UK: Succession - Who will inherit the mantle when the last of Britain's grey-headed gang are all gone? (6 of 7)

UK: Succession - Who will inherit the mantle when the last of Britain's grey-headed gang are all gone? (6 of 7) - Weinstock: heir on a GEC string.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Weinstock: heir on a GEC string.

Born into a family of poor Jewish immigrants and orphaned by the age of nine, Arnold Weinstock was raised by his elder brother. He took a degree in statistics from the London School of Economics, and his first big break came from his father-in-law, Sir Michael Sobell, from whom he assumed control of Radio and Allied Industries. It was during Weinstock's tenure that, by means of a reverse takeover, RAI was subsumed into GEC, then an ailing public company.

Simon Weinstock's background reflects the privileges denied to his father, as would his corporate inheritance if Lord Weinstock had his wish. Educated at Winchester and Oxford, Simon consolidated the transformation from poverty to landed gentry by marrying the daughter of Sir Francis Legh, former equerry to the Queen Mother. The Weinstock name has not harmed him in the workplace either. After a stint at SG Warburg he joined GEC at the age of 30 and was rapidly promoted to the board as director of commercial affairs.

Simon Weinstock also shares his father's passion for the turf.

Goldsmith goes it alone.

The Goldschmidt family was one of the Jewish banking dynasties based in the Frankfurt ghetto, but in 1895 Adolph Goldschmidt and his English wife emigrated to Britain. Into this world of privilege - the territory of the Rothschilds and their like - was born their grandson, Jimmy Goldsmith, in 1933.

At Eton the young Jimmy distinguished himself early by winning £10,000 on an accumulator bet at the horse races. Later he moved to Paris, where both his success streak and the controversy continued. By 1965 Goldsmith was well on the way to becoming very wealthy.

Converted to the Green movement by his brother Teddy, founder and editor of the Ecologist magazine, he began actively to lobby his colleagues. In the 1976 honours list Goldsmith received the reward for these labours - a knighthood for "services to exports and ecology".

The two guiding interests of his life, greenbacks and green fields, showed up yet again in his much publicised swap of American forest for Hanson's 49% holding in the American Newmont Mining group. The deal is hardly the most environmentally sound of investments, but it has liberated Goldsmith from the constraints of day-to-day management. He will have an annual income of $100 million to spend on his pet causes, which is more than the current total annual income of the world's environmental movement. He will also be free to plough his funds into the organic gardens and acres of tropical forest that make up his Mexican retreat from nuclear meltdown.

MBO makes a better Judge.

Soft drinks retailer Paul Judge has an MBA and an MBO to his credit. The former chairman of the Premier Brands food group, which is now part of Hillsdown Holdings, Judge steered the buyout of Premier from Cadbury Schweppes in 1986. At the time the Cambridge graduate with an MBA from Wharton Business School was only 36.

The transformed company was being groomed for the stock market three years later when Hillsdown made an offer that the Premier board, with the exception of Judge, could not resist. Judge, who wanted to press on with the flotation, resigned from the chairmanship but collected some £45 million when the sale went through. Now independently wealthy, Judge has put some of his cash into a new venture, domestic fizzy drinks manufacturer Fizz Wizz, to challenge Cadbury Schweppes.

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