Media Coverage

Hedge funds to go into hiding on J11: StopG8 media coverage


(Pic: Hedge Fund boss John Paulson and friends).

The secretive vulture funds are not best pleased with their addresses being publicised on the J11 action map. According to the Financial Times, hedge funds are arranging for staff to work at offices elsewhere in London on 11 June, or asking them “not to dress like a hedge fund manager”.

FT article link:

Read the article below.

London hedge funds ‘mapped’ by G8 protesters

By Madison Marriage, Financial Times

A number of London-based hedge funds including Man Group and Brevan Howard have been targeted by an anti-capitalist group ahead of the G8 summit next month.

The group, Stop G8, has drawn up an “action map” of what they call the “hiding places of power in the West End”, which highlights potential targets for protesters.

The map identifies the names and addresses of 17 hedge fund companies, which also includes Paulson, Odey Asset Management, Lansdowne Partners and BlueBay.

Stop G8 cites insider-dealing scandals, profiteering from the financial crisis and the short selling of state-owned companies as some of its primary grievances against the fund groups. The protest is planned for June 11, one week before the next meeting of G8 leaders in Northern Ireland.

A partner at one of the hedge fund groups included in the map, who wanted to remain anonymous, says his company is “aware of [the potential protests] and is on top of it”.

He added that several hedge funds have been liaising over how to handle on-site protests on June 11 and have been in contact with the Metropolitan Police regarding ways to deal with the threat.

A senior employee at another targeted hedge fund, who did not want to be named, said his company is “aware of the potential for disruption” and is “evaluating” its options.

He said that the contingency plan may include staff working at offices elsewhere in London on the day of the protest, or asking them “not to dress like a hedge fund manager” on their journey to and from work. “People will take this very seriously,” he said.

A number of smaller London-based hedge funds that have not been openly targeted are nonetheless circulating the map among themselves in case they are affected too.

In an email to members of a group of London-based financiers, the chief operating officer of one hedge fund said: “[The map] is being taken seriously and my understanding is that all police leave has been cancelled in anticipation of trouble.

“Some units who were due to police Northern Ireland have now been instructed to remain in London.”

The Metropolitan Police said they are “in dialogue” with Stop G8 but could not yet confirm how many protesters are anticipated on June 11.(**See NOTE below**)

Man Group, BlueBay and Lansdowne Partners were contacted about their plans to handle the threat of disruption but declined to comment.

Spokespeople for Brevan Howard, Millennium Global and Horseman Capital said they are aware of being targeted but did not want to disclose details regarding contingency plans. Aima, the hedge fund industry’s lobbying group, also declined to comment.

Stop G8 has singled out the hedge fund industry as a significant target, claiming that it “specialises” in risk taking and secrecy while feeding off “blood money” generated by speculation on war, food and debt.

It added that many fund bosses are “big political party donors, which helps them fend off regulation and investigation despite their unsavoury reputations”.

Supporters of the Stop G8 movement, which has local networks in London, Nottingham, Oxford, Brighton and south Wales, as well as links to groups abroad, have been encouraged to “show [their] anger” at these companies’ addresses.

The group, which describes itself as a “network made up of autonomous groups and individuals”, is distributing the action map via Twitter and Facebook . Members of the Occupy London movement are also expected to take part, according to a spokesperson for the group.

Stop G8 plans to publicise the protest abroad, having organised an “info tour” across Germany and Holland over the next two weeks and translating its publicity material into 17 languages.

The map of targets also features the names and addresses of several banks, private equity houses and security organisations, as well as energy, arms, mining and media companies.

A number of exclusive nightclubs, shopping venues and restaurants, dubbed the “dens of the rich”, have similarly been identified as targets for the protest.

Additional reporting by Helen Warrell.

**NOTE**. The Metropolitan Police are not “in dialogue” with StopG8. Unless you count as “dialogue” Community Support Officers sent to knock on the door of our meeting and ask for a headcount, or maybe Special Branch stopping people at Dover ferryport and threatening them with arrest under Schedule 7 (anti-terrorist law) unless they give information on the network. These intimidation tactics have not been, and will not be, successful.

More media coverage:

There is also a story in London’s Evening Standard, in which a lazier journalist calls the police and just cuts and pastes from our website.

And a Reuters article here, stating that

It is not clear how many people the group represents or how large any demonstrations might be, and the focus of the protesters’ anger is varied and vague.

But recent demonstrations against government austerity measures have been marred by rioting anarchists, while many Britons angered by bank bailouts and bonuses during tough economic times blame the financial sector.