Guy Hands

Guy Hands

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Guy Hands is an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 financier
Financier
Financier is a term for a person who handles typically large sums of money, usually involving money lending, financing projects, large-scale investing, or large-scale money management. The term is French, and derives from finance or payment...

 and investor. He is most notable as the founder and chairman of Terra Firma Capital Partners
Terra Firma Capital Partners
Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd is a leading U.K.-based private equity firm, best known for its failed investment in British music company EMI. Financier Guy Hands founded the firm in 2002 through the spin-off of Nomura Principal Finance Group...

, one of the largest private equity firms in Europe. Hands also previously served as Chairman of the U.K. music company, EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

.

Hands was estimated to be worth £250 million in the Sunday Times Rich List
Sunday Times Rich List
The Sunday Times Rich List is a list of the 1,000 wealthiest people or families in the United Kingdom, updated annually in April and published as a magazine supplement by British national Sunday newspaper The Sunday Times since 1989...

 of 2008, placing them at position 281 in the list of the richest people in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. However, Hands' net worth has likely decreased since that time with the failure of Hands' investment in EMI. Hands is also well-known in the U.K. for his decision to move his residency to Guernsey
Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

 as a protest against high taxes in the U.K.

Biography


Guy Hands was born August 27, 1959 in Tonbridge, Kent, to Christopher and Sally Hands. He was educated at Ravenscroft Preparatory School,
where he was diagnosed as severely dyslexic; and The Judd Grammar School
The Judd School
The Judd School is a state secondary school in Tonbridge, Kent, southeast England. It was established in 1888 at Stafford House on East Street in Tonbridge, where it remained for eight years before moving to its present location on Brook Street, in the south of the town...

, Tonbridge
Tonbridge
Tonbridge is a market town in the English county of Kent, with a population of 30,340 in 2007. It is located on the River Medway, approximately 4 miles north of Tunbridge Wells, 12 miles south west of Maidstone and 29 miles south east of London...

. More recently Hands contributed the funds for the constructuion of the Guy Hands Library at the Judd School. In a Ravenscroft production of Macbeth
Macbeth
The Tragedy of Macbeth is a play by William Shakespeare about a regicide and its aftermath. It is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607...

 in 1970, he played the part of Lady Macbeth opposite Christopher Newbury
Christopher Newbury
Christopher Newbury is an English politician, a member of the Congress of the Council of Europe since 1998 and an Independent member of Wiltshire Council since 2009.-Early life:...

 as Macbeth.

Hands studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Mansfield College, Oxford
Mansfield College, Oxford
Mansfield College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Of the colleges that accept both undergraduate and graduate students Mansfield College is one of the smallest, comprising approximately 210 undergraduates, 130 graduates, 35 visiting students and 50...

,. At Oxford, Hands held the office of Bursar of the Oxford Union
Oxford Union
The Oxford Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Oxford Union, is a debating society in the city of Oxford, Britain, whose membership is drawn primarily but not exclusively from the University of Oxford...

 and was also President of Oxford University Conservative Association
Oxford University Conservative Association
The Oxford University Conservative Association, or OUCA is a student political organisation founded in 1924 whose members are drawn from the University of Oxford...

 in Michaelmas Term 1980. Hands also provided funding for construction of the Hands Building at Mansfield College, Oxford
Mansfield College, Oxford
Mansfield College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Of the colleges that accept both undergraduate and graduate students Mansfield College is one of the smallest, comprising approximately 210 undergraduates, 130 graduates, 35 visiting students and 50...

.

Early career


Hands started his career in 1982 as a eurobond
Eurobond
A Eurobond is an international bond that is denominated in a currency not native to the country where it is issued. It can be categorised according to the currency in which it is issued. London is one of the centers of the Eurobond market, but Eurobonds may be traded throughout the world - for...

 trader at Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

 and later rose to become head of global asset structuring for Goldman's European division. In 1994, Hands left Goldman to found Nomura's Principal Finance Group, which focused on European private equity
Private equity
Private equity, in finance, is an asset class consisting of equity securities in operating companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange....

 investments. Hands joined Nomura after three other banks, including Goldman, turned down his investment plan. At Nomura, Hands and his team completed over $20 billion of leveraged buyouts. By 2000, Hands was reported to have generated profits for the bank in excess of $1.9 billion making him a star financier in London. Hands' most notable acquisitions at Nomura included Le Méridien
Le Méridien
Le Méridien is an international hotel brand with a European perspective, formerly headquartered in the United Kingdom, with 130 properties. It is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide....

, the hotel chain as well as William Hill
William Hill (bookmaker)
William Hill plc is one of the largest bookmakers in the United Kingdom. Its headquarters is in the north London suburb of Wood Green and in Leeds, West Yorkshire. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.-History:...

, the U.K. bookmaker, and Angel Trains
Angel Trains
Angel Trains is an English Rolling Stock Operating Company created in 1994 as part of the privatisation of British Rail. It was one of three ROSCOs...

, the U.K. Rolling Stock Operating Company
Rolling Stock Operating Company
In the United Kingdom, a Rolling Stock Operating Company owns and maintains railway engines and carriages which are leased to Train Operating Companies who actually operate the trains....

  As well, Hands effectively became the U.K.'s biggest pub landlord through a series of acquisitions in the 1990s.

Terra Firma



In 2002, Hands founded Terra Firma Capital Partners
Terra Firma Capital Partners
Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd is a leading U.K.-based private equity firm, best known for its failed investment in British music company EMI. Financier Guy Hands founded the firm in 2002 through the spin-off of Nomura Principal Finance Group...

