Companies are scrambling to distance themselves from the Presidents Club Charity Dinner after allegations of sexual misconduct at the 2018 men-only event.

The club, which for 33 years has held an annual charity dinner in London, folded less than 24 hours after the Financial Times newspaper published an expose that claimed hostesses at the 2018 event last week were subjected to lewd remarks and groped.

Revelations about the black-tie event, attended by top names from the fields of finance, politics and entertainment, has prompted outrage. The news has struck a cord due to the various campaigns against sexual harassment in the workplace already underway.

Here are the companies and individuals that have been named — it is not known whether all those on the guest list were in attendance

The Guardian newspaper has published the full list of those on the guest list.

Verdict has contacted those named for comment.

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No comment.

London-listed spread better CMC Markets

CMC Markets declined to comment but Verdict understands CMC boss Peter Cruddas did not attend this year’s event — though he has done in the past.

David Meller, a non-executive director at the Department for Education and founder of the Meller Educational Trust

David Meller has reportedly stepped down from the Department for Education board.

Real estate fund manager Frogmore 

A Frogmore spokesperson said:

The attendees at Frogmore’s table were unaware of any of the described events but in no way condone this behaviour. Frogmore will now end its association with the event.

George Downing Construction

No comment.

Kyte Property

No comment.


No comment.

James Andrew International

No comment.

MGR Weston Key

No one available.


No one available.


No one available.

Paradigm Land

No one available.

Reditum Capital

No comment.

Stoneforce Group

No one available.

Bank of Bundhun

No one available.

FTSE 100 advertising conglomerate WPP

WPP said:

WPP has traditionally sponsored a table at the Presidents Club dinner to support its fundraising for children’s charities. Neither the company nor our attendees were aware of the alleged incidents until informed of them by the Financial Times.

WPP takes these reports very seriously and, while we will continue to support relevant charities, in light of the allegations we are ending our association with the event.

Companies who had someone one the list

Barclays — Makram Azar, vice-chairman of investment banking

No comment. Verdict understands that if Azar was in attendance it was in a personal capacity.

Sun Mark — Rami Ranger, founder

Rami Ranger told the Guardian:

Someone invited me for the first time in my life … I went because it was a charitable event … After dinner there was an after-party around the corner. I was totally surprised when I heard about the FT story, as I was surprised things can go this far. These are well-established businessmen successful in their own right.

Aston Chase (Michael Sulkin – director)

He confirmed he was at the event but said he did not want to comment.

Al Habtoor Trading Enterprises LLC (Rashid Al Habtoor, founder)

No one was availalbe.

Sotheby’s UK auction house (deputy chairman Lord Dalmeny)

No comment.

Coutts (associate director Ian Urbanowski)

A Coutts spokesperson said:

We are pleased to see the decisive action taken by the President’s Club Charity to investigate the appalling allegations of shocking and inappropriate behaviour at their recently held dinner. We will be reviewing our relationship with the charity.

Tyndaris (Raffaele Costa, founder and chief executive)

No comment.

Goldman Sachs (advisory director Phillip Hylander)

No comment.

Arix Bioscience (Christopher Evans, founder)

No comment.

Arcadia Group (Sir Philip Green, owner)

No comment.

University of Bolton (vice chairman George Holmes)

No comment

Asian Tasty (Adam Kaye, founder)

No comment.

Law firm Mishcon de Reya (Nick Minkoff, partner)

No comment

Investment manager Apollo Global Management (Roger Orf, partner)

No comment.

William Pears property group (David Pears, director)

No comment.

Hawes & Curtis (Touker Suleyman, owner)

No comment.

Ghost (Touker Suleyman, owner)

No comment.

West Ham football club (Jack Sullivan, son of club owner)

No comment.

VeeTee Rice (Moni Varma, founder)

No comment.

Sotheby’s Europe (Henry Wyndham, former chairman)

No comment.

Tamares Group (Poju Zabludowicz, foudner)

No comment.

Nadhim Zahawi, the under-secretary of state for children and families

A Department for Education spokesperson said on behalf of Nadhim Zahawi:

This charity event was attended in a personal capacity. It was not official departmental business and as such we are unable to comment further.

Ocado (chief executive Tim Steiner)

Ocado declined to comment however Verdict understands Tim Steiner attended the dinner in a personal capacity.

Labour peer and fundraiser Lord Mendelsohn

A Labour spokesperson said:

Lord Mendelsohn attended part of the dinner as president of a charity that received support from the event. He was not there for, or had any knowledge of, an after-party.

Lord Mendelsohn did not see any of the appalling incidents described in the report but he unreservedly condemns such behaviour.

Ryman (Theo Paphitis, owner)

No comment.

Robert Dyas (Theo Paphitis, owner)

No comment.

111 Harley Street Clinic (owner Yannis Alexandrides)

No one was available.

Comedian David Walliams (hosted the evening)

David Walliams has taken to Twitter to issue a statement.

He wrote:

Last Thursday night I hosted the Presidents Club annual charity fundraiser. I agreed to host as it is one of the biggest charity fund raising events of the year. I was there in a strictly professional capacity and not as a guest. I left immediately after I had finished my presenting on stage at 11.30pm. I did not witness any of the kind of behaviour that allegedly occurred and am absolutely appalled by the reports.

What is the Presidents Club Charity Dinner?

The club has held an annual dinner for 33 years with donations of £2.1m over the past two years, including a long-term project with Great Ormond Street hospital to fund the Presidents Club High Dependency Unit, which opened before Christmas.

Yesterday however Great Ormond Street hospital said it will return all previous donations from the Presidents Club.

A spokesperson for Great Ormond Street said:

We are shocked to hear of the behaviour reported at the Presidents Club Charitable Trust fundraising dinner. We would never knowingly accept donations raised in this way. We have had no involvement in the organisation of this event, nor attended and we were never due to receive any money from it.

All monies raised in our name go to support vital work. However, due to the wholly unacceptable nature of the event we are returning previous donations and will no longer accept gifts from the Presidents Club Charitable Trust.

The Bank of England has also said that it will revoke a prize of afternoon tea with its governor, Mark Carney, which it did not approve for the event.

The Charity Commission — which has the power to remove trustees or even shut down charities — yesterday opened an urgent probe into allegations.

Tracy Howarth, head of regulatory compliance at the Charity Commission, said:

We are aware of concerns reported by the Financial Times about the Presidents Club Charity Dinner. We are assessing these allegations as a matter of urgency and will be contacting the Presidents Club Charitable Trust.

Meanwhile, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations which represents charities in England, has advised its members not to accept donations from the Presidents Club, it was reported by BuzzFeed News.

The Presidents Club told the FT:

The Presidents Club recently hosted its annual dinner, raising several million pounds for disadvantaged children. The organisers are appalled by the allegations of bad behaviour at the event asserted by the Financial Times reporters.

Such behaviour is totally unacceptable. The allegations will be investigated fully and promptly and appropriate action taken.