Meet Paul Singer

APRIL 23, 2012
This recent portrait of Paul Singer, financial wiz behind the Romney machine, done for Fortune, lays bare one of the shadowy figures in the Romney campaign (and that's saying something). Let's see them all in the clear antiseptic light of day.  May we come to our senses and take money out of politics.  Don't laugh, it can be done! Below is an excerpt from the piece by Michelle Calarier. Thanks to Michael Solita and Emily Kehe, Art Director and Designer.

"Singer is the founder of a $19 billion hedge fund called Elliott Management. And he has a well-earned reputation as one of the smartest and toughest money managers in the business. Over the past 35 years Singer, 67, has produced an extraordinary 14% average annual return after fees, nearly double the price appreciation of the S&P 500 (SPX). He's achieved that record in large part by buying the debt of bankrupt companies and nations -- a strategy that has earned him considerable opprobrium in some circles. His firm, which is engaged in a costly, protracted legal war with Argentina over its defaulted sovereign debt, is so influential that fear of its tactics helped shape the current Greek debt restructuring. Among the sophisticated investors who have placed their confidence in Singer is Mitt Romney himself. According to Romney's financial disclosures, the trust managing his more than $200 million fortune has at least $1 million invested with Elliott.

In recent years Singer has emerged as a quiet force in the Republican Party. He's one of a handful of moneymen who have given $1 million to the Romney super PAC "Restore the Future," which so far has raised $37 million and spent some $34 million. Singer has also donated more than $220,000 to 31 Republicans in national races across the country since Barack Obama became President. Over the past three years he has given nearly $2 million to Republicans in local races in states as far-flung as Florida, Michigan, California, and Texas. But his value goes far beyond his own deep pockets. Singer is known as a major Republican "bundler," with a large network of rich donors ready to follow his lead. "All the candidates come to pick his brain," says one party insider."