Sir Anthony Bamford, DL - Chairman - JCB
Sir Anthony Bamford became Chairman and Managing Director of JCB at the end of 1975, succeeding his father, the late Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE, who founded the company nearly 61 years ago. His career began with a two year apprenticeship at Massey Ferguson in France before he started at the Rocester headquarters in 1964.
Five years later he established JCB SA, the company’s French subsidiary in Paris, which has become the model for JCB’s world-wide development.
Under Sir Anthony’s leadership, JCB has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most successful construction equipment manufacturers. JCB has won more than 50 premier awards for exports, marketing, design, technology and for its care for the environment, among them 18 Queen’s Awards for Technological and Export achievement.
Sir Anthony was knighted in 1990 was a former High Sheriff and is a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire.
In December 2004, after 29 years as both Chairman and Managing Director of JCB, Sir Anthony announced that, while he would continue as Chairman, he would relinquish the role of MD in favour of Chief Executive John Patterson.
Big Wheel: The social circle of Sir Anthony Bamford
The JCB tycoon is one of Britain's leading power players, boasting celebrities, royals and politicians on all sides among his friends. Guy Adams reports on a man accused of using his £950m fortune to buy power and influence
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 - independent.co.uk
Sir Anthony Bamford stood triumphantly on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah yesterday, celebrating the fulfilment of a lifetime dream: his family firm, JCB, made a diesel-powered vehicle travel at 328mph, a new land speed record.
The Dieselmax car, powered by two JCB engines, beat the existing land-speed record for diesel vehicles by more than 90 mph.
"This is thrilling, better than I ever expected," he said. "It shows that British engineers can do a world-beating job. They're a brilliant team, who worked through adversity and faced heartbreaks. They got through it so well. I am very proud of them."
An ordinary captain of industry could now expect to return home to a hero's welcome. But there are unlikely to be cheering crowds at Heathrow next time Sir Anthony's private jet lands: the head of the family that owns JCB is no ordinary captain of industry.
In recent years, the yellow-digger tycoon has achieved a social standing virtually unrivalled in modern Britain. He has vast wealth, clout in aristocratic circles, and influence in politics at the very highest level. Bamford is rich and powerful - and more than a little controversial.
Sir Anthony is on first name terms with the Prince of Wales, who has used his helicopter; Tony Blair and David Cameron. His wife Carole lunches with Joan Collins, Sir David Frost, and Nick Mason. Various Goldsmiths, Weinbergs and Rothschilds were said to have attended her lavish 60th birthday party in April.
Power and money don't guarantee you an easy ride in the public eye, though. Bamford has been accused of using his £950m fortune to garner political and social influence; he figured on Tony Blair's notorious Chequers dinner-guest list. People who break bread with him have a nasty habit of ending-up in the news for the wrong reasons.
On Monday, the Prime Minister met with accusations of freeloading after being photographed drinking bottled lager at Heron Bay, Bamford's holiday home in Barbados. The Blair family is reported to be using the £5m pile as a "glorified beach hut" while staying at Sir Cliff Richard's nearby villa.
A week earlier, it had been the turn of David Cameron to feel heat from his relationship with Sir Anthony, who gave £1m to the Tories before last year's general eection. Cameron and his Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, announced plans to open JCB's £25m new factory in Poonah, India, next month. Labour MPs accused them of improperly endorsing a commercial venture linked to a benefactor.
The environmentally conscious Tory leader has also been called a hypocrite for having made frequent use of Bamford's gas-guzzling Sikorsky S-76 helicopter, along with the Tory Party chairman Francis Maude. Meanwhile, William Hague is paid £50,000 a year to act as parliamentary adviser to JCB - a job that leaves him vulnerable to accusations of helping concrete over swaths of rural England.
On the home front, Bamford and family cause occasional ructions in rural Gloucestershire, where they live at Daylesford, a handsome Georgian property near Stow-on-the-Wold, surrounded by a 1,500-acre estate.
In October, Daylesford Organics, a farm shop created by Lady Carole - and patronised by David Cameron, Kate Winslet, Liz Hurley and Kate Moss - was at the centre of a planning dispute, after locals opposed plans to expand its operations into selling clothes and gardening and "lifestyle" goods. Others have publicly raised objections to the drone of helicopters ferrying guests to the family home, and wondered why Daylesford Organic Farms Ltd, the firm's sister company, should be registered in the Republic of Liberia.
