Ben Goldsmith

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Ben Goldsmith
Born Benjamin James Goldsmith
(1980-10-28) 28 October 1980 (age 41)
London, England
Nationality British
Alma mater Eton College
Occupation Financier and environmentalist
Known for Finance
Spouse(s) Kate Rothschild (m. 2003-2012)
Jemima Jones (m. 2014)
Children 3

Benjamin James "Ben" Goldsmith (born 28 October 1980) is an English financier and environmentalist. The son of financier James Goldsmith and Lady Annabel Goldsmith he is one of the managers of the sustainability-focused investment firm WHEB Group. 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, Facebook and Instagram."[1]

Personal life

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 has had a strong influence on him,[4] and his brother has a passion for the environment inherited from their father, who secretly gave money to green causes, including to campaigns against genetically modified food.[5] His uncle Teddy Goldsmith was a co-founder of the Green Party UK and also of The Ecologist.[6][7]:228-9

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 and Alexander Spencer Churchill.

The couple have three children: Iris Annabel (b. 2004), 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.[8] 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, Facebook and Instagram. Experts reported that under the terms of the divorce settlement Rothschild would not be entitled to any of her ex-husband's £300m fortune.[9]

On 19 December 2014, he married Jemima Jones (b. 1987) in London, his girlfriend of two years. Jemima runs a catering company.[10]


He attended Eton College, an independent English Public school, and like his billionaire father, Ben Goldsmith did not attend university.[4] After he graduated, he travelled, then became a trainee at private-client broker Hargreave Hale and then worked for the Quintessentially Group concierge business.[4] In the meantime, he began investing, unsuccessfully, with his uncle Teddy in environmental businesses.[4]

In 2003,[11] Goldsmith became a partner in 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.[12] WHEB also owns Ruston WHEB, which as of 2009 was the leading executive search firm in the European cleantech sector.[4]

In 2003 Goldsmith also helped found the UK Environmental Funders Network.[13][14][15] 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.[16] As part of its work EFS gathers information on environmental giving and disseminates it via its "Where Green Grants Went" report.[17]:34

Through JMG Foundation, the family foundation that he chairs,[13][14] he is also directly involved in activist environmental philanthropy.[15][16]

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."[12]


In 2004, Goldsmith gave £20,000.00 to the UK Green Party and again prior to the 2010 General Election in which Caroline Lucas became Britain's first elected Green Member of Parliament.[18] In subsequent years Goldsmith also contributed generously to the UK Conservative Party as well as individual candidates like Tory MP Michael Gove and the so-called "Notting Hill set of Conservative modernisers".

Goldsmith is chair of the steering committee of the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) which was founded in 2010.[19] The CEN which seeks to raise the issue of environmental protection on the agenda of the UK Conservative Party.[14]

The UK Centre for Jewish Life described him as an "ardent Zionist."[20]


  1. Nicholl, Katie (2 June 2012). "Rothschild heiress's marriage to Goldsmith scion is over... after she falls for a rapper called Jay Electronica". London: Daily Mail.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Billionaire: The Life and Times of Sir James Goldsmith by Ivan Fallon
  3. – Person Page 5917
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Chris Blackhurst for MailOnline. 14 January 2009 Profile: Ben Goldsmith, by Chris Blackhurst, This is Money (UK), 14 January 2009.
  5. Wheeler, Brian (11 January 2006). "Interview: Zac Goldsmith". BBC News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Nilima Choudhury for Responding to Climate Change. 19 August 2013 Ben Goldsmith: it’s possible to be green and conservative
  7. Meredith Veldman. Fantasy, the Bomb, and the Greening of Britain. Cambridge University Press, 1994. ISBN 978-0521440608
  8. Nicholl, Katie (2 June 2012). "Rothschild heiress's marriage to Goldsmith scion is over... after she falls for a rapper called Jay Electronica". Daily Mail. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Rothschild heiress finally realises playing out her marriage split on Twitter is a bad idea and calls a truce with Goldsmith husband, UK Daily Mail, 7 June 2012.
  10. EXCLUSIVE: Goldsmith heir weds former model just two years after his Rothschild heiress wife dumped him for rapper, UK Daily Mail, 20 December 2014.
  11. Alex Blackburne for Blue & Green Tomorrow. 27 January 2014 Leading sustainable investor WHEB on its new branding
  12. 12.0 12.1 Christopher SIlvester for the Evening Standard. 13 May 2011 "The Goldsmith supremacy: London's most compelling dynasty"
  13. 13.0 13.1 Alex Blackburne for Blue & Green Tomorrow. 27 January 2014 Ben Goldsmith on fixing the environmental crisis through philanthropy
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 World Economic Forum. Benjamin Goldsmith profile at World Economic Forum Page accessed 27 June 2015
  15. 15.0 15.1 Bloomberg Ben Goldsmith profile at Bloomberg Page accessed 27 June 2015
  16. 16.0 16.1 Ben Goldsmith for Philanthropy U.K. Magazine. 23 August 2010. Philanthropy in a climate of change
  17. Intelligent Funding Forum. March 2012 Funding for the future: how all grant-makers can help to create a greener world
  18. [1], by Alex Blackburne, Blue and Green, 7 August 2013.
  19. Ben Caldecott and Gavin Dick in the Telegraph. 10 Mar 2010 David Cameron's environmentalism will succeed where Labour's failed. Quote: "That is why the Conservative Environment Network, which launches today, has been formed. We are determined to support the current environmental leadership the Conservative Party is showing and to make the case to other Conservatives who may not recognise our Party’s proud environmental heritage."
  20. Centre for Jewish Life. 3 July 2013. Ben Goldsmith: The Green Revolutionary. Entrepreneurship, Environment & Impressions from Israel Centre for Jewish Life Business Forum

External links