Some 200 of the great and good from Asia’s hedge fund industry attended a fundraising event put on by Returns Invested in Children and Education (Rice) at Hong Kong nightspot Bisous last week. Included below are some photos from the event.
Rice was set up in 2006 by Asia-based asset managers and their service providers, with the aim of improving the lives of children in Asia by supporting educational and other projects in the region.
This was the first fundraising event in Hong Kong for the Hong Kong- and Singapore-registered charity, and it raised HK$600,000 in donations from the mix of fund managers and service providers.
So it was fitting that an evening with a bit of a difference was hosted in a burlesque-themed bar-club rather than perhaps in one of the more common haunts of financial executives.
Hedge funds have had a tough year, but there was a feel-good air about the crowd – aided no doubt by a mix of Christmas cheer and the freely flowing drinks. And probably also by the anticipation of winning one of the prizes on offer in the silent auction, such as a week at a holiday home on Australia’s Southwest coast or a three-night stay at a Nepalese farmhouse.
The list of veterans in attendance included Andrew Ballingal and Geoffrey Barker of Ballingal Investment Advisors, Simon Sadler and Kurt Ersoy of Segantii Capital Management, and Jerry Wang of Vision Investment Management.
A significant number of industry players were also in town from Singapore, some of whom said they had made a trip especially for the event – although visiting a few Hong Kong-based clients was presumably also on the agenda.
They joined Paul Smith, head of fundraising in Asia for Rice, director of hedge fund seeding firm Triple A Partners and the evening’s jovial host and compere.
Following this strong start to fundraising efforts in Hong Kong, Rice will work with corporate service provides and fund managers to establish regular contributions in 2012. This will be complemented by individual donations from members of the asset management community.
Three children’s charities in 2011 have so far benefited from Rice donations. These are: Goutte d'Eau – Damnok Toeuk, an organisation in Cambodia working with children living with disabilities; Starchildren/CWS, an organisation in Nepal working with children infected and affected by HIV/Aids; and Angkor Hospital for Children, a paediatric hospital and education centre for Cambodian health workers.
Rice is also reviewing a range of additional projects to support in 2012. These are likely to include Masoom in India and M’Lop Tapang in Cambodia.