City hedge fund boss gives record £230m to charity

Last updated at 15:38 02 July 2007

A City financier has given £230million to a charity linked to his multi-billion-pound hedge fund.

Documents due to be filed will show Chris Hohn donated the sum to a charitable foundation run by his wife, Jamie, to benefit projects in Africa and the rest of the developing world.

It is thought to be the largest charitable donation made by a Briton in a single year.

Mr Hohn, 40, is founder of the Children's Investment Fund (TCI), one of the most aggressive hedge funds in the City, and he has been accused of "ruthlessness" in the past.

But when he set up TCI less than five years ago, Mr Hohn promised to give a percentage of the fund's earnings to its charitable arm, the Children's Investment Fund Foundation. Since then, CIFF has passed $1billion (£497million).

The foundation has given money to the Clinton Foundation for the treatment of HIV/Aids; to a scheme to help orphans in Malawi; and to emergency aid projects in places such as Darfur.

TCI paid more than £50million into its charitable arm two years ago. But the latest donation for the year ending August 2006 is the largest yet and dwarfs the £100 million given by Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter three years ago and the £100 million given by David and Heather Stevens, founders of the insurance company Admiral.

The scale of the donations is a direct result of TCI's success. The fund manages more than $10 billion for clients and made returns of more than 40 per cent on investors' money last year and of 50 per cent in 2005.

CIFF is run by Mr Hohn's wife Jamie Cooper-Hohn who does not take a salary. They live with their children in north London. The couple met at Harvard where Mr Hohn was studying after a degree at Southampton University.

So far, CIFF has spent relatively little of its money but is understood to be scaling up "significantly". It is thought to have $1.4billion.

Mr Hohn's donation still pales compared with the philanthropy of American billionaires. Warren Buffet last year pledged $31billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which already has $35billion from the founder of Microsoft.

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