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Donor of the Week: George Robinson

Author: Emily Randall

Published on Sep 21, 2012

Donor of the Week: George Robinson

Our Donor of the Week series aims to shed some light on the people, companies and organisations who are funding our political parties. Each week, we’ll look at the chosen donor’s political involvement, their donation history and any controversy associated with their actions, and question whether this really is the best system for financing our politics.

Who is he:

  • Robinson is a British businessman who is best known for being the co-founder, with Hugh Sloane, of the hedge fund management company Sloane Robinson. His personal fortune is believed to be around £220m
  • He graduated from Oxford University in 1979 with an honours degree in Engineering, and went on to work for Cathay Pacific Airlines, W I Carr and John Swire & Sons before founding Sloane Robinson in 1993
  • Robinson is also a trustee of Policy Exchange, “an independent, non-partisan educational charity seeking free market and localist solutions to public policy questions”

Business Interests:

  • It was reported that Sloane Robinson managed assets worth $3 billion in June 2012, down from $7.2 billion 12 months previously and $15.1 billion in 2008. The company also slipped out of the top 20 European hedge fund managers in 2012


  • Robinson is a well known Conservative Party donor, and has given £389 thousand to them since 2004, most recently £10,000 in January 2012
  • He is entitled to be a member of the ‘Leaders Club’, for people who donate more than £50,000 a year: this gives him privileged access to David Cameron and top officials


  • Robinson is currently facing a £2 million tax bill following a Judge’s ruling that a tax-avoidance scheme he was involved in was illegal; Sloane Robinson had set up a Guernsey trust in 2004 in order to avoid paying around £3.3 million in National Insurance contributions related to bonuses worth £24 million

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  • Date of the donation is the date the donation was accepted by the party
  • Analysis refers to donations to main party, individual MPs, MEPs, local parties and affiliated groups, cash donations and non-cash donations
  • Electoral Commission Donation Reports have only been available since 2001, and analysis does not consider any donations made before this point
  • Variations of the same name e.g. Joe Bloggs, Mr Joe Bloggs, Sir J Bloggs, etc are all collated as the same donor
  • Donations from companies that have moved address, changed name or have several subdivisions all making donations are also collated as the same donor, as are all previous forms of the same Trade Unions




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