Auerbach, a partner with the Charter Oak Financial Group, founded the committee last October.

Noelle-Claire Lecann, president of New York-based AlphaSource Capital Securities, was in attendance, along with committee members Stephanie Doane, managing director of business development at Butterfield Fulcrum Group, and Carolyn Kim, associate tax counsel at Goldentree Asset Management.

“Based on tonight’s experience I would say this is going to be the first of many Hamptons events” for the organization, Hedge Funds Care founder Rob Davis said in a brief address at the end of the night.

The event raised more than $60,000 for the charity, which gives grants to nonprofits that prevent and treat child abuse. Silent-auction items raised $10,000 of the total.

(Amanda Gordon and Nathaniel Baker are writers and photographers for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Richard Vines on dining and Mike Di Paola on the environment.

To contact the writers on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net or on Twitter at @amandagordon; Nathaniel Baker in New York at nbaker14@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.


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