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Hedge fund manager Michael Hintze does not like counting his money but his improved showing on this year’s Rich 200 must be a welcome diversion from the headlines he’s been attracting in the United Kingdom. The former Australian Army captain, now one of the British Conservative Party’s largest individual donors, has been dragged into several of the influence-peddling scandals that have engulfed Prime Minister David Cameron in recent times. It wasn’t enough to distract Hintze from chalking up another solid year for CQS, the “absolute return” manager he established in 1999. While hedge funds have been shutting down all around him, Hintze’s firm is growing; total funds under management at the CQS group rose by $US1 billion in calendar 2011 to $US10.4 billion. Born in China and raised in Sydney, Hintze has spent most of his working life overseas – first in New York and then London. In recent years, he has spent a reported $120 million amassing a 45,500ha portfolio of Australian rural properties for his own pension fund.