Thursday, December 20, 2007

Capitalist Charity

Clive Cowdery, chairman of Resolution , announced yesterday that he planned to sell some or all of his holding and would transfer around £20 million to a new charity The Resolution Trust. The trust will ensure continued funding for the work of Cowdery's financial education project The Resolution Foundation .

The £5 billion sale to Pearl of the group he founded netted him a personal £150 million . Cowdery's stake grew in value by some £25 million in the few weeks between him announcing a merger with Friends Provident, with Resolution shares at 616p, and selling to rival Hugh Osmond of Pearl for 720p, thanks partly to sparking a bidding war between Pearl and Standard Life. So he can well afford to be generous with his philanthropic gestures . And what , pray we ask , is this charitable institution he is financing .

The Resolution Foundation is an independent research and policy organisation formed in September 2005 to study "how people on low to moderate incomes fair in the mixed welfare economy" with a particular interest in promoting increased social mobility. The foundation's first project was the forerunner of the government's review chaired by Aegon UK chief executive Otto Thoresen into the creation of a national advice service dispensing "generic" financial guidance. It commissioned a study from McKinsey and Deloitte, whose proposed model "led to extensive lobbying on the benefits to individuals and the nation", the foundation said. It is now embarking on a new project, "to promote a fair and efficient supply of elderly care, with a focus on people on low to moderate incomes".

Forgive my ignorance , but doesn't all that just add up to a fancy way of saying it does market research and offer financial advice for investment funds ? Tax-free , of course .

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