Paulson plans to donate £410m fortune to environmental causes

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The Independent Online

Henry Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary and former head of Goldman Sachs, is believed to be planning to give away the bulk of his fortune to charity - up to $800m (£410m).

The move would see him follow in the footsteps of a string of wealthy businessmen, including Microsoft's founder Bill Gates and investment guru Warren Buffett, who have all announced plans to donate the vast proportion of their wealth to good causes over the past year.

Mr Paulson, who is a Christian Scientist, first set himself up to join the ranks of the world's most generous philanthropists last year, when he donated $100m of Goldman Sachs stock to an environmental charity.

But he is now believed to be making plans to donate the rest of his fortune over the coming years, according to a report in the UK's Financial News. Last year saw a record $35bn of philanthropic donations from the US's most wealthy. Mr Buffett pledged to donate 85 per cent of his Berkshire Hathaway stock - currently worth some $40bn - to good causes.

Mr Paulson's move comes only a few months after Sandy Weill, a former head of one of Goldman's largest rivals Citigroup, also pledged to donate his $1.4bn fortune to charity, claiming it was a "deal with God".

Mr Paulson, who stepped down from his job at Goldman last summer, has been a long-term supporter of environmental causes, setting up his own charity more than 20 years ago.