Now this is interesting, more dots connecting and something I haven’t come across before…Here in London, Robin Birley was and is at the height of private members clubs such as Annabels, 5 Hertford Street like forever, he sold Annabels to Richard Caring (who bought 80% Soho House and was joint owners with Nick Jones before Ron Burkle bought out a whole 60% in 2012) It claims here on wikipedia that MM and Harry went on their first date at 5HS, I haven’t seen this mentioned written anywhere else…however Robin Birley is in Epsteins book along with Sabrina Guiness, sister of Daphne, and Brian Ferry, Mick Jagger and the list goes on….


Robin Birley (businessman)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robin Marcus Birley (born 19 February 1958) is an English businessman, entrepreneur and political donor. He is the son of Lady Annabel Goldsmithand the night club owner Mark Birley. He had a brother, Rupert, who disappeared and is presumed deceased, and has a sister, India Jane Birley.

Birley owns and runs 5 Hertford Street (“5HS”), a private members’ club in Mayfair.[1][2] Having found a dilapidated block of buildings in Shepherd Market, Mayfair, he raised £30 million to refurbish them lavishly – fashion designer Rifat Özbek was commissioned to design the interiors – and duly opened 5 Hertford Street in June 2012 with a spectacular launch party attended by Mick Jagger, Kate Moss, and Daphne Guinness.[3][1][4][5] The basement nightclub was named Loulou’s after Birley’s late cousin, Loulou de la Falaise. Over the following five years, 5HS became a staple of London’s social scene,[6] and is where Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle had their first date.[7] The success of 5HS emboldened Birley to launch new membership-based venues.

Oswald’s, a club for wealthy oenophiles in a townhouse on Albemarle Street, is due to open in February 2018.[8] It has also been reported that Birley has secured an option on two adjoining townhouses in Berkeley Square – almost next door to Annabel’s – to launch a business-focussed club.[9] Meanwhile, in November 2017, Avenue reported that Birley is close to finalising a deal to commence work on a major new club, akin to 5HS but with bedrooms for members as well, near Union Square, Manhattan.[10]

Birley is a trustee of the Howletts and Port Lympne Animal Park which is committed to returning rare and endangered animals back to their natural habitats. Working with the two Parks, Howletts Wild Animal Park opened in 1975 and the Port Lympne Reserve opened in 1976, the Foundation runs its own projects overseas and support other reintroduction programmes across Asia and Africa.[19]

Birley has long been associated with a string of free market and Eurosceptic causes. In the mid-1990s, he assisted his stepfather, Sir James Goldsmith, in the founding of the Referendum Party, a movement aimed at driving for a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. He stood as a parliamentary candidate in the 1997 General Election, and went on to lead the Referendum Movement (subsequently the Democracy Movement) after Sir James’ death until 2004. The key policy priorities of the Movement under Birley were to resist the UK’s entry into the single European currency (the Euro) and to continue pushing for a countrywide referendum on membership of the EU. The Movement is widely regarded as being a forefather of Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party; indeed, Birley subsequently became a donor to Farage and UKIP.

In 1998, Birley was one of the many prominent English right-wingers to oppose the arrest and attempts to extradite General Augusto Pinochet, during a visit by the ageing former Chilean dictator to the UK.[20] Birley was quoted as saying: “It’s an abuse of hospitality to ambush an old man when he has visited this country year after year. He has done an immense amount for Chile. No-one is supporting him and I have sympathy for the underdog.”[20] Birley was also briefly president of the Mozambique Institute, an organisation supporting the right-wing group Renamo in its battles against the communist Frelimo government.[21]

In the 2005 Conservative leadership election, Birley helped finance the ultimately failed candidature of David Davis, whom he described as “the most conservative of the candidates”.[22] Although David Cameron subsequently won, Birley’s half-brother Zac Goldsmith, by now an MP, was awarded an influential position advising he party on environmental affairs. Birley was also involved behind the scenes during the 2016 Referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, holding events and donating money to both the official Vote Leave group and the Farage-led Leave.EU campaign.

Birley grew up in London with his siblings, Rupert and India Jane. He was educated at St Aubyns School in Rottingdean, East Sussex and Eton College. His parents were divorced after his mother had two children with his father’s friend Sir James Goldsmith. His mother eventually married Goldsmith. Birley has three half-siblings through his mother’s second marriage, Zac Goldsmith, Jemima Goldsmith and Ben Goldsmith.[23]

During his adolescence, Birley was mauled by a tiger at Howletts Zoo, the private zoo of family friend John Aspinall. The bones on one side of his face were crushed. He has endured years of cosmetic surgery but the accident left him with permanent scarring.[23]

In the late 1990s, with his father Mark unable to direct his Mayfair Private Members Clubs on a day-to-day basis, Robin and his sister India-Jane took on an increasing role in the management of the clubs,[24] which comprised Annabel’s (named after his mother), Harry’s Bar, Mark’s Club, George and the Bath and Racquets Club.

