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Arpad Busson

Arpad Busson

Arpad Busson (born 27 January 1963) is a French financier. Busson entered the world of hedge funds in 1986 working in New York.[1] He is the founder and Chairman of the EIM Group, a fund of funds company. Busson is also active in a number of philanthropic causes around the globe. According to the French business magazine Challenges, he has a net worth of €290 million at 2013.

In 2016 he was treated for Prostitution addiction and denied being a fraudster at his boarding school exams. [2]

Arpad Busson
Born(1963-01-27)27 January 1963
Boulogne-Billancourt, France
OccupationFinancier, philanthropist
Partner(s)Elle Mcpherson
Uma Thurman
(2007–2009; 2011–2014)

Early life

Arpad Busson's father, Pascal Busson, was a former French army officer and Algerian War veteran, who later turned financier.[3] His mother, Florence "Flockie" Harcourt-Smith, was an English former debutante.[4] His parents met in Paris and named their son after the Hungarian-born banker Árpád Plesch (1889–1974), who not only was Florence's step-father (he was the second husband of her mother, Marysia Ulam Krauss Harcourt-Smith), but had also been her step-grandfather (Plesch's first wife, Leonie Caro Ulam, was his second wife's mother).[5] Plesch was a mentor to Italy's richest man, Gianni Agnelli, the late head of Fiat.[6] Busson's aunt, Joanna Harcourt-Smith, was a companion of Timothy Leary, who coincidentally was married in the early 1960s to the mother of Arpad's partner, Uma Thurman.[7]

Some sources have suggested that, while growing up in France, Busson made early profits selling toothpicks door-to-door (which he denies),[8] but he was educated in France and at the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland. He then served national service as a medic in the French army, where a friend said: "He loved the discipline of the army – it was the making of him.".[9]

On being demobilised, Busson had a well-publicised relationship with the actress Farrah Fawcett and appeared in tabloid gossip columns. As he often refuses to give interviews, stories surround Busson – the story about Fawcett is that they met on the French Riviera. The story is only partly true, in that it was perpetuated by the gossip columnist "Taki" as a sort of in-joke: Taki knew Busson's mother, who was friends with Fawcett.[8]

Finance career

Busson entered the world of hedge funds in 1986 working with Dubin Swieca.[10] He was later employed as a marketing representative for Paul Tudor Jones's fund Tudor Investments.

In 1991, Busson founded the EIM Group to provide fund-of-fund management services to the growing institutional market for hedge funds.[11] On 8 December 2008, EIM Group was reported as being a victim of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme.[12]

In December 2013, Busson merged his EIM group with Swiss listed investment company Gottex Fund Management Holdings.[13][14] In July 2015, Busson was named the next executive chairman of Gottex Fund Management for the interim, following Joachim Gottschalk stepping down from the position and finding a permanent executive chairman.[15]


Busson is a proponent of "venture philanthropy",[16] which seeks to multiply the effectiveness of charitable pursuits by applying to them the same management practices which are used in business ventures.

He is a founding trustee of the children's charity ARK (Absolute Return for Kids) and serves as chairman of its board of directors.[17] Busson held the post of Chairman since the charity's inception. He stepped down from that position in 2009 but remains a member of the Board as founding chairman, and as chairman of ARK US. ARK raises charitable contributions from the hedge fund industry for children who are victims of abuse, disability, illness and poverty. ARK finances and manages projects aimed at transforming the lives of children in Eastern Europe, South Africa and the UK through education and healthcare.[18]

The annual Ark Dinner hosted by Busson sees a range of high-profile individuals attend the event to raise money for the charity. Previous years have seen the likes of Bill Clinton (2006),[19] Queen Rania of Jordan (2010)[20] and in 2011 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took the limelight as Prince William announced a joint venture by the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry and the Ark charity.[21]

Its activities include funding treatment for AIDS victims in Africa, taking children out of care in Bulgaria and Romania and developing educational opportunities for disadvantaged children in India.[22] It also operates eight academies, six of which are in London, through its subsidiary charity ARK Academies.[23]

Busson says of ARK, "If we can apply the entrepreneurial principles we have brought to business to charity, we have a shot at having a really strong impact, to be able to transform the lives of children."[6]

He is a patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation[24] and a founding member of Theodora Children's Trust,[25] a charity which brings music, magic and laughter to children in hospital through visits from performers known as "Giggle Doctors".

