Ben Goldsmith

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Person.png Ben Goldsmith   Powerbase Sourcewatch TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Financier, environmentalist)
Ben Goldsmith.jpg
BornBenjamin James Goldsmith
28 October 1980
London, England
Alma materEton College
Parents • James Goldsmith
• Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart
Spouse • Kate Rothschild
• Jemima Jones
Member ofGoldsmith family, WEF/Young Global Leaders/2010
UK YGL 2010 financier, brother of politician Zac Goldsmith (YGL 2008)

Ben Goldsmith is an English financier and environmentalist. The son of financier James Goldsmith and Lady Annabel Goldsmith he is founder and CEO of London-listed investment firm Menhaden, which focuses on the theme of energy and resource efficiency. Previously he co-founded the sustainability-focused investment firm WHEB, whose private equity business split away in 2014 and now trades under the name Alaina Partners. He has used his personal wealth to support both philanthropic and political projects in the area of the environment and sustainability.

He had a high-profile marriage to Rothschild heiress Kate Emma Rothschild which ended in 2012. The split gained tabloid headlines in the UK after being dubbed the first "Twitter Divorce" for playing out on social media via posts on Twitter."[1]

Personal life

Ben Goldsmith was born in London and is the youngest child of the late billionaire James Goldsmith, a member of the prominent Goldsmith family and his third wife Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart.[2] He has an older sister, Jemima Khan, and an older brother, Zac Goldsmith, and several half-siblings,[3] His brother Zac's passion for the environment, inherited from their father, has strongly influenced him.[4] His uncle Teddy Goldsmith was a co-founder of the Green Party UK and also of The Ecologist.[5][6]

On 20 September 2003, at St Mary's Church in Bury St Edmunds, he married heiress Kate Emma Rothschild (b. 1982), the daughter of the late Amschel Rothschild and his wife, Anita Patience Guinness, of the Guinness Brewery family. Their wedding was attended by 600 guests, with many blue-blooded and Old Etonian friends, among them Lord Frederick Windsor.

The couple had three children: Iris Annabel (2004-2019, reportedly "crushed to death in tragic 'quad bike' crash")[7], Frank James Amschel (b. 2005) and Isaac Benjamin Victor (b. 2008). On 2 June 2012 it was revealed that Kate, a music producer, had been having an extramarital affair with rapper Jay Electronica for a year. Goldsmith, who was arrested for slapping his wife over the matter, said that he would be filing for divorce. The Goldsmiths' 2012 divorce proceedings made headlines in tabloid media as the first "Twitter Divorce" for playing out on social media via posts on Twitter.[8]

On 19 December 2014, he married Jemima Jones (b. 1987) in London, his girlfriend of two years. Jemima runs the catering company 'Tart London'. The couple have two children: Eliza Margot (b. 2016) and Arlo Edward Zac (b. 2017). [9]


Ben Goldsmith attended Eton College, an independent English Public school and, like his billionaire father, did not attend university.[10] After Eton, Ben Goldsmith travelled around the world. When he returned to the UK, he became a trainee at private-client broker Hargreave Hale. Then he worked for Ben Elliot, nephew of Camilla Parker Bowles, in his Quintessentially concierge business. In October 2021, the Pandora Papers revealed that Ben Goldsmith and Ben Elliot (now co-Chair of the Conservative Party) jointly owned a secret offshore film financing company that indirectly benefited from more than £120,000 of UK tax credits.[11]

In 2003,[12] Goldsmith became a partner in Wylie Heyworth Environment Business (WHEB), and led the pivot of that company, which had been founded in 1995, from serving as a corporate finance adviser into providing venture capital to the European clean technology sector. WHEB also owned the leading executive search firm Ruston WHEB in the European cleantech sector. In 2014 Goldsmith oversaw the demerger of WHEB’s private and public equity businesses, with the former rebranding Alpina Partners, before launching his own green-themed investment trust, Menhaden Capital Plc, listed on the main London stock exchange.