However, in 2006 Birley was dismissed from his position by his father, after a family row following his hiring of a private investigator to do a background check on his sister’s new boyfriend. Birley and India Jane later reconciled at her wedding.[25] Mark Birley, by now unwell (he died in August 2007) and without his son to run the group of clubs, sold them to the clothing tycoon Richard Caring, who continues to operate them under the ‘Birley Clubs’ brand (with the exception of Mark’s Club, that was sold on).[26]

In 1986, his brother Rupert was presumed drowned in mysterious circumstances whilst working in Togo, but his body was never recovered.[27]

Birley has a daughter, Maud, by a former girlfriend. He married Lucy Ferry, the ex-wife of Bryan Ferry, in October 2006.[28] Lucy Birley committed suicide on July 23, 2018 at the age of 58. [29]

Robin Birley and Richard Caring relationship…

The Evening Standard

As he cradles a beachball-sized glass of Malbec and feigns interest in his dining companion, the board director’s eyes scan the room like an angler looking for a bite. He spies a whopper and casts: “Michael! So good to see you. Business good?” Icap’s Michael Spencer bends his tall frame, smiles and shakes hands: “Of course! When are we doing  that lunch?”

Just another day at George, the Mount Street members’ club that is one of the places business folks simply must be seen if they’re anyone in Mayfair. This moneyed hangout is part of the growing clubland empire of Richard Caring, the perma-tanned rag trade tycoon in the news these days for his looming record-breaking divorce and a longstanding friendship with Sir Philip Green.

A short stroll west, to Berkeley Square, and you’ll find another of Caring’s clubs where more of a party atmosphere is in the air. It is Annabel’s — Caring’s, and possibly London’s, most famous members’ club. The Establishment’s nightclub for decades, Annabel’s is about to undergo the biggest change in its history.

Caring is shifting it two doors down to a vast new luxurious site that will dwarf any of his other venues when it opens next year. A nightclub, restaurants, bars, gyms, a spa — as he tells his members with a flash of his perfect teeth, there’s nothing the new Annabel’s won’t be able to offer its well-heeled clientele.

Except for just one thing, according to some of clubland’s sniffier aristocracy — class. While Annabel’s was the only nightspot of choice for Britain’s toffs and jet set in days gone by, those who consider themselves in the top drawer of London society now also party somewhere else — 5 Hertford Street.

If you don’t know what it is, you’ll probably never be invited, and will certainly never become a member. In its mere five years of existence, 5 Hertford Street has become the most exclusive membership ticket in town. The question on every Mayfair barfly’s lips now is: who will win the battle of the clubs — Annabel’s or 5 Hertford Street?

The reason it’s such a hot topic is simple. This isn’t just a scrap between two businesses but a battle between two old clubland enemies. At one end of the bar sits Caring, a humbly-born, self-made man. At the other is 5 Hertford Street’s Robin Birley, an aristocrat whose Mayfair pedigree is unsurpassed.

The Birleys are the most famous family in the world of London members’ clubs. Robin’s blue-blooded father Mark set up Annabel’s in 1963 as a place for his pals — the likes of Lord Lucan, Jimmy Goldsmith and John Aspinall — to party when they weren’t gambling at the Clermont Club. Mark Birley named the place after his wife Lady Annabel — before she ran off with Goldsmith.

Fast-forward to 2007, and Birley sold his five Mayfair clubs to Caring for £90 million. Haughtier members were scandalised and complained that Caring went on to let in too many celebrity riff-raff. Caring declines to comment on such sniping.

Robin Birley, who had argued with his father over Annabel’s need to extend its membership beyond the old set, had a plan. Why not take the best of his father’s clubs and recreate them all in one big, classy building nearby? With the backing of the billionaire Reuben brothers and Ben Goldsmith, son of Jimmy, 5 Hertford Street was born.

As one member of both Annabel’s and 5 Hertford Street puts it: “At the bottom, you have the dance floor, Loulou’s — that’s basically Annabel’s. On the ground floor, you’ve got the restaurants which feel like George or maybe Harry’s Bar. Then you’ve got the smoking bar at the top, which again is like the one at Annabel’s.”

A huge amount of bad blood erupted between the two men when Birley was planning 5 Hertford Street. Primarily, the dispute revolved around whether Birley could use his family name (he couldn’t). Tempers worsened when Caring mocked Birley for a childhood injury he suffered when he was mauled by a tiger at Aspinall’s private zoo. His face still bears the scars today but Caring told the Sunday Times: “Robin Birley’s a twit. What do we know about him? He put his head in a tiger’s mouth.”

