RAB Capital

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RAB Capital Ltd is a British-based hedge fund group which initially 'made its name by being a prolific backer of small mining and energy stocks'. It later became known for its ill-fated gamble on failed UK bank Northern Rock.

RAB was co-founded in 1999 by Philip Richards and its current chairman Michael Alen-Buckley. Former Tory cabinet minister Norman Lamont served on RAB's board for eight years until 2012.


In 2009 RAB Capital's Special Situations Fund and another hedge fund SRM Global, unsuccessfully tried to sue the government over the near-collapse of Northern Rock.

In 2013 RAB’s mining-focused Special Situation fund was ranked the worst-performing fund monitored by HSBC, losing 31.4 per cent, its third straight year of double-digit losses according to the Financial Times in January 2014.

Michael Alen-Buckley, chairman of RAB, who has seen the fund’s assets sink from $2.4bn in 2007 to just $22m, said: “There is no getting around the fact that this was very poor performance. Large mining stocks got hammered and anything involved in gold mining was pretty much destroyed, but we are hopeful for a recovery.” [1]


In 2005 RAB Capital's two co-founders raised a combined £25m from selling shares in their company.

Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian-born steel magnate often-dubbed Britain's richest man, became a major investor in RAB Capital, with a 4.48% stake.

The Mittals were among 14 buyers of the shares, but only one other party was named - Sofina, the Belgian company controlled by the Solvay family, which is one of Europe's wealthiest dynasties, bought a 5.5% share.

The company was later floated in 2004.

Conservative Party donations

Electoral Commission records show that RAB has made intermittent donations to the Tories since 2001:

The £50,000 donation made in 2012 means RAB would have automatically been invited to PM David Cameron's The Leader's Group events.

RAB's chairman Michael Alen-Buckley has also made the following individual donations:



Former members

  • Norman Lamont - was non-executive director from April 2004 until 2012


RAB Special Situations (Master Fund) Ltd

According to Hemscotts/MorningStar in 2011:

Following giant losses in 2008 and an exodus of clients in April this year, hedge fund manager RAB Capital has announced plans to delist RAB Special Situations from the stock market in an attempt to reduce costs and pursue a more flexible strategy. The fund manager has been forced to take this action as RAB Special Sits has never recovered from the financial crisis, when its significant holdings in Northern Rock and other losses prompted NAV to drop over 70% in 2008, compared to the 18% decrease seen at its FTSE World TR benchmark.

According to the Guardian in April 2011:

RAB Capital said most clients in its embattled Special Situations fund – which is infamous for buying into Northern Rock before the lender's collapse, and which fell by 70% in 2008 – will pull their cash out when a three-year lock-up ends in October.
Philip Richards, co-founder of RAB and manager of the fund, admitted: "We made mistakes in the runup to the crisis and that has been a chastening experience. We have learnt from it and are already using those lessons to the benefit of our investors.
At its peak in December 2007, Special Situations managed $2bn (£1.22bn), of which $200m was Mittal family money, but the fund has now slumped to $470m.

RAB Special Situations Company Ltd

As of mid-2013 more than 80 per cent of the RAB Special Situations fund's holdings were in oil and gas, base metals and gold. Registered in Guernsey (No.43060) the fund has invested in many mining firms worldwide, including the following:

'Profits for the Master Fund over the year totalled $670m, while losses cost us $238m, which is a ratio of 2.8 to 1. Sadly our two largest holdings, Oxus Gold and Global Coal Management (formerly Asia Energy plc, now GCM Resources) lost US$85 million (or 12% of the Master Fund's starting NAV} between them, due to extreme local political difficulties which can be judged by the fact that people were shot in both locations'. We have bought more of both stocks and believe we will make good returns in the future. . . ” (emphasis added). [4]
According to the report 'From Money to Metal':
In May 2008 RAB Capital plc held a 25.96% stake in GCM Resources which it sold the majority of (20.5%) to Polo Resources Ltd (qv), listed on AIM. By 9 June 2008, RAB’s stake in GCM Resources had fallen below the notifiable 3% level.[5]
As of 20 February 2008, Polo held 8.8% of GCM, while Polo’s chair, Stephen R Dattels (qv) owned a personal stake of 5.77%. [5] [6]
  • Oxus Gold - Uzbekistan
  • African Minerals company, whose Sierra Leonean iron-ore mine workers faced brutal police repression during protests about pay and conditions in 2012, and
  • Canada’s Ascendant Copper, which was accused of human rights violations in Ecuador in 2006. [7]


Other managed funds

Natural resources

  • RAB Energy Fund (its biggest fund in 2010)
  • RAB Octane
  • RAB Global Mining and Resources Fund
  • RAB Gold and Precious Equities


  • RAB Europe
  • RAB European Credit Opportunities Fund


  • RAB Global Macro
  • RAB External Managers


Lobbying and PR firms



External resources


Contact details

Name & Registered Office:
Company No. 03694213

Previous Company names:

Date of change Previous Name
02/09/2011 RAB CAPITAL PLC
22/06/1999 K.P.U. LIMITED



  1. Madison Marriage, Hedge fund stars suffer sharp losses, Financial Times, January 12, 2014, acc 10 February 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Electoral Commission search, 6 February 2014
  3. Neil Hume Coal upgrade fuels Asia Energy, Market forces, The Guardian, Friday 27 May 2005, acc 10 February 2005
  4. [http://www.rabspecialsituations.com/pdf/Annual_Report_2006.pdf RAB Special Situations Company Limited, Managed by RAB Capital plc Report and Financial Statements 2006 Published, 8 May 2007
  5. 5.0 5.1 http://moneytometal.org/index.php/RAB_Capital, From Money to Metal: Tracking Global Mining Deals, webpage last updated 12 March 2012, acc 10 Feb 2014, citing Capital Situations Company Ltd annual report and accounts for 2006:
  6. Hemscott 20 February 2008
  7. RAB Capital, acc 5 February 2014
  8. RAB Capital plc Annual Report and Accounts 2010 Executive Chairman’s and Chief Executive’s statement, acc 10 Feb 2014
  9. Tulchan snatches RAB Capital brief from BPC&F, PR Week, 12 January 2006, acc 5 February 2014