Personal life

Busson began a relationship with Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson in 1996.[26] They have two sons together: Arpad Flynn Busson, known as Flynn (born February 1998 in New York City),[27] and Aurelius Cy Andrea Busson (born February 2003 in London).[28] The family lived together in London until Busson and Macpherson's separation in July 2005.[26]

Busson began dating American actress Uma Thurman in 2007[29] and they announced their engagement in June 2008.[30] In December 2009, it was reported that the two had ended their engagement,[31] but they reconciled and dated soon after their daughter's birth.[32] Busson and Thurman have one daughter together, Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson, known as Luna (born July 2012 in Boston, MA).[33] The couple called off the engagement for the second time in April 2014.[34] In January 2017, Thurman and Busson began a custody battle to get custody of their daughter.[35] Thurman ultimately received primary physical custody later that month.[36]


Citation Linkbusiness.timesonline.co.ukCostello, Miles (31 December 2007). Monday manifesto: Arpad Busson; Retrieved 29 June 2008 from http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article3111342.ece
Sep 19, 2019, 7:22 AM
Citation Linkpagesix.comhttps://pagesix.com/2017/01/19/uma-thurmans-ex-denies-prostitute-addiction/
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Citation Linkwww.telegraph.co.uk"A rich man but a 'pretty poor playboy'". The Daily Telegraph. London. 11 June 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
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Citation Linkwww.dailymail.co.ukDaily Mail: "Sex, drugs and a £100m lost legacy" Richard Kay 29 May 2011
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Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgEtti (Mrs Arpad) Plesch, Horses & Husbands: The Memoirs of Etti Plesch, Dorset: Dovecote Press, pp. 130–139
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Citation Linkeducation.guardian.co.uk"Can this 'venture philanthropist' save our schools?". The Observer. London. 29 May 2005. Retrieved 18 May 2008.
Sep 19, 2019, 7:22 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgEtti (Mrs Arpad) Plesch, Horses & Husbands: The Memoirs of Etti Plesch, Dorset: Dovecote Press, pp. 130–139
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Citation Linkbusiness.timesonline.co.ukWalsh, Katie (18 May 2008). "Arpad Busson, a hedge fund 'hippy'". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 18 May 2008.
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Citation Linkeducation.guardian.co.ukIan Cobain (6 July 2005). "From playboy to playgrounds: the speculator turned philanthropist with big plans for pupils". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
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Citation Linkwww.efinancialnews.com"EIM targets institutional market". Retrieved 26 June 2013.
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Citation Linkwww.eimgroup.com"EIM Group - The Firm". eimgroup.com. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
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Citation Linkwww.telegraph.co.uk"Bernard Madoff 'fraud': Betrayed by their best friend". The Daily Telegraph. London. 19 December 2008.
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Citation Linkwww.independent.co.ukGoodway, Nick (16 December 2013). "Millionaire Arpad Busson to merge his hedge fund firm with Gottex". The Independent. London.
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Citation Linkwww.ft.com"Gottex to buy Arpad Busson's EIM group in all share deal". Retrieved 7 May 2014.
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Citation Linkwww.independent.co.uk"Arpad 'Arki' Busson takes the reins at Gottex Fund Management as". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
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Citation Linkwww.theguardian.comMoss, Stephen. "Stephen Moss talks to hedge fund king and philanthropist, Arpad Busson". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
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Citation Linkarkonline.org"Who we are | Ark Schools". arkonline.org. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
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Citation Linkarkonline.org"International programmes | Ark Schools". arkonline.org. Archived from the original on 2015-10-26. Retrieved 2015-10-19.
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Citation Linkwww.bloomberg.comCahill, Tom; Baker, Stephanie (14 May 2010). "Queen Rania, the Killers Help Ark to Raise 14 Million Pounds". bloomberg.com. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
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Citation Linkweb.archive.org"BUSINESS GRANDEES RUB SHOULDERS WITH CELEBS AT ARK EXTRAVAGANZA". cityam.com. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
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