ADM tackles distressed situation in Cambodia

Hedgies Appleby, Botsford and Firth aim to clean up drugs and child prostitution in Sihanoukville.
1,000 street kids are being fed, educated and helped by Hong Kong special situations fund managers ADM Capital, whose philanthropic fund ADM Capital Foundation is ploughing money into worthy causes in Asia.

Cambodia, a borderline failed state, does not protect the most vulnerable in its society. Children in erstwhile seaside resort Sihanoukville, particularly those subject to dodgy parenting and chronic poverty, frequently descend to a life of drug abuse and child prostitution.

A new facility for local kids is being opened this week by the three ADM principals. It has been built for Sihanoukville foundation MÆLop Tapang and it includes classrooms, sports facilities, a canteen and a health clinic.

As well as this project, ADM takes an interest in the animal kingdom, by virtue of Rob ApplebyÆs period in academia as a marine biologist, and it contributes to programmes that seek to keep sharks from the cooking pot. (ADMÆs corporate insignia is a shark.)

On dry land in Hong Kong, the ADM Capital Foundation has commissioned a study into Hong KongÆs feculent air, and found that contrary to popular spin-doctoring, all the foul pollution does not blow in from across the PRC border.

ôA great deal of it comes from the vehicles in Hong Kong, especially the ships in Hong Kong waters burning bunker fuel, which is incredibly dirty and a major pollutant,ö Rob Appleby tells AsianInvestor.

In Asia, as well as the ADM Capital Foundation, there is the Rice charity, which is run by a number of figures from the alternative investment industry. Charity among hedge fund managers is perhaps best known in Europe, with donations from Christopher HohnÆs ChildrenÆs Fund making him one of the worldÆs most generous benefactors. He donated $230 million during the last year and over $1 billion in total.

ADM Capital, founded by Chris Botsford, Denys Firth with Robert Appleby, is one of AsiaÆs best known distressed and special situations funds managing assets of over $1.9 billion. It won Asian InvestorÆs award for Best Distressed Fund in 2007 for its triptych of Maculus Funds.
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