Insurer is sued for donations to orchestra

A tricky one, this.

A Florida insurance company is suing its former agent, and a business rival, for poaching four clients. One of them is the Florida Orchestra.

The defendants are accused of donating $20,000 to the orchestra to wean it away from its original insurer.

Trouble is, most orchestras – especially smaller ones – are not much bothered where their money comes from, so long as it comes in.

florida orchestra


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  • We are reminded of the billionaire Alberto Villar who stole money from his clients to fund opera companies and -projects.

  • I agree. Most orchestras would not care who donated, as long as they do.

    But in Canada, contra-deals are illegal in fundraising. A donor cannot say “I will give you $xxxx if you do this or that business with my company.” The orchestra may — here — consider the donors’ list when changing contractors, and opt to try donors’ firms, but it cannot be a tit-for-tat affair. Most orchestras are funded by donors through their foundations, which give the donations charitable status, with the concurrent tax implications. I do not know how the business is managed in Florida, where taxes seem virtually unknown. But if it is a lawsuit, the grounds must be more than “poaching” a client.

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