BRAIN FOOD: Alastair Ross Goobey - If I had to start again ..

BRAIN FOOD: Alastair Ross Goobey - If I had to start again .. - As a schoolboy, I had dreams of being a professional musician or an actor, but I realised that I'd always be among the strugglers in either field. When I joined the City, I suffered from bein

by ALASTAIR ROSS GOOBEY, retiring as CEO of Hermes PensionsManagement
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

As a schoolboy, I had dreams of being a professional musician or an actor, but I realised that I'd always be among the strugglers in either field. When I joined the City, I suffered from being the son of a well-known figure in investment, and with a distinctive surname. It was enough to make me cautious about moving into his field. However, I overcame those scruples when I applied for, and won, the job of managing the Courtaulds pension fund in 1977. Perhaps this fear of being overshadowed drove me into politics. I never succeeded in being adopted for a winnable seat - a blow at the time, but I have counted my blessings ever since. The only regret I have was getting fired. As a partner in the company, with a large mortgage and two children to support, it was a shock. Yet it was actually the making of me, as I was able to spend a year in HM Treasury, which I could not have done as a company executive. I have since been fired twice more, due to boards being disbanded. I hope this is enough for one career. The last time I was fired was by Geoffrey Robinson MP, which I take as a great distinction. I have been quoted as believing that my generation has been a golden one, living in an era of relative peace, economic growth and security in old age. I particularly have been blessed with my family, colleagues and friends. I cannot believe I could have been luckier in all three.

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