Thursday, April 26, 2007

Another top fund chief backs Obama

Another top fund chief backs Obama
By Deborah Brewster in New York
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007
Published: April 25 2007 23:21 | Last updated: April 25 2007 23:21

Paul Tudor Jones, the wealthy hedge fund manager, has become the latest in a growing band from his profession to throw their weight behind Barack Obama, the US senator vying for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Mr Jones is said to be planning to host a 500-guest fundraiser for Mr Obama on May 19. The event will be held at Mr Jones’s seaside mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, a big US centre for hedge funds.

“The whole of Greenwich is backing Obama,” said one leading US businessman.

Hedge fund managers, whose newly found wealth has made them attractive targets for presidential hopefuls, appear to be turning to Mr Obama in large numbers.

Last month, George Soros came out in support of Mr Obama. Orin Kramer, a longstanding Democratic fundraiser who is also a hedge fund manager, is also supporting the Illinois senator.

Other prominent managers backing him include Daniel Loeb, and Eric Mindich, a former Goldman Sachs star trader who now runs the Eton Park fund.

Mr Jones began his working life as a commodity trader and is one of a few investors who have reached the elevated status of Mr Soros in a crowded field.

His $15bn (£7.5bn) Tudor Management fund has notably outperformed its peers since its inception

Mr Jones was recently featured in an article by the author Tom Wolfe on hedge fund managers – called “The new masters of the universe” – in Portfolio magazine. Mr Jones also founded the Robin Hood charitable foundation, heavily supported by hedge fund chiefs.

Regardless of their personal affiliations, hedge fund managers have become increasingly active lobbyists in Washington and increasingly big campaign givers as the $1,400bn industry has grown.

Employees from SAC Capital, the Greenwich outfit run by Steve Cohen, were the top contributors to the presidential campaign of Christopher Dodd, the Democratic senate banking chairman, in the first quarter of 2007.


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