, as a spinout from Nomura, which he had built into one of the largest private equity investors in Europe. Terra Firma debuted with a €2 billion private equity fund
Private equity fund
A private equity fund is a collective investment scheme used for making investments in various equity securities according to one of the investment strategies associated with private equity....

, immediately making the young firm one of the larger private equity players in Europe.

The firm's early investments, while still a division of Nomura
Nomura
Nomura Nomura Nomura (野村 (field village), 埜村 (wilderness field) is a Japanese surname. It can refer to:-Finance:*Nomura Holdings, part of the Nomura Group (also including Nomura Securities Co.)-People:*Don Nomura (born 1957), Japanese-American baseball agent...

, focused on housing (Annington Homes
Annington Homes
Annington Homes is the largest private owner of homes in the United Kingdom, specialising in converting former Ministry of Defence housing for the general public since 1996. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Terra Firma.-External links:* *...

), leasing companies and pubs. Since 2002, the firm has made major investments in the waste management (Waste Recycling Group
Waste Recycling Group
Waste Recycling Group is a major British waste management company.WRG was owned by Guy Hands' investment company Terra Firma Capital Partners until September 2006, when it was sold to Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, S.A.The company offers services in Landfill Disposal, Energy Recovery,...

), energy (BGCL, East Surrey Holdings, Phoenix Natural Gas
Phoenix Natural Gas
Phoenix Natural Gas is the largest gas distribution business in Northern Ireland, being the owner and operator of the licence for the distribution network in the Greater Belfast area...

, and Infinis), aircraft leasing (AWAS), cinema (Odeon Cinemas
Odeon Cinemas
Odeon Cinemas is a British chain of cinemas, one of the largest in Europe. It is owned by Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group whose ultimate parent is Terra Firma Capital Partners.-History:Odeon Cinemas was created in 1928 by Oscar Deutsch...

/UCI
United Cinemas International
UCI Cinemas is a brand of cinema, currently operating in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Brazil...

) and music sectors (EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

). TFCP has also made significant investments in German residential housing (Deutsche Annington) and motorway services (Tank & Rast).

Today, however, Hands and Terra Firma are best known for the failed investment in British music company EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

, which was later taken over by Citigroup, the main lender in the investment, after Terra Firma was unable to keep up interest payments on its loans. Citigroup took ownership of EMI Group from Terra Firma on February 1, 2011, wiping out the firm's investments and writing off £2.2 billion of debt. Terra Firma was reported to have lost $2.5 billion in the EMI transaction, representing roughly one-third of Terra Firma's investor's capital as well as more than 60% of Hands' personal net worth. Hands had spent much of 2010 engaged in litigation with Citigroup, claiming the bank engaged in fraud during its auction of EMI in 2007. The lawsuit went to trial in New York in late 2010 and resulted in a jury finding in favor of Citigroup and against Terra Firma and Guy Hands. Hands acknowledged that the EMI deal had been a mistake when he said, “If we hadn’t done that, we’d have 90% of our funds still to invest and we’d look like complete geniuses. Instead, having written off well over a billion, we look like chumps.”

Personal life


While at university, he became friends with William Hague
William Hague
William Jefferson Hague is the British Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State. He served as Leader of the Conservative Party from June 1997 to September 2001...

, who was later best man at his wedding, in 1984, to Julia Caroline Ablethorpe. The couple have two sons and two daughters. His house in Kent, just outside Sevenoaks, was once presented to Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, while his estate in Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

 produces wine and olive oil.

Hands and his wife own the Hand Picked Hotels
Hand Picked Hotels
Hand Picked Hotels, set up by financier Guy Hands and his wife Julia, owns and operates a collection of individual and historic country house hotels. Julia, a former lawyer, now runs Hand Picked Hotels.TIMELINE...

 chain of 17 country-house properties, which is run by Julia Hands. The couple were estimated to be worth £250 million in the Sunday Times Rich List
Sunday Times Rich List
The Sunday Times Rich List is a list of the 1,000 wealthiest people or families in the United Kingdom, updated annually in April and published as a magazine supplement by British national Sunday newspaper The Sunday Times since 1989...

 of 2008, placing them at position 281 in the list of the richest people in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. Their net worth has likely decreased since that time with the failure of Hands' investment in EMI.

In April 2009, in protest at the UK tax system, Hands moved to Guernsey
Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

. Since then, he has not been to the U.K. and his family travel to Guernsey to see him. Recently having a court trial against Citi Group on the EMI deal he avoided London but chose New-York . "Hands, who became a tax exile
Tax exile
A tax exile is one who chooses to leave a country with a high tax burden and instead to reside in a foreign nation or jurisdiction which takes a lower portion of earnings. Going into tax exile is a means of tax mitigation or avoidance.-Legal status:...

 in Guernsey last year, told the court that he did not want to jeopardise his tax status if the trial were heard in London."

Honours and appointments

  • 2000 - elected a Global Leader of Tomorrow of the World Economic Forum
    World Economic Forum
    The World Economic Forum is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva, best known for its annual meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland....

  • President of Access for Excellence
  • Bancroft Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford
    Mansfield College, Oxford
    Mansfield College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Of the colleges that accept both undergraduate and graduate students Mansfield College is one of the smallest, comprising approximately 210 undergraduates, 130 graduates, 35 visiting students and 50...

  • Member of the University of Oxford
    University of Oxford
    The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

     Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors
  • Fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme
    The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
    The Duke of Edinburgh's Award , is a programme of activities that can be undertaken by anyone aged 14 to 24, regardless of personal ability....


External links