In 2003 Goldsmith also helped found the UK Environmental Funders Network (EFN).[13][14] Goldsmith described EFN as being "designed to facilitate discussion and foster collaboration" among those interested in funding environmental initiatives, particularly those addressing large-scale problems like global warming.[15] As part of its work, EFN gathers information on environmental giving and disseminates it via its "Where Green Grants Went" report.[16]

In June 2021, the EFN organised a campaign to urge the UK’s 100 richest families to commit £1bn over the next five years to tackle the climate emergency and halt the destruction of the natural world. Ben Goldsmith said:

“Given what is at stake for the planet, it is odd that we have so few people giving money and funding these problems. This is the mother of all problems – everything else is subservient to this.”

He said now was the time for billionaires to step up, as this year, the UK is hosting the G7 summit, as well as vital UN climate talks called COP26 in Glasgow this November, and there are global talks on biodiversity and the oceans.

“This is a super year for the environment, some would say a make-or-break year,” he said. “I have never been more optimistic in my adult life – I’ve never felt my government was taking the environment seriously until now.”[17]

Through JMG Foundation, the family foundation that he chairs, Goldsmith is also directly involved in activist environmental philanthropy. He is also a Trustee of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, one of the leading environmental foundations in Europe, founded by financier and philanthropist Chris Hohn.

Ben Goldsmith was described by London's Evening Standard in 2011 as "the quiet force of the Goldsmith family...believed to be a key figure in looking after the family finances."[18]


Ben Goldsmith has been a long standing founder of the Green Party, including donating £20,000.00 in 2004 and again prior to the 2010 General Election in which Caroline Lucas became Britain's first elected Green Member of Parliament.[19] In subsequent years Goldsmith also contributed generously to the UK Conservative Party as well as individual candidates like MP Michael Gove and the so-called "Notting Hill set of Conservative modernisers".

Goldsmith is chair of the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) which was founded in 2010.[20] The CEN seeks to raise the issue of environmental protection on the agenda of the UK Conservative Party. Goldsmith was selected for the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders group in 2010.[21]

At a talk at the UK Centre for Jewish Life in 2013, Ben Goldsmith said that a Zionist is simply someone who believes that the Jews have a right to have their own state in Israel, and therefore described himself as an "ardent Zionist."[22]

In 2016 he campaigned for his brother Zac Goldsmith who was running for Mayor of London.


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Ben Goldsmith and his "party people": Friends in low placesArticle19 December 2017"Just had a glimpse of Corbyn’s Britain. A birthday party for my sister-in-law in Notting Hill invaded and shut down by a vicious bottle-throwing hard Leftist crowd (from the Grenfell march), because they could."
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  1. "Rothschild heiress's marriage to Goldsmith scion is over... after she falls for a rapper called Jay Electronica"
  2. Billionaire: The Life and Times of Sir James Goldsmith by Ivan Fallon
  3. "Person Page 5917"
  4. "Interview: Zac Goldsmith"
  5. "Ben Goldsmith: it’s possible to be green and conservative
  6. Meredith Veldman. Fantasy, the Bomb, and the Greening of Britain. Cambridge University Press, 1994. ISBN 978-0521440608
  8. "Rothschild heiress finally realises playing out her marriage split on Twitter is a bad idea and calls a truce with Goldsmith husband"
  9. "Goldsmith heir weds former model just two years after his Rothschild heiress wife dumped him for rapper"
  10. "Profile: Ben Goldsmith"
  11. "Revealed: how Tory co-chair’s offshore film company indirectly benefited from £121k tax credits"
  12. Alex Blackburne for Blue & Green Tomorrow. 27 January 2014 Leading sustainable investor WHEB on its new branding
  13. "Ben Goldsmith on fixing the environmental crisis through philanthropy"
  14. "Ben Goldsmith profile at Bloomberg"
  15. "Philanthropy in a climate of change"
  16. "Funding for the future: how all grant-makers can help to create a greener world"
  17. "100 richest UK families urged to commit £1bn to tackle climate crisis"
  18. "The Goldsmith supremacy: London's most compelling dynasty"
  19. "Ben Goldsmith on fixing the environmental crisis through philanthropy"
  20. "David Cameron's environmentalism will succeed where Labour's failed"
  21. WEF/Young Global Leaders 2010
  22. "Ben Goldsmith: The Green Revolutionary"
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