We now know where the money is, just not where it is from and exactly whose it is. Although Fidesz promised to banish concealed forms of ownership from economic life before 2010, private equity funds in particular proliferated during the Covid period. 43 of them are clearly run by a pro-government elite, but the rest are not far from power either.
The government has set off a crazy wave of privatisation by building a system of public task-performing trusts. But at least those units are not secret. There is a form of organisation that could even be run as intended – but in Hungary, it is used more abusively, as politically motivated, “faceless” funds.
Private equity funds, which also exist internationally, were originally fundraising organisations in which business decisions were made strictly by fund managers; meanwhile, unit-holders, ie the ultimate beneficiaries, wait in silence for the results. Their identities are secured by law, and we cannot, as a general rule, know what kind of money has been “laundered” into them.
The interesting thing is that before the 2010 parliamentary elections, Fidesz in press conferences used to connect the corrupt, secretive, offshore, leading-edge left-wing with these forms of funds and fight against them through lawmaking.
Answer Online has compiled exactly how many private equity funds are currently managed by registered fund managers from the current records of the national bank. Their number increased greatly during the Covid period.
Here is the list of private equity funds close to power:
Mészáros Lőrinc fund managers: Opus Global Befektetési Alapkezelő Zrt.; Status Capital Venture Capital Fund Management Ltd.
Other fund managers of the Mészáros group: Nukleus Venture Capital Fund Management Ltd.; Primefund Befektetési Alapkezelő Zrt.; Minerva Befektetési Alapkezelő Zrt.; DBH Investment Venture Capital Fund Management Ltd.; Singulium Befektetési Alapkezelő Zrt.; Diófa Alapkezelő Zrt.; Indotek-Investments Alapkezelő Zrt.;
Fund managers around István Tiborcz: Central European Venture and Private Equity Fund Management Ltd.; Equilor Alapkezelő Zrt
The ones “related” to the Matolcsy family: Quartz Befektetési Alapkezelő Zrt.
The fund manager of the Habony’s: TripleHill Capital Venture Capital Fund Management Ltd.
Fund manager of Zsolt Hernádi: Gran Private Equity Zrt.
Gellért Jászai fund manager: iKON Befektetési Alapkezelő Zrt.
In addition to the ones mentioned above, there are also more transparent private funds seeking to fulfil the original function of investment funds, where the origin of the capital can be at least guessed. For example, the state-owned Hiventures Venture Capital Fund Management Ltd. also manages a private equity fund, while PortfoLion Venture Capital Management Ltd., part of the OTP Group, manages five, and Optima Befektetési Alapkezelő Zrt. manages two. There are a few other fund managers, one of GB & Partners Venture Capital Fund Management Ltd. with its three private equity funds, and the other, Carion Investment Fund Management Ltd., with one private equity fund.