Michael Hintze

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Michael Hintze
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Michael Hintze is an Australian businessman, philanthropist and political patron, based in the United Kingdom.

He is a former head of equity trading at Goldman Sachs and the founder of CQS Management [1] a private London hedge fund.

Hintze is a major donor to the UK Conservative Party.

Influence on UK politics

Brexit donor

Hintze supports Brexit and donated £100,000 to the campaign to take the UK out of the EU.

He said in the run-up to the June 2016 referendum that Britain had more to fear from staying in the EU than departing it.

Funding climate sceptics

According to the Guardian Hintze declined to fund a climate change project in a September 2011 email, in which he stated: "Furthermore we are supporting Nigel Lawson's initiative." This is taken to be a reference to Lawson's Global Warming Policy Foundation.[2]

Liam Fox and Atlantic Bridge

Hintze was caught up in the 2011 scandal involving then defence secretary Liam Fox and his friend and self-styled adviser, Adam Werritty.

Hintze had funded Fox's charity Atlantic Bridge, which was at the centre of the scandal. According to the Guardian, the accounts for former Defence Secretary Liam Fox's defunct charity Atlantic Bridge "show that £104,000 – or 58 per cent of the charities voluntary income – had come from one source: the Hintze Family Foundation." The paper concluded that if Adam Werritty drew a salary as executive director of the Atlantic Bridge, the money would in practice be largely coming from Hintze.[3]

Hintze had also provided Werritty with desk space at CQS' London office.[4]

One of Hintze’s employees, Oliver Hylton, was also the sole director of Pargav, the vehicle which funded Adam Werritty following the closure of Atlantic Bridge.[5]

Hylton was also a director of Security Futures which had donated £15,000 to Atlantic Bridge the previous year.[3]

In May 2011 Hintze's company paid an estimated £10,439 for a private jet to fly Liam Fox from Washington to Britain.[6]

In October 2011 the Financial Times reported that CQS had a $21.5 million stake in L-3, a US communications firm which had a contact with the Ministry of Defence. The paper quoted an un-named Tory MP as stating: “Hintze is not motivated by [financial] defence interests,” he said, “but a shared ideological agenda [with Mr Fox]. But perception does matter.”[7]

Conservative Party ties

Hintze is a major donor to the Conservative Party. He donated £1.5m to the Tories in the decade to 2014.[8]

Hintze has said of his support for the Party: "it is pretty clear to me that my success has happened in Britain because of the context that the Conservative Party provided".[9]

In October 2011 Labour MP John Mann called for the Electoral Commission to investigate Hintze's donations: ‘Michael Hintze is a hedge fund boss and where he wants influence is over financial regulation. He does not have to ask Tory Ministers for anything, the act of giving simply changes their behaviour. When they come to consider the issue of financial regulation they are much less likely to do something if it upsets someone who makes such generous donations.’[10]

Dinner with the PM

Hintze and his wife were dinner guests of then Prime Minister David Cameron in July 2010.

The Black and White Ball 2015

On the 9 February 2015, the Conservative Party held their annual 'Black and White Ball' election fundraiser at the Grosvenor Hotel in London.It was reported that Hintze would be expected to host a table.[11] One Tory donor told the Guardian he had been told if he bought a 'premium table at the event for £15,000 he would expect the company of a cabinet minister' and if 'he paid £5,000 for a standard table, he would expect a junior minister'.

The event was attended by almost the entire Cabinet and by party donors. To raise additional money at the event, the Party sold prizes, including: a 10km Iron Man run with Iain Duncan Smith, dinner at home with Michael Gove and his wife, shoe shopping with Theresa May, a meal at the Carlton Club with Sajid Javid and a session of jogging with Nicky Morgan.[12][13]

Political donations

Recorded by the Electoral Commission. For an up-to-date list of donations by Michael Hintze, search the Electoral Commission website:[14]

