Ben Goldsmith

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search
Ben Goldsmith

Ben Goldsmith is the founder of environmental investment firm WHEB.

He is the brother of Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith and son of Sir James Goldsmith.

He has donated money to both the Conservative Party and the Green Party.

Career

In 2002, Goldsmith founded WHEB, a green investment firm which focuses on 'opportunities created by the global transition to more sustainable, resource efficient and energy efficient economies'. At WHEB he takes the lead on marketing, distribution and strategy.[1][2]

Environmental work

As well as being a partner at WHEB, Ben is the chair of this family's philanthropic foundation, JMG Foundation. He played a key part in setting up the Environmental Funders Network, 'which brings together 150 trusts, foundations and individuals donors.[3]

Tax avoidance

In the midst of the 2015 Swiss HSBC tax avoidance debacle, it was revealed that Ben, like his brother Zac, held accounts with the bank's Swiss subsidiary. The brothers inherited French nationality and non-domicile status from their father Sir James Goldsmith, and the bank was used to 'distribute a tax sheltered offshore fortune to around 15 family members'. The money has reportedly since been invested by the heirs in UK properties and businesses. When asked, Zac said the offshore structure 'was not designed to mitigate taxation but rather to preserve the assets for future generations'. Ben Goldsmith declined to comment further.[4]

Family and personal life

Education

Political donations

Recorded by the Electoral Commission:

Date Name of donor Amount Donated to Subsidiary
21/04/2004 Ben Goldsmith £20,000.00 Green Party Central party
04/04/2005 Benjamin J Goldsmith £2,000.00 Conservative Party Surrey Heath
30/03/2006 Benjamin J Goldsmith £20,000.00 Conservative Party Central party
07/09/2006 Benjamin J Goldsmith £1,500.00 Conservative Party Central party
07/02/2007 Benjamin J Goldsmith £15,000.00 Conservative Party Central party
19/05/2008 Ben Goldsmith £10,000.00 Conservative Party Central party
04/03/2009 Benjamin J Goldsmith £10,000.00 Conservative Party Monmouth
06/01/2009 Benjamin J Goldsmith £3,000.00 Conservative Party Central party
01/04/2009 Ben Goldsmith £10,000.00 Green Party Central party
14/04/2009 Ben Goldsmith £20,000.00 Green Party Central party
17/12/2009 Benjamin J Goldsmith £10,000.00 Conservative Party Somerset & Frome
27/05/2010 Benjamin Goldsmith £15,000.00 Conservative Party Richmond Park
[7]

Notes

  1. WHEB Group, People, accessed 13 February 2015
  2. WHEB Group, Overview, accessed 13 February 2015
  3. Alex Blackburne Ben Goldsmith on fixing the environmental crisis through philanthropy Blue and Green Tomorrow, 7 August 2013, accessed 13 February 2015
  4. David Leigh, James Ball, Juliette Garside and David Pegg, HSBC files show Tories raised over £5m from HSBC Swiss account holders The Guardian, 11 February 2015, accessed 13 February 2015
  5. Paul Cheston Ben Goldsmith and Kate Rothschild divorce is settled in 65 seconds Evening Standard, 25 April 2013, accessed 13 February 2015
  6. Chris Blackhurst Profile: Ben Goldsmith, WHEB Ventures Daily Mail, 14 January 2009, accessed 13 February 2015
  7. Electoral Commission, Donation Search, accessed 13 February 2015