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  1. Wealth
June 4, 2009

Tel: Arki Busson on tonight’s Ark dinner

By Spear's

The Eurostar terminus at London’s Waterloo station might seem like a fitting choice for a party for City tycoons. The vast, imposing and once celebrated structure has for eighteen months been left dejected and redundant.

The Eurostar terminus at London’s Waterloo station might seem like a fitting choice for a party for City tycoons. The vast, imposing and once celebrated structure has for eighteen months been left dejected and redundant.

Tonight the terminal will stage the Ark dinner, the annual hedge-fund-meets-Hollywood extravaganza. For years it has been dubbed Britain’s most lavish party but now, after the financial storm, has threatened to turn into more of a wake.

Arpad “Arki” Busson, the driving force behind the charity and dinner, is tasked with ensuring that the party goes on.

Meeting The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, he was tanned and cheery but his rasping voice betrays the stress of organising the event and running EIM, his hedge fund.

“There were discussions about whether we should go ahead with the dinner this year,” he admits. “Then we agreed the need was for the charity itself. The children haven’t stopped, Aids hasn’t stopped. With funding cuts from governments, NGOs and charities, we are needed more than ever before. Whatever we can raise will be great.”

Expectations are high. Mr Busson has turned the Ark dinner into one of the biggest fund-raisers in the world. Two years ago, the guests raised a record-breaking £28m. Last year the guests defied the credit crunch and raised £25m. In total, the event has raised £120m for Ark in just seven years that has been ploughed into six inner-city ‘academy’ schools in the UK, the fifth biggest Aids operation in Africa and orphanage programmes in eastern Europe.

To read the full story, visit telegraph.co.uk
 

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