Date Name of donor Amount Donated to Subsidiary (parties only)
19/02/2002 Michael Hintze £10,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
12/07/2002 Michael Hintze £25,250.00 Conservative Party Central Party
11/07/2003 Michael Hintze £25,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
10/12/2003 Michael Hintze £680.00 Conservative Party Central Party
10/09/2004 Michael Hintze £25,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
12/09/2005 Michael Hintze £25,000.00 Conservative Party Brighton Pavillion
12/09/2005 Michael Hintze £1,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
14/03/2006 Michael Hintze £60,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
24/05/2006 Michael Hintze £1,200.00 Conservative Party Central Party
14/08/2006 Michael Hintze £8,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
16/10/2006 Michael Hintze £203,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
24/01/2007 Michael Hintze £10,000.00 The Rt Hon DrLiam Fox MP
08/03/2007 Michael Hintze £5,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
04/05/2007 Michael Hintze £10,000.00 The Rt Hon David Willetts MP
30/06/2007 Michael Hintze £1,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
24/04/2007 Michael Hintze £100,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
09/07/2007 Michael Hintze £10,000.00 The Rt Hon David Willetts MP
29/08/2007 Michael Hintze £5,000.00 The Rt Hon David Davis MP
28/09/2007 Michael Hintze £115,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
04/12/2007 Michael Hintze £2,000.00 Boris Johnson MP
19/12/2007 Michael Hintze £5,000.00 The Rt Hon David Willetts MP
18/12/2007 Michael Hintze £5,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
25/02/2008 Michael Hintze £2,000.00 Boris Johnson MP
13/03/2008 Michael Hintze £1,000.00 Boris Johnson MP
29/02/2008 Michael Hintze £104,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
13/05/2008 Michael Hintze £60,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
08/07/2008 Michael Hintze £12,500.00 The Rt Hon George Osborne MP
11/10/2008 Michael Hintze £1,500.00 Adam Holloway MP
11/12/2008 Michael Hintze £129,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
06/01/2009 Michael Hintze £12,500.00 The Rt Hon George Osborne MP
01/05/2009 Michael Hintze £12,500.00 The Rt Hon George Osborne MP
16/06/2009 Michael Hintze £106,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
22/09/2009 Michael Hintze £1,200.00 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
29/10/2009 Michael Hintze £2,000.00 The Rt Hon David Davis MP
22/12/2009 Michael Hintze £115,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
01/02/2010 Michael Hintze £65,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
02/02/2010 Michael Hintze £3,000.00 Conservative Party Bournemouth West
11/06/2010 Michael Hintze £123,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
29/04/2010 Michael Hintze £2,000.00 Conservative Party Poplar & Limehouse
08/09/2010 Michael Hintze £7,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
31/12/2010 Michael Hintze £2,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
23/03/2011 Sir Michael Hintze £18,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
30/06/2011 Sir Michael Hintze £2,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
21/09/2011 Michael Hintze £2,000.00 The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP
28/04/2011 Michael Hintze £25,000.00 No Campaign Limited
24/10/2011 Michael Hintze £3,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
19/12/2011 Michael Hintze £10,450.00 Conservative Party Central Party
20/03/2012 Sir Michael Hintze £41,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
04/07/2012 Michael Hintze £5,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
05/03/2013 Sir Michael Hintze £37,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
16/05/2013 Michael Hintze £1,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
07/10/2013 Michael Hintze £25,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
24/03/2014 Sir Michael Hintze £3,000.00 Conservative Party Poplar & Limehouse
24/03/2014 Sir Michael Hintze £1,503,500.00 Conservative Party Central Party
29/05/2014 Sir Michael Hintze £2,000.00 Conservative Party Central Party
30/07/2014 Sir Michael Hintze £5,000.00 Conservative Party Mid Sussex
[15]


Business career

Hintze began his career in finance with Salomon Brothers, completing the firm's graduate trainee programme in 1982.

He worked at Goldman Sachs from 1984 to 1996 when he joined Credit Suisse.[16]

In 1999, Hintze launched his hedge fund Convertible & Quantitative Strategies, or CQS, with a $200 million investment from Credit Suisse, whose then European head, Hector Sants worked closely with him.[3]

2008 fnancial crisis and short selling

Hintze's hedge fund CQS took out a short position on Bradford & Bingley, which went on to lose 95 per cent of its value and was on the brink of collapse before it was rescued in late 2008. Short-selling involves a trader borrowing shares for a fee and selling them in the hope that, if the share price falls, the trader can buy them back at a cheaper price and return them to the borrower, thereby making a profit. The practice was banned by the UK government in September 2008.[17]

