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Hedge Fund Charity Party Goes Gaga

Date: Monday, April 25, 2011
Author: Imogen Rose-Smith, Institutional Investor.com

As this spring’s annual round of hedge fund charity parties gets under way, the must-have ticket, as usual, is the Robin Hood Foundation’s do. To be held May 9 at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center, the gala is the alternative-­investments answer to Lady Astor’s ball. The lavish party is always aswarm with hedge fund blue bloods, not least the members of the foundation’s board, including Robin Hood co-founder Paul Tudor Jones, CEO of Tudor Investment Corp.; board chair Lee Ainslie, managing partner of Maverick Capital, and co–vice chair Daniel Och, managing member of Och-Ziff Capital ­Management.

Founded in 1988 to combat poverty in New York City, the foundation has become a philanthropic tour de force, giving away tens of millions in grants each year. In 2008 the gala raised $60 million from its dinner and auction. Typical prizes: enjoying a one-on-one lunch with a star hedge fund manager or having a classroom named after you. The fundraiser has become famous not only for the amount of money it collects but also for its A-list entertainment. Last year Stevie Wonder did the honors, and the year before that it was the Black Eyed Peas.

Still, this year’s featured performer is truly out of this world: Lady Gaga. A one-time denizen of the City’s Lower East side, Gaga, 25, who made $60 million last year, is of course known for provocative outfits and even more provocative behavior. At the Grammy Awards, she emerged from an egg. Indeed, Gaga and top hedge fund managers have this in common: outlandish performance.