FB News

FB Roundup: George Osborne, Austin Russell, Sir James Dyson

FB Roundup: George Osborne, Austin Russell, Sir James Dyson
In this week’s FB Roundup, George Osborne joins Agnellis family's investment firm; Austin Russell gains control of Forbes Global Media Holdings; and Sir James Dyson warns against a “crippling shortage” of UK engineers.
By Glen Ferris
4646.jpg (300×300)

George Osborne joins Agnellis family's investment firm
Former British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and fund manager James Anderson have been hired by the Agnellis, one of Italy’s richest families, to run their new £2.4 billion firm, Lingotto Investment Management.

Owned by Exor, the holding company for the billionaire family (which also controls Juventus Football Club and automaker Stellantis), the new fund will, according to This Is Money, “invest in equities across all sectors, including Anderson’s speciality technology which has struggled over the past two years amid rapidly rising interest rates”.

“[The vision for Lingotto is to] provide a home for very talented investment management professionals to join a place which is entrepreneurial and much focused on letting them do what they’re good at and what they love,” said Agnelli heir John Elkann, the great-great- grandson of Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli, who has been shepherding the family fortune since taking over in 2004.

Osborne, who is also a banker at the boutique advisory firm Robey Warshaw, will take the role of Lingotto chairman, while Anderson (who made his name at investment management firm Baillie Gifford) is joining as partner and fund manager.

According to its web site, Lingotto is “an independent, entrepreneurial firm that will allow staff to pursue their passion for investing without the bureaucracy of most large organisations, or the loneliness of standalone funds”.

Matteo Scolari and Nikhil Srinivasan, both managing partners at Exor, and long-time company employee, Enrico Vellano, will also be joining the founding team at Lingotto.

Austin Russell acquires 82% interest in Forbes Global Media Holdings
American entrepreneur Austin Russell – who was once named “the world’s youngest self-made billionaire“ – is set to acquire a majority stake in Forbes.

The 28-year-old, who is a former Forbes cover star and 30 Under 30 alumni, will hold an 82% interest in Forbes Global Media Holdings when the deal (which is worth almost $800 million) is expected to close later this year.

The founder and CEO of self-driving car technology firm Luminar Technologies, Russell, who was named in 2021 by Forbes as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire (26-year-old AI entrepreneur Alexandr Wang took the title the following year), said he was “honoured to be selected by the owners as the new steward [of Forbes]”.

“Today, success should no longer represent wealth accumulation at any cost, but instead be defined by how value is created and the positive ripple effects it can have,” said Russell. “My hope is that Forbes can continue to even better serve its readership by helping objectively inform, recognise, and challenge leaders to tackle society’s biggest challenges under this mission, with high-quality content, as well as platforms for its business-focused community.”

In a press release, Forbes confirmed Russell will not be involved in day-to-day operations but will “act as a visionary for the brand”.

“[Russell] is a “dynamic entrepreneur and thought leader who has built an industry-leading business from the ground up,” said ongoing Forbes Media chairman and editor-in-chief Steve Forbes. “His energy and vision will enable Forbes to continue and enhance the excellent work for which we are known.”

Sir James Dyson warns against a “crippling shortage” of qualified engineers in the UK
Billionaire British businessman Sir James Dyson has criticised the English prime minister Rishi Sunak’s pledge to turn the UK into a science and technology superpower as a “mere political slogan”.

In a letter to The Times, the founder and chief engineer of the eponymous global tech company Dyson – which employs 3,500 people in the UK  –  Sir James said “that he has still not met Rishi Sunak, despite being a major entrepreneur in the UK”.

“Ministers talk hubristically of Britain becoming a ‘science and technology superpower’ but their woeful policies diminish this to a mere political slogan,” he said.

“In the UK, Dyson now faces rocketing corporation tax (wiping out any tax credits for research and development)... and a crippling shortage of qualified engineers.”

The PM’s plans to advance the UK into a post-Brexit “science superpower” has been a key factor of his premiership focus, leading to the creation of a new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

However, as reported by Sky News, earlier this year, Sir James “accused the government of having a ‘short-sighted’ approach to business, warning the prime minister that growth should not be seen as a ‘dirty word’”.

“We boast the biggest tech sector in Europe,” said a government spokesperson, “reaching a combined market value of £1 trillion in 2022, we have the lowest corporation tax rate in the G7, and we have world-leading strengths in science and R&D - backed by our £20 billion R&D target and introduction of policies like full-expensing.

“This will spur stronger growth, better jobs and bold new discoveries, bringing together the key technologies of tomorrow like quantum and AI, into a dedicated Department for Science, Innovation and Technology for the first time.”

Top Stories