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Charity shelves opulent London hedge fund gala dinner

(Reuters) – A lavish gala dinner that was a highlight of the London hedge fund industry’s social calendar and counted royalty among its guests has been quietly shelved.

The ARK Gala Dinner, which started in 2002, cost as much as 10,000 pounds a ticket, with entertainment over the years ranging from singers Elton John and Prince to a giant mechanical elephant.

The dinner will not take place this year as the charity it supports looks at other fundraising events, a spokeswoman for ARK (Absolute Return for Kids) said.

She said that the charity instead hosted a champagne reception in January attended by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

“We think we should have a variety of means of communicating (with donors),” she said. “More and more of the donors are coming to us interested in particular programmes … At the dinner, conversations (about projects) are not as detailed.”

The spokeswoman said no decision had been taken about whether the event would take place in the future.

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