Rufus Fairbanks

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Rufus Fairbanks is a businessman and financier with a large portfolio of interests in the City of London and elsewhere, with a particular interest in Belarus. He has pioneered a number of unusual financial instruments over the years, although his claim to have monetised his own grandmother should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt.

He rose to prominence in the early 90s when his company Equitable Value Investment Limited put together the UK's first ever unethical trust, based on a portfolio of shares in companies that were specifically chosen for what he referred to as their 'evilness index'. This was a largely arbitrary number, scored according to how many corrupt regimes each company had dealings with, the annual amount of pollution that they were responsible for, the number of deaths directly attributable to their products and so on. For several years EVIL's offering was the most successful unit trust in the UK, until the crash of 2008 revealed that most of the companies in which Fairbanks had invested his clients' cash also had exceptionally corrupt management and the fund's value largely evaporated overnight. Fairbanks himself had of course personally disinvested well in advance of the collapse.