Magazine article Management Today

You Live and You Learn: Tony Pidgley, Founder and Group Chairman of Berkeley Group

Magazine article Management Today

You Live and You Learn: Tony Pidgley, Founder and Group Chairman of Berkeley Group

Article excerpt

My first wife always felt I should never have got married, because the only thing I was in love with was Berkeley. And divorce does upset children. My relationship with my son has had its moments (Pidgley junior attempted to take over his father's company in 2003) but it is superb today and he's a much better person for it. He's running his own venture very successfully, and we don't discuss business.

I grew up in a practical environment. My parents did all sorts of things, from demolition and tree felling to supplying logs. They did what made money, and the natural progression was for me to do the same I started off in haulage aged 16. I got very lucky and sold the business to Crest when I was 20, then set up Berkeley Homes a few years later.

If you grew up with nothing, you have a fear about getting the business right. There's no magic answer. It's a combination of integrity, common sense, self-belief and a good balance sheet. In the boom times, Berkeley could have borrowed a lot more, but we keep it conservative.

The Vauxhall helicopter crash was a major tragedy. We had followed regulations - our cranes were lit and the pilot was 500 feet lower than he should have been. …

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