"People with the money and profile of the Bamfords are always going to attract critics, but a lot of it's down to jealousy," says a family friend. "Daylesford is actually a fantastic and profitable enterprise that employs a lot of local people. It has been a great success story.
"Other people go on about the family's noisy helicopters and Ferraris and say the house at Daylesford is a bit naff. I think the words 'Footballers Wives' have been used to describe it. But when you get there, it's tastefully done up, and you'll find that people who say otherwise generally haven't seen it for themselves."
The Bamfords' extraordinary success story began in 1945, when Sir Anthony's father, Joseph Cyril Bamford (his initials spell the company name) started a business in Rocester, Staffordshire, selling excavating machinery. The firm prospered on the back of the post-war building boom and, by 1975 when the 30-year-old Sir Anthony was allowed to take over the reins, boasted annual sales of £44m.
By 1979, that figure was £120m and JCB had successfully been transformed into one of the most valuable private companies in Britain. Sir Anthony, meanwhile, had been named young businessman of the year.
"Anthony was, and still is, a tremendously gifted industrialist," says a former colleague. "He's always had tons of energy, and experienced his fair share of lucky breaks but the real skill in this industry, which he's got in spades, is the ability to spot trends a year or two before everyone else.
"The JCB factory, which is still in Staffordshire, was computerised in the early 1980s, several years before most of its rivals. The machines they turn out have always been a step ahead of everyone else's in terms of design and value for money."
Bamford's other masterstrokes have included moving his firm's production into the US and India at times when road-building and construction were flourishing. David Cameron's speech at the firm's new plant opening in India will underline the success of British industrial exports.
Today, JCB remains in the family's hands. It employs 6,300 people worldwide and in June reported that profits had doubled to £110m, beating its previous record of £103m set in 1995. The company has 17 factories, 10 in the UK, three in India and others in the US, Brazil, Germany and China, where a Shanghai plant has been rapidly expanding.
"Just like he always has done, Bamford got into China before everyone else," adds a colleague. "He actually sent his son Joe out there for a time to see what was going on, because that's very much where he sees the future of the business."
Sir Anthony often commutes to work by helicopter from Daylesford, or commutes from his £24m house in Chelsea. When in Staffordshire, he stays at Wootton, a 3,000-acre estate near the JCB headquarters, which remain in Rocester.
According to associates, the world record attempt yesterday underlines the pioneering spirit that Bamford and his family have bought to British business.
"It has taken huge balls," said an onlooker in Utah. "JCB had no background in this sort of thing and has really put its reputation on the line. It's been brilliant PR, too, and the Americans have loved us. It could have been seen as snooty Brits coming over to set a record, but instead, they've absolutely lapped it up."
Back in Britain, Bamford has always been prone to displays of flamboyance. In the 1990s he celebrated a successful year by commissioning a JCB ballet in which 12 diggers danced to Tchaikovsky. More recently his younger son, George, a photographer, filled gossip columns with his £400,000, James Bond-themed, 21st-birthday party.
In some circles, Sir Anthony and his family have suffered from their share of snobbery, though. "They are basically from a solidly middle-class background, and in the past were accused of social climbing," says one commentator. "Carole was nicknamed 'doors to manual' on account of the fact that she used to be an air hostess. But funnily enough, the success of Daylesford Organics seems to have put a stop to that. She may be an air hostess, but she's pretty clever, and was recently awarded an OBE."
A burgeoning friendship with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, whose Highgrove estate is handily close to Daylesford, has not harmed their social standing, either.
Meanwhile, the next generation of Bamfords are preparing to take over the reins. Eldest son Joe - jokingly known as "Bungalow Joe" at university because "people thought he didn't have much upstairs" - is seen as heir apparent to Sir Anthony's role. "Joe's had his problems, both personal and professional, but being sent off to work at the family firm seems to have sorted him out," says a contemporary from Edinburgh University. "Alice, Joe's sister, is the bohemian one. She's got a colourful circle of friends, and has set up and now runs a hip-hop label called Emancipated."
In private, Bamford is described as a genial and generous host, who tempers Thatcherite Tory politics (he was knighted in 1990 by the Conservatives) with an ability to strike up a relationship with all political shades.
"Anthony puts much of his success down to anti-union policies adopted at JCB over the years, and has spiritual reservations about Labour," says a political acquaintance. "But on a personal level, he finds Blair pretty charming, and is obviously happy with the direction he has taken the party in. It's a measure of the remarkable guy he is that he can be friends with Blair, Cameron, and the Prince of Wales, all at the same time."
