Poets Quit British Award Over Hedge Fund’s Sponsorship

Dec 13 2011 | 2:15am ET

Two of the 10 British poets shortlisted for a prestigious award have dropped out of the running to protest the prize’s sponsorship by a hedge fund firm.

Alice Oswald and John Kinsella said that they will not accept the $23,000 T.S. Eliot Prize due to the recent three-year deal to sponsor it signed by Aurum Funds. The agreement followed the British Arts Council’s decision in April to stop funding the prize.

“I’m uncomfortable about the fact that Aurum Funds, an investment company which exclusively manages funds of hedge funds, is sponsoring the administration of the Eliot Prize,” Alice Oswald, who won the award in 2002, said. “I think poetry should be questioning not endorsing such institutions and for that reason I’m withdrawing from the Eliot shortlist.”

An Eliot Prize board member defended the Aurum sponsorship, noting that the firm is “respected” and counts “public sector pension funds and Oxford University” among its clients. And T.S. Eliot himself worked at Lloyd’s Bank before winning fame as a poet.

Nor is Aurum the only alternative investment firm to sponsor such a prize. The Booker Prize, arguably the most prestigious literary award in the U.K. and its former colonies, has been sponsored by the Man Group since 2002.


In Depth

David Yarrow On Growing His Hedge Fund And Shooting The Animals And People Of Africa - As A Photographer

Jul 23 2014 | 6:44am ET

While he’s always been a photographer, recent expeditions to Iceland, Ethiopia...

Lifestyle

Einhorns Busts At WSOP, Finishes In 173rd

Jul 15 2014 | 10:48am ET

Greenlight Capital founder David Einhorn’s World Series of Poker won’t end at...

Guest Contributor

Common Risk Parity Misperceptions

Jul 16 2014 | 11:02am ET

Over the past few years, risk parity has become a component of most investors’...

 

Sponsored Content

    Northern Trust Helps Hedge Funds Navigate Derivatives Regulations

    Jul 8 2014 | 10:48am ET

    The surge in derivatives regulation is among the most complex challenges facing the financial services industry today. Northern Trust’s Joshua Satten recently spoke with FINalternatives to share insights into the challenges presented by new regulation and explore how the industry is responding. Read more…

Publisher's Note