The Gummer brothers are not known for their aversion to limelight. The oldest, the Right Honourable John Selwyn, MP for Suffolk, former chairman of the Conservative Party and secretary of state for the environment, is rarely out of the news. Peter Selwyn, on the other hand, chairman of Shandwick, the world's largest public relations consultancy, has carved a career out of shedding light on the activities of others.
It is perhaps surprising, then, to find a third, younger, Gummer, Mark Selwyn, quietly running a small manufacturing company in Warwick - and positively enjoying his anonymity. Gummer, 47, previously the managing director of soap makers H Bronnley and Co, set up on his own three years ago, after becoming tired of working for others and increasingly fascinated by manufacturing. Like Peter before him, who started Shandwick from scratch in 1974, Mark sought out venture capital (from 3i - as did Peter, a former employee) and put his strategy to work.
The result, Advanced Fascia Technology International, which specialises in the fabrication and veneer of laminated materials for use in corporate jets, luxury yachts and extremely expensive cars, appears to have carved a lucrative niche for itself. Its current client list, for example, spans Jaguar, Hunting, Rolls Royce (it has worked on the new Bentley prototype), British Aerospace and numerous VIPs, including 'royalty and heads of state'. His proudest claim, however, is that AFT 'can veneer almost anything', and he illustrates his point with a perfectly laminated telephone. Given the professions of his two brothers, who both seem adept at adding gloss to any surface, their differences are perhaps not so great.
Mark reveals that he and Peter regularly discuss business. Given the difficulties Shandwick encountered in rapid expansion and its later indebtedness, he would do well to heed his advice.