Francis Beckett gives this précis of his career:
- He was a scientist of some distinction before the Second World War, and a valued MI5 officer during it (and close to it all his life). From 1958 to 1970 he was a senior executive with Shell. In 1970, the new prime minister Edward Heath made him the head of the Central Policy Review Staff, a government think-tank eventually abolished by Margaret Thatcher. In 1975, at the age of 64, he finally consented to join the family firm of N M Rothschild and Sons, in the role of chairman.
- Francis Beckett, A Perfect Spy, New Statesman, 14 April 2003.