CIFF Gives Record Donation to Fight Children’s Hunger

June 13, 2013 Debbie Jacobs Hedge Fund News

Jamie Cooper-Cohn

Jamie Cooper-Cohn

At a summit hosted by David Cameron one foundation which is funded by a London-based hedge fund pledged to donate $787 million to support efforts to overcome childhood malnutrition around the world.

The donation will come from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, (CIFF) and is funded by the profits generated by Chris Hohn’s TCI hedge fund. It is believed that this is the single largest donation to end hunger ever made by a private foundation.

This donation was one among several totaling $4.1 billion in new funding promises given at the Nutrition for Growth summit which took place in London. The summit was jointly hosted by the British and Brazilian governments and CIFF. The British government also pledged an additional £655 million.

CIFF is run by Jamie Cooper-Cohn, who is the wife of TCI fund manager Hohn. Cooper-Cohn explained CIFF’s focus on childhood malnutrition:

“Our approach to segmenting deaths by disease – AIDS, malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia – means that we have missed perhaps the most critical factor in preventing child death, morbidity and disability.

“Under nutrition is the underlying cause of almost half of global child deaths and one third of maternal mortality.

“Similarly, we segment the paths to economic development under the traditional categories of agricultural productivity, power and road infrastructure.

“Yet, economic experts tell us that investments to prevent stunting, the irreversible condition that prevents proper growth and brain development, are among the most cost-effective, sustainable approaches to economic growth.”

Chris Hohn of TCI

Chris Hohn of TCI

The couple are generally publicity-shy, but they are Britain’s biggest philanthropists. In the past five years they have donated over £1 billion. Mr. Hohn, who is 46 years old, set up TCI in 2003, and has a reputation for being aggressive and ruthless with the management of the companies in which he invests.

TCI was structured from the beginning in way so that a percentage of the earnings would go directly to CIFF. In the year 2008 Hohn gave £466 million to CIFF, at the time the largest donation in history by a British citizen in a single year.

TCI has grown to be Britain’s largest charitable foundation in just one decade, and has been praised for being the foundation which revolutionized charitable work because it sets hedge fund style performance targets to charitable projects.

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