Background and early life

Hintze's grandparents fled Russia for China after the 1917 Revolution but his parents became refugees after the Communists took power there. [6] His father Michael M. Hintze became professor of engineering at the University of Sydney.[18]

Hintze told Financial News that his Catholic upbringing was an important influence on his philanthropy:

My grandmother was very philanthropic. My mother did it. I went to a Catholic parochial school, so we watched what the nuns were doing, what the Christian Brothers were doing, all these people giving back to the community.[9]

Hintze was educated at the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales and Harvard University. He holds degrees in Physics and Pure Mathematics and Electrical Engineering, an MSc in Acoustics and an MBA from Harvard Business School. [19]

He started his career in the Australian Army, serving as a captain before moving to the US to work in finance.

Philanthropy

Hintze and wife Dorothy have wide-ranging philanthropic interests, consolidated in the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation and support around 150 different causes. Among major donations, he has established the chair of International Security at the University of Sydney, enabled the restoration of Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Pauline Chapel at the Vatican and sponsored two major galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum. He has also provided funding for the Old Vic in London. He is a trustee of the National Gallery and of Wandsworth Museum.[20]

He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 and is a known supporter of both Catholic and Anglican institutions.[21]

Affiliations

Hintze currently serves as chairman of the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, a trustee of the National Gallery, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the University of Sydney Trust and Wandsworth Museum. He also serves on the International Council of the V&A and is a Patron of the Arts of the Vatican Museums. In 2009 he was appointed vice-president of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association.

Hintze founded the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation with his wife Dorothy.[6]

Contact

Website: http://michael-hintze.com/

Resources

Notes

  1. Website: http://www.cqs.ch/
  2. Graham Readfearn, Leo Hickman and Rupert Neate, Michael Hintze revealed as funder of Lord Lawson's climate thinktank, guardian.co.uk, 27 March 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Simon Bowers, Michael Hintze: Liam Fox backer who helped to bankroll foreign trips, guardian.co.uk, 11 October 2011.
  4. Holly Watt, Richard Spencer in Dubai and Robert Winnett, Liam Fox's friend Adam Werritty linked to Conservative donor, Telegraph, 11 October 2011.
  5. Sam Jones, James Blitz and Elizabeth Rigby, Tory donor’s links add pressure on Fox, FT.com, 13 October 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Tom Ross and Holly Watt, Michael Hintze: the millionaire Tory donor who once said: the more you give, the more you get, Telegraph, 12 October 2011.
  7. Sam Jones, James Blitz and Elizabeth Rigby, Tory donor’s links add pressure on Fox, Financial Times, 13 October 2011.
  8. Electoral Commission, [link],
  9. 9.0 9.1 William Hutchings, Interview: CQS founder goes long on philanthropy, Financial News, 1 March 2010.
  10. KEITH GLADDIS, ARTHUR MARTIN and RICHARD PENDLEBURY, Hedge fund baron Hintze - sugar daddy to Cameron and Co, MailOnline, 18 October 2011.
  11. Elizabeth Rigby Tories out in force for London fundraising ball Financial Times, 10 February 2015, accessed 11 February 2015
  12. Rajeev Syal and Rowena Mason Conservative donors pay up to £15,000 for table at election fundraiser The Guardian, 9 February 2015, accessed 11 February 2015
  13. Rajeev Syal, Rowena Mason and Robert Booth Right bids? Tory auction offers shoe spree with May or 10km run with IDS The Guardian, 10 February 2015, accessed 11 February 2015
  14. Donor Search, Electoral Commission, accessed 25 May 2016
  15. Electoral Commission, Donation Search, accessed 25 February 2015
  16. CQS Insights, CQS, January 2012, accessed 30 August 2012.
  17. Maire Woolf and David Leppard, Short-sellers bankroll Conservatives: Hedge-fund bosses accused of profiting from the financial crisis have given the Tories a small fortune, 2008, accessed 16 March 2011
  18. Dorothy E. Krauklis Is Married to Michael Hintze, New York Times, 15 July 1984.
  19. Michael Hintze, Programme Speaker, LSEsu and FMG Alternative Investments Conference 2009
  20. michael-hintze.com, accessed 30 August 2012.
  21. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article4837720.ece