Fink Says U.K. Should Go Offshore

Sep 24 2012 | 1:22pm ET

Former Man Group CEO and International Standard Asset Management chief Stanley Fink thinks the U.K. should be easier on fortunes such as his own.

The hedge fund honcho and treasurer of Britain's governing Conservative Party has said in an interview that he lobbied the country's chancellor of the Exchequer to do away with "archaic" taxation rules that drive people like himself to tax havens like the Cayman Islands, Channel Islands and Luxembourg.

"I don't see why the U.K. should not compete for jobs that at present are going to the Cayman Islands," he said. "I lobbied George Osborne when the Tories were in opposition. I have long felt that the British government loses jobs to tax havens by allowing the Revenue to have these rather archaic rules."

Fink was ennobled by the Tories for his help in their 2010 electoral victory. He said that Osborne, who has called tax avoiders "morally repugnant," was not moved.

"It's a case where the Revenue has been penny-wise and pound-foolish," Fink said. "I have never understood it but it is something that the Revenue has always been paranoid about."

"Offshore companies are used for technical reasons, not tax avoidance," Fink argued. "Many of the structures in the business have to be based offshore, anyway. Otherwise, why would a Japanese person investing in a hedge fund want to pay U.K. tax? All of the industries I am involved in have to have some offshore entities, if only to help those investors."

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