Annabel’s over the years

Eventually, the club opened, sans Birley branding. Five years on, the financial figures suggest there is room in Mayfair for both 5 Hertford Street and Caring’s stable of clubs.

Companies House filings show Caring’s Harry’s Bar, Annabel’s, Mark’s, George and the Bath & Racquets Club made £4.8 million profit last year on £21 million of turnover. 5 Hertford Street cleared £519,000 on just under £12 million of takings. But will the giant new Annabel’s change that mutually profitable picture? Is there room for two big clubs in Mayfair? Will Caring poach back the members Annabel’s has lost to Birley over the past five years?

To that last question, a hedge funder at 5 Hertford Street sniffs not. “I am definitely not an Annabel’s man. Robin has got something you can’t buy, and that’s style. He doesn’t really like people very much, but that’s rather appealing. He’s like Rick in Rick’s Café — he has integrity. Better than being liked is to be admired. I won’t be frequenting Annabel’s.”

A media executive who is a member of both says: “We do still love Annabel’s — the dance floor is better. But I’m definitely a Birley man. It’s a much better crowd.”

“Money is what makes Caring tick, but he must be careful about keeping the place special.”

But Caring, who by most people’s standards has a stellar membership list, will not be worried by such naysayers. His clubs have survived the worst the financial crisis can throw at them. The appeal of London to the world’s richest people has helped see to that.

Says one financier: “Both Birley’s and Caring’s businesses seem to be bulletproof no matter what goes on in the economy. We wait to see if the new Annabel’s feels as special as the old one, but be in no doubt — Caring will make it profitable. But he must be careful about extending the membership while also keeping it special.”

Caring fans declare there’s much snobbery at play among his critics. He just wants to open up cliquey clubland to reflect modern London, they say.

As Harold Tillman, the fashion entrepreneur, puts it: “I’ve been a member of Annabel’s for 35 years. I love it now, and the new one will be great too. Just as London has changed over the years, so must Annabel’s. There’s no point harking back to what it was like in the old days. For a start, many of the members back then aren’t alive any more.”

And here we have both Epstein and Richard Caring contributing to …

Exposing The Clinton Global Financial Network


PETER SCHWEIZER18 Apr 20161,933

Revelations in the Panama Papers that key Clinton financial partners had numerous offshore entities is the latest investigation to expose the secretive Clinton Global Financial Network.

That network, which includes controversial financiers and foreign entities, has operated with the infusion of funds from offshore accounts and entities around the world. And there are more revelations to come.

As the Panama Papers reveal, major Clinton financial partners, including Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra and the Chagoury family of Nigeria, made use of the controversial Panamian law firm Mossack Fonseca to move assets around the world. Giustra is one of the largest contributors to the Clinton Foundation, donating more than $25 million. The Chagoury’s of Nigeria have committed $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative

Several key figures in the uranium deal that sent 20 percent of American uranium production into the hands of the Russian government had offshore entities created by Mossack Fonseca. Frank Giustra used the firm to create UrAsia Energy, the company that acquired lucrative uranium concessions in Kazakhstan with the help of Bill Clinton back in 2005. UrAsia Energy eventually became Uranium One, which acquired uranium assets in the United States and then was sold to the Russian State Nuclear Agency (ROSATOM) in 2010.

Because of the obvious national security implications of turning over control of large quantities of uranium to the Russian government, the deal required approval from Hillary Clinton’s State Department before it could go forward. Nine shareholders in Uranium One sent a combined $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. Some of those contributions were not disclosed by the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One Chairman Ian Telfer sent the Clinton Foundation more than $2 million. Those contributions were revealed first in Clinton Cash and discovered using Canadian tax records.

Sergei Kurzin, a Russian mining investor who was also involved in the Uranium One deal, also used Mossack Fonseca. Kurzin’s name appears on several oil companies set up by the firm. Kurzin says he donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Mossack Fonseca helped Nigeria’s Ronald Chagoury set up a firm called Echo Art Ltd. which was domiciled in the British Virgin Islands.

This is not the first time that offshore accounts that figure into the Clinton’s Global Financial Network have been exposed. Two years ago a Swiss whistleblower released the names of the super-rich who held Swiss accounts via the bank HSBC. As an earlier investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed, up to $81 million has flowed to the Clinton Foundation via Swiss accounts. As the investigation revealed, Swiss accounts were held by numerous Clinton donors.

Jeffrey Epstein, the controversial financier and convicted sex offender, held money in a HSBC Swiss account. He contributed $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

British retail magnate Richard Caring gave the Clinton Foundation $1 million from his HSBC Swiss account in 2005. He made the donation shortly after Bill Clinton attended his charity ball dressed as a Russian General.

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