Banking & finance

Wrey, Ben (1 of 31) National Life Stories: City Lives

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  • Subjects

    Insurance; Banking

  • Recording date


  • Is part of (Collection)

    City Lives

  • Recording locations

    Henderson Administration Group offices, London

  • Interviewees

    Wrey, Ben, 1940-, (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy, 1954- (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1 (tape 1 side A): Interview 20th October 1992. Ben Wrey [BW]. Born Nottinghamshire village, May 1940. Father had been employed by Imperial Tobacco Co. Mother daughter of Sir Harold Bowden, head of Raleigh Cycles, company founded by great-grandfather. Family was living in grandfather's house during war. Maternal grandfather formidable, died when BW was 20. Grandfather married four times, BW's grandmother was his first wife; description of maternal grandparents and grandfather's building up of cycle business. Never knew paternal grandfather. Memories of maternal grandfather's household and great-aunt. Father abroad with army during war, family returned to London at end of war. Memories of great-aunt's household. Nottinghamshire not particularly important to BW now, emotions more deeply engaged with Wrey family. BW's parents split at end of war, BW spend more holiday time with father in Devon, Wreys are a Devonshire family, details. Memories of grandfather's bicycle factory, business sold to Tube Investments around 1958; BW had already decided he wouldn't go into family business. Business didn't thrive under Tube Investments, details. BW approached by US investment banker in 1980s interested in buying Raleigh, coincidence, revisited Nottingham cycle works. Details of grandfather's experience with Raleigh and personality. Details mother's upbringing. Fishing with grandfather, yachts. Grandfather proud that he would never have a German car. Mother had one brother, Sir Frank Bowden, investor in industries, details, fine collection of Japanese armour, details. BW's great-grandfather was a lawyer in Middle East, anecdote about reason for founding bicycle factory. Further details paternal grandmother. BW distressed by grandmother's suffering with cancer in 1960s. BW not religious in formal sense. Strong emotional tie to family church in Devon. 1978 close friends killed in accident, great shock. Doesn't think about own death much.

  • Description

    Interview with Ben Wrey, Chairman, Henderson Global Investors Ltd (1992-2004)

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