Magazine article Management Today

Gerald Ronson: If I Had to Start Again

Magazine article Management Today

Gerald Ronson: If I Had to Start Again

Article excerpt

I wouldn't change what I do.

I'm very lucky. I may work 80 to 90 hours a week, but I'm doing something I love. It's not work, it's a hobby. Not everybody is blessed with that.

I would continue to follow my instincts: I've got a good feel for whether a deal is or isn't going to work. If I can't make the maths work out basically in my head then it's not a deal for me. My petrol station business is the one thing I would ensure I had in my armoury if I were starting again. It's a very micro-managed business in its way, but it generates a good cashflow. I used the cashflow to help finance my property developments. I have built 156 buildings in nine countries around the world, from the Heron Tower in New York to town centres like Cardiff, Southampton and Sunderland.

I've had two big aggravations in my life. The first was the Guinness affair, which started in 1986, and the other was the restructuring of Heron in the early '90s (after disastrous losses in the US). The most important lesson I learned from the Guinness affair is to stick to what you understand and don't get involved in things where you rely on other people who you believe are honest but may not be. …

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