Roland Rudd is the founder of financial PR firm Finsbury. He is the son of a stockbroker. He was president of the Union at Oxford University and a former journalist with the Independent, Sunday Correspondent and the Financial Times. He is a friend of Peter Mandelson, spending time during the 2001 election campaign to help him at his Hartlepool constituency, and is also a close friend of Robert Peston, the former BBC business editor.
Finsbury was 75 per cent owned by Roland Rudd, who made £41 million by selling the company to WPP in May 2001.
From a Finsbury biographical note:
- Roland is the Senior Partner of Finsbury which he founded in 1994. Roland previously worked as a financial journalist at the Financial Times where he specialised in the crossover between business and politics. He was previously Managing Editor (Business) of The Sunday Correspondent which he joined from The Times, where he was Industrial Correspondent. He is a former policy coordinator for Lord Owen, and President of the Union at Oxford University, where he read philosophy and theology. He is a patron and board member of NSPCC's Stop Organised Abuse, an ambassador for Seeability and a member of the Tate's Corporate advisory body. A former board member of Britain in Europe, a member of the inquiry team of Tomorrow's Company and is Chairman of Business for New Europe.
Lobbying for open borders
The Observer reports:
- Prime Minister Tony Blair held a secret meeting in the Kensington home of a City tycoon where he met a group of business people lobbying for unlimited immigration from Romania and Bulgaria.
- The Observer has learnt that Blair attended a private dinner at the luxury Kensington townhouse of Roland Rudd, the high-flying financial public relations guru who is a close friend of European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.
- Earlier this year Blair's eldest son Euan spent a fortnight at Rudd's company Finsbury on a work experience placement. Although it is not unusual for the Prime Minister to meet senior figures in business, it is unusual for him to go to a private house where such discussions would not be minuted.
- At the dinner, earlier this summer, several of Finsbury's corporate clients were present, including Roger Carr, chairman of gas giant Centrica, Philip Hampton, chairman of Sainsbury, and Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman of Boots. According to a source who was present the businessmen were there as representatives of a campaign group called Business for New Europe (BFNE) launched by Rudd last March 'to support the UK's active engagement in Europe, and a reformed, enlarged and free-market EU'.
- Most recently the fiercely pro-Europe group has been involved in a campaign calling for East European workers to have open access to the UK's labour market. It was reacting against concerns that there will be a flood of Bulgarians and Romanians heading to the UK for work when the two countries join the EU next year. Critics have been calling for tight employment restrictions to be placed on migrants.
- Yet in a recent statement signed by business leaders, released to the media, Rudd's group stated: 'If Bulgaria and Romania join the EU at the beginning of next year, the UK should continue with its open-door policy. A so-called pause in migration from these countries would be tantamount to a reversal of policy and could work against Britain's interest.'
- As well as Carr and Hampton the letter was signed by David Levin, chief executive of United Business Media, who was also known to the be at the private dinner held at Rudd's home. Another guest at the dinner is believed to be Vijay Patel, chief executive of Waymade Healthcare.
EU referendum 'Remain' campaign donor
Rudd is also the treasurer of the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign group, employing the strategic skill-set from his experience in the PR world. He said the following on his desire to stay:
'I have always felt passionate about Europe, and I think the referendum is a historic moment for Britain...Voting to leave would be a disaster.' 
Recorded by the Electoral Commission:
|Date||Name of donor||Amount||Donated to|
|27/04/2011||Mr Roland Rudd||£10,000.00||Yes in May 2011 Ltd|
|31/08/2015||Roland Rudd||£5,000.00||The Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP|
|13/04/2016||Mr Roland Rudd||£7,508.50||Britain Stronger in Europe|
|21/04/2016||Mr Roland Rudd||£25,000.00||Britain Stronger in Europe|
- Chairman of Business for New Europe
- Chairman and patron of NSPCC's Stop Organised Abuse
- Non-executive director of Army Board
- Chairman of Tate's corporate advisory group
- Member of Royal Opera House Foundation Advisory Circle
- Member of The Prince's Rainforests Project Steering Group
- Founder of Legacy 10
Contact, References and Resources
- Stephen Glover, When you are a defender of democracy, beware the servant of many masters, The Independent, 27 October 2008.
- ref needed
- About Us Accessed: 28 October 2008.
- Antony Barnett and Jamie Doward The PR tycoon, a private dinner and PM's meeting with Euro lobby group: Businessmen lobbying for unlimited immigration from Romania and Bulgaria met the Prime Minister at an exclusive London home, The Observer, 17 September 2006.
- Electoral Commission, Donor search EU referendum, accessed 13 May 2016
- Francesco Guerrera,'The man Cameron is counting on to keep Britain in Europe', 3 April 2016, Politico.eu, accessed 23 June 2016
- Electoral Commission, Roland Rudd Donation Search, accessed 21 June 2016
- Roland Rudd Business for New Europe, undated, accessed 15 October 2014
- 75. Roland Rudd The Guardian, 1 September 2013, accessed 15 October 2014