... helps make £28m over dinner
THE MANAGING director of Jewish-backed charity Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) was counting his success this week. The children’s charity, which has Stanley Fink and Jennifer Moses among its trustees, raised almost £28 million at its annual gala dinner held at London’s Marlborough House last week — claimed to be a new UK record for a fundraising dinner.
Paul Bernstein tells People: “The amout raised exceeded our expectations. There is good support for the organisation and we have a good dynamic across the finance sector.” Evidently.
Mr Bernstein joined ARK in September 2003 as COO of ARK South Africa, becoming MD of the UK branch in 2005. “Once you’re hooked, you’re hooked,” he says.
A former Haberdashers’ Aske’s pupil who graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge, with an MA in economics, he went on to work as a business consultant for Vodacom in South Africa, and as marketing executive for Vodafone Global Products and Services. He was employed by ARK based on his “commercial background”.
ARK was established by Arpad Busson, the French financier, who used the dinner to announce an £8m joint venture with the Clinton Foundation to help Aids victims. Guests, including Bill Clinton and Bob Geldof, paid between £10,000 and £15,000 and were treated to carpaccio and tartare of Kobe beef with foie gras, followed by Cornish seabass fillet with mint oil and lemongrass beurre blanc. Then there were further spending opportunities during an auction.