Hearty Profiteering… For Charity?

While hard to believe, the City of London Corporation does appear to possess a heart: a grossly muscular organ whose life-sustaining pulse of goodwill is perfused by the City’s profligate and largely psychopathic profiteering. This charitable facade of tenderness is affectionately known as The Heart of the City. As they note on their web site:

The Heart of the City was launched in 2000 as a joint initiative of the Bank of England, City of London Corporation and Financial Service Authority.  At our inception, we sought to mobilise the City’s resources towards its neighbouring and less privileged communities.

The Heart of the City is chaired by Harvey McGrath, a very very rich man who is a fund-raising board member of the teaching-assistant-hating Sutton Trust, and an advisor to the “caring” capitalists at Bridges Ventures. Mr McGrath arrived at this desirous position at The Heart of the City just last December when he replaced Sir Gerry Acher, the former UK head of corporate finance at tax-evasion advisers KPMG.

With Sir Acher now gone, Simon Collins, the chairman of KPMG UK remains the firms charitable pointman at The Heart of the City. And thankfully Sir Acher’s commitment to the throwing pennies to the poor remains unrelinquished despite his departure from the City of London’s philanthropic heart.

Thus Sir Acher still maintains his position on the board of trustees of the KPMG Foundation, and is the vice-chairman of Motability –- a charity which helps disabled people become mobile by leasing them cars (patrons include Tony Blair and David Cameron).

Considering Sir Acher’s concern for the disabled, lets hope that he might spread a little love by using his intimate political connections to ensure that Leicester City Council reneges on its current commitment to cutting disabled access to public transport. Here he might be able to work his heart-felt magic with Ian Borley, a senior partner at KPMG Leicester who happens to be the outgoing chairman of Leicestershire Business Voice.

That said, such magic may be a little beyond even KPMG, and more to the point it would appear that Mr Borley never had much influence in determining KPMG’s philanthropic affections anyway. I say this because in 2011 Prospect Leicestershire  — an organization devoted to creating jobs in the city and county at which Mr Borley served as a board member — sank into oblivion “after having its [Council] funding axed.”

Either way, as the Leicester Mercury reported earlier this week, Gareth John — Mr Borley’s replacement as the new chairman of Leicestershire Business Voice — remains undaunted by the devastating impacts of austerity on Leicester’s poorest residents, reportedly saying:

I am particularly excited to be taking over at a time when Leicester’s star is in the ascendency. In the 15 years I have worked here, I have never experienced a feeling of such optimism and a belief that things are changing for the better.

This misplaced optimism should not be too surprising, as Mr John is very much atop of the corporate profiteering that austerity Britain is offering up to the super-rich. This is because Mr John is a senior partner at the corporate law firm Gateley, which among other rewarding endeavours, is proud to offer their legal services to the authoritarian, largely slave-like, economy of the United Arab Emirates: Gateley having opened their first office in the UAE in 2007, with their web site boasting hat their “Dubai team is one of the leading Corporate teams in the Middle East…”

As a result of his lucrative work at Gateley, Mr John “regularly advises on a broad range of corporate transactions including mergers and acquisitions, disposals and private equity investments”; and it seems he “has been instrumental in the growth of the Leicester office which now acts for 5 of the top 20 companies in Leicestershire.”

In addition, Mr John is “also the representative for the charity, Leicestershire Cares.” A charity that was formerly chaired by the recent head of Samworth Brothers, Brian Stein (for more on Stein and this charity, see “A Royal Pie-monger”). However, the current chairman of Leicestershire Cares is Stephen Woolfe, a senior partner at the second largest law firm in the Midlands, Harvey Ingram Shakespeares.

As ever caring capitalists can’t be separated, and love to spend all their precious time together, so it is fitting that Mr Woolfe is the chairman of the Heart of the National Forest Foundation, where he serves on their board of trustees alongside aforementioned KPMG executive Ian Borley.

It seems that there is nothing that the super-rich don’t support, other, that is, than the national tax pot!

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