Banking & finance

Wontner, Hugh (11 of 11) National Life Stories: City Lives

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  • Recording date

    1990-16-03, 1990-20-04, 1990-18-05, 1990-27-06

  • Is part of (Collection)

    City Lives

  • Recording locations

    Claridge's Hotel, London, W1

  • Interviewees

    Wontner, Hugh, 1908- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Phillips, David (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 11 (tape 6 side A): Predatory interest in the Savoy Group from various property companies. Sir Hugh stepped down from position as managing director, which he found hard. A successor had been groomed by Sir Hugh but the Board brought in an outsider. Difficulties of the dispute with Trust House Forté; constant newspaper coverage very disagreeable. Need to stand up for what you believe in. Handling the detail of running a hotel reconciled with positions of authority. Sir Hugh now retired but still extremely busy with other directorships. Looking back, he has no regrets. Children now grown up with their own families. None went into The Savoy or other hotels, although eldest son Vice-Chairman of Savoy Theatre and other son is a graphic artist who designs Christmas cards for The Savoy. Children large shareholders in Savoy Group through a trust Sir Hugh set up many years previously.

  • Description

    Interview with Sir Hugh Wontner, hotelier and politician, who was managing director of the Savoy hotel group (1941-1979), chairman of the Savoy Theatre (1948-1992) and Lord Mayor of London (1973-74).

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