2016: No.15= - £300m
2015: No.16 - £300m
Since his retirement financier Sir Paul Ruddock has devoted himself to the arts. He currently chairs the Victoria & Albert Museum in Kensington,
He retired from Lansdowne Partners – the investment management company he co-founded in 1998 – in March 2013. Since then he has devoted much of his time to the arts, and was also appointed chairman of the World War One Cathedral Repair Commission
Sir Paul was knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to the arts and to philanthropy.
He is the main benefactor behind the £10 million performing arts centre at his old school – King Edward’s in Edgbaston. The new centre was funded by Sir Paul and his American-born wife Jill, and is known as the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre.
When Northern Rock came crashing down in 2007 Paul Ruddock’s Lansdowne Partners hedge fund made a reported £100 million profit after betting on its collapse.
Lansdowne made a further £28 million on the Barclays Bank share price by acting very quickly when the ban on short selling was lifted. Short-selling deals on insurance firms Aviva, Prudential, Old Mutual and Legal & General also added millions to the Lansdowne coffers.
A former pupil of the independent King Edward’s School, as well as an Oxford law graduate and former Schroders and Goldman Sachs executive, Solihull-born Sir Paul, 56, co-founded Lansdowne with Steven Heinz. When he retired he was chief executive of the firm which has more than £10 billion of funds under management.
Before setting up Lansdowne he was managing director and head of international at Schroders, and also worked in investment equities at Goldman Sachs. He accumulated nearly 30 years experience in global financial markets.
He has been a vociferous defender of hedge funds describing them as a 60 year-old industry which has produced some “incredibly talented traders” who would not fit into a traditional banking environment.
He set up the Ruddock Foundation for the arts and made a big donation to help his old school build its arts centre, as a thank-you for the education he received after winning a free place at the school in the 1970s with a government-funded grant scheme. The arts centre, serving both his old school and the neighbouring Kind Edward VI High School for Girls features a 430 seat concert hall as well as a rehearsal and dance studio. He cites his scholarship to the school as a turning point in his life, and his experiences at the school gave him his love of theatre, art and music.
He was appointed chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2007, having been a trustee since 2002. He also chaired its finance committee and its development committee, and has brought in many large donations to the museum.
Sir Paul is an ambassador for Afrikids and has been involved in several educational and charitable projects in Africa through the charity. He has donated substantial funds and helped the charity connect with other donors.
Sir Paul is also chairman of the Gilbert Trust for the Arts, a Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Bancroft Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford (his former university where he gained a law degree) and a former Trustee of the Samuel Courtauld Trust and the Burlington Magazine Foundation. Other charitable involvements include The Courtald Institute for the Arts and The National Trust.
He is a substantial donor to the Conservative party.