Hedge fund boss in £337m divorce sets up new charity after stopping

 

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The Independent Online

The billionaire hedge fund boss Sir Chris Hohn has quietly set up a new charity, having decided to stop funding his estranged wife’s Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

During his divorce proceedings in July, Mr Hohn told the Family Division of the High Court that he had decided he no longer wanted to give money to the CIFF – a decision borne out by figures filed today showing his hedge fund gave the charity just £4.8m last year. The previous year it gave £14.2m. Mr Hohn told the court he habitually gave 98 per cent of the money he could reasonably afford to the  foundation.

His new charity, The CH Foundation (UK), is aimed at helping alleviate poverty and the effects of human trafficking and organised crime in the Indian subcontinent. It also aims to promote health and education in Jamaica, where Mr Hohn’s car mechanic father was born.

Last week, his wife Jamie Cooper-Hohn was awarded £337m in what could be Britain’s biggest ever divorce settlement, dwarfing even the famous £220m, paid in 2011 by the late Russian oligarch, Boris Berezovsky, to his ex-wife Galina Besharova.

Mr Hohn’s hedge fund, The Children’s Investment Fund, known as TCI in the City, was founded in 2003 and has given more than £1bn to good causes since.

Figures filed at Companies House showed it made a £68.7m profit in the year ending 28 February, up from £31.5m the year before.

Mrs Cooper-Hohn told the divorce court the couple’s joint assets were about £849m and her husband was worth at least a further £872m from TCI. Her legal team said she may appeal for a more generous settlement.

Overall, turnover from performance fees at TCI were up 89 per cent to £97m, although it is unclear how much of this is linked to the controversial stock market flotation of Royal Mail last October, which left TCI as the largest private shareholder. 

Shares in Royal Mail were floated at 330p but soon hit 600p, leading to claims that taxpayers had been short-changed by the Government.

Shortly after the London listing, it emerged that TCI had built a 5.8 per cent stake in Royal Mail worth £286m. At the time, the Labour Party described it as a sign that the privatisation benefited “big money investors in the City” and not the public.

TCI said in its accounts: “The members are satisfied with the results for the year.

“However, current market conditions will continue to have a material impact on the income stream of the partnership over the following 12 months. That said, the members are optimistic about the future profitability of the partnership.”   

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