Awards Dinner raises $510,300 for charity

Many thanks to those who helped raise over US$500,000 for the Tsunami and Faldo Trust at our ninth annual Achievement Awards Dinner.

For many banks, 2004 was their most profitable year ever in Asia and deal flow also reached new highs in both the equity and debt capital markets. We were, therefore, not surprised to welcome a record number of guests to our ninth annual Achievement Awards Dinner at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong last Friday, with just under 500 people flying in from around the region.

More importantly, we also raised more money for charity than we ever have before. As such we would like to express our deepest gratitude and thanks to all our sponsors and those of you who helped raise US$510,300 for a Tsunami appeal and the Faldo Trust.

We had two guests of honour for the evening. Gan Chee Yen, CFO of Temasek Holdings, was named our Capital Markets Person of the Year in recognition of the group's skilled use of the equity capital markets through two exchangeables and a placement in SingTel.

Our second guest of honour was Nick Faldo, one of the world's top golfers. In an entertaining interview with editor Nick Lord, he discussed winning the US Masters, the tensest moments of the Ryder Cup and displayed an uncanny ability to mimic a South African and Japanese accent. Ironically he also won one of the evening's raffle prizes - golf lessons at the John Jacobs golf school in Hong Kong!!

The Faldo Trust was one of our two charities for the evening. Founded in 1996, the trust aims to promote the talents of young golfers - inviting children from local schools to meet Nick and experience golf through a series of special tournaments and educational seminars.

The trust is now being established in Asia using the US$162,300 in proceeds raised from an auction of Nick's memorabilia at the awards dinner. This included a round of golf with Nick, the Ryder Cup shirt he wore in 1995 and a set of tickets to the US Masters in Augusta. We would particularly like to thank CLSA's managing director Tim Ferdinand, who very generously donated the $34,000 he bid for the tickets after giving them to the person who took up an offer to match his bid.

Nick himself also showed generosity of spirit by suggesting we make sure the night was not just about his own charity, but also about raising as much money as possible to help people afflicted by the Tsunami. We therefore donated the US$8,000 in raffle proceeds to a Tsunami school project we set up a few weeks ago in association with a few friends in the financial community.

In addition, on the night of the awards dinner, eight of the region's most successful financial institutions each contributed US$20,000 to become lead managers of a Tsunami Education Bond. The eight are: ABN AMRO, Barclays Capital, Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

With the addition of US$180,000 in private donations, a total of US$348,000 has now been raised for the school project. The intention is to work with Oxfam to source a suitable elementary school project in either Sri Lanka or Aceh, build the school and then fund it for five years.

We will keep readers informed of the progress of the project on this website and in FinanceAsia Magazine. Should any individual wish to contribute further, they can email editor [email protected] with their pledge details.

Our thanks once again to all the private donors and banks that participated and have shown such generosity. We hope that long after the Tsunami disaster fades from our daily consciousness, this school can bring some good to the lives of children who live in one of the afflicted communities.

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