Sunday reading

The following article from the Financial Times makes strange Sunday reading:

Here are a few extracts and selected reader comments:

“Church of England doubles hedge fund investments”

February 3, 2012

By Sam Jones, Hedge Fund Correspondent

Over the past two years, the Church of England has more than doubled the amount of money its multibillion-pound endowment has put into hedge funds, the Financial Times has learnt.

Against a backdrop of widespread public anger about ‘corporate excess’, the Church’s £5.5bn portfolio, managed by its commissioners, is now one of the largest UK investors in an industry that has gained notoriety for its large pay packages.

About 10 per cent of the Church capital is invested with hedge fund managers, up from 4 per cent at the end of 2009.

So far, hedge funds have brought a healthy profit to the Church, which has sometimes seemed to struggle to reconcile its internal differences over questions of morality and mammon, most notably during the Occupy St Paul’s protests last year.


Pay-outs for top hedge fund traders typically run into the tens of millions – multiples of salaries dozens of times over – and easily eclipse those paid to most leading corporate executives.


A spokesman for the Church acknowledged the unease such high pay caused.


The Church only invested in “carefully selected hedge funds” that met its rigorous ethical criteria, he added.

The commissioners – led by a body that includes the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Rowan Williams and John Sentamu, and the prime minister – began increasing its hedge fund investments in 2010 to diversify the portfolio. They continued making substantial allocations to the sector in 2011.


”If we’re asked as a Church about the responsibilities of wealth, our answer is: ‘Be generous with the wealth you have been blessed with.’”

Selected (on line) reader comments:

February 5 10:33am

The church should be leading the way by investing LONG TERM in quality equities and bonds – not giving “their” money to gamblers.

They should also be carefully providing seed capital for start-up businesses and charities and doing good for the community at large, in the same way as they preach.

February 5 9:28am

Jesus would be so proud. I think the next step is for the Church of England to become a Plc and put together a nice IPO with no other than Goldman Sachs and we are in heaven. Take that, Facebook.

February 4 10:48pm

I seem to recall some preaching about usury but…

February 4 2:33pm

Will take time but RIP religion and all its hypocrisy!

February 4 12:12pm

What was it all those Bishops were going on about just before Christmas again? I’m sure it was something about greed and traders or the like? It’s always one thing then another. No rhyme nor reason. Messages blowing about like a flag in the wind. I can never keep up with Anglican core values…

February 4 11:32am

The hypocrisy of religion is staggering. The notion of the COE hogging on to £5.5bn whilst moralizing about bonuses is sordid and disturbing.

February 4 10:48am

Didn’t the FT just run a story about how most hedge funds exceed at enriching their employees while destroying capital?

No comment from me.

Fear not, relax.




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