Magazine article Management Today

BRAIN FOOD: Sir Mark Weinberg - If I Had to Start Again

Magazine article Management Today

BRAIN FOOD: Sir Mark Weinberg - If I Had to Start Again

Article excerpt

I have had to start again - twice. My first business venture was to start Abbey Life Assurance on moving to England from South Africa in 1961. I sold out after a few years, at a small profit, to an American joint venture.

Abbey Life grew into a sizable company, but following acrimonious arguments between the two shareholders, one bought out the other and I resigned.

As most of the management also resigned in sympathy, I found myself starting a new company two weeks later. This time, I chose my backer carefully and, importantly, ensured that the management and salespeople had significant equity stakes. Hambro Life (later Allied Dunbar) went public after five years, but Hambros Bank came under financial strain and BAT took over.

Over the next six years, my colleagues and I found ourselves in disagreement over policy with our controlling shareholder - I left once again. This time round, thanks to the strong will of my colleague Mike Wilson, we took six months to decide how to proceed. …

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