Back in Bonneville, Sir Anthony may be given to reflect that money, charm and ambition can win you friends at each end of the political spectrum.
Additional reporting by David Tremayne
Degree Speeches - Summer 2002 - Sir Anthony Bamford, DL
Public Orator, Professor Chris Backhouse, presented the Honorary Graduand at the Degree Congregation held on the morning of Thursday 11 July 2002.
Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Distinguished Guests, Graduates, Ladies and Gentlemen
In 1975, at what many would consider to be the tender age of 29, Anthony Bamford assumed the twin mantles of Chairman and Managing Director of the company with the most famous initials in British Construction - JCB. Sir Anthony Bamford, as he is now, inherited a hugely successful British company - he transformed into one of enormous success to be truly one of the world's best.
Anthony Bamford was named Young Businessman of the Year in 1979 and Top Exporter of the Year in 1995. He was knighted in 1990 at the age of 44. His company, JCB, has won a host of accolades for engineering, export, design, marketing, management, and for its care of the environment. Under Sir Anthony’s leadership, JCB increased its profits from £6 million in 1976 to £100 million in 1995, a fine celebration of his own, and the company’s 50th birthdays. Today JCB is Europe's premier manufacturer of construction equipment and exports 72% of its products to 140 territories around the World. It has nine subsidiary companies in Europe, the US and Singapore and nine factories in the UK. Its famous yellow backhoe loaders and excavators have become part of the landscape and part of the language- the name JCB is even in both the Oxford and Collins English Dictionaries. These machines are the world's top selling brand of their type.
Sir Anthony’s father started JCB on the day Anthony was born, and his early memories are of travelling with his father in their pick-up truck to buy second-hand war equipment – axles, steel, wheels, chassis etc. From the age of 19 he went through the traditional boss’s son routine – assembling machines, working in the export division, and as a rep “on the road” in the UK and Northern Ireland. When he took over the reins he had just spent a year in charge of sales and finance.
Becoming chairman and managing director at the age of 29 was a shock, he told a journalist for International Construction magazine. “Youth helped,” he went on, “because then you don’t think of the downside. I think the responsibility of what I had been landed with sank home a couple of days later. I think my father thought that if I made a mess of it he could always come back!”
For those of you graduating today and starting out on your own careers, what advice can Sir Anthony Bamford offer you? What has been the secret of his success? “The fact that we have ploughed our own furrow, remained a private company and not ventured into other businesses. That has been my philosophy. I’ve kept it simple.” If you take a look at the company web site you will find strong evidence of this philosophy but also much more. You will find the concern for the arts, the environment and education are as high on the agenda as building a successful and profitable business. The latest news on the web site concerns a clarinet concert on the company’s lakeside at Rocester. A truly multi-faceted company.
It was 19 years to the day, at an identical ceremony to this one, that Loughborough University had the honour to award Sir Anthony’s father, Joseph Cyril Bamford, the degree of Doctor of Technology. Today, 19 years later, it therefore gives great pleasure to say almost the same words again:
Chancellor, I present to you and the University, Sir Anthony Bamford, for the award of the degree of Doctor of Technology, honoris causa.
Business big shot: Sir Anthony Bamford
Susan Thompson - timesonline.co.uk
Sir Anthony Bamford, chairman of JCB, may not have celebrated his 63rd birthday in lavish style yesterday. For a man who refers to his staff as “people who consider themselves part of the JCB family”, seeing 2,500 of them accept a pay cut of £50 a week to prevent the loss of 350 jobs must have been touching but also hard to stomach.
It is a setback in what has been a meteoric rise for the yellow-digger tycoon, whose vast wealth has afforded him clout in aristocratic and political circles.
Sir Anthony is on first-name terms with the Prince of Wales, Tony Blair and David Cameron. His wife Carole, who runs a successful organic shop called Daylesford Organics, has been known to lunch with Joan Collins and Sir David Frost.
In 1975, at the age of 29, Sir Anthony took over his father's company, which had been founded in 1945, by the returning war veteran Joseph Cyril Bamford (his initials form the company name).
It boasted annual sales of £120 million by 1979, up from £44 million when Sir Anthony took control. JCB had been transformed into one of the most valuable private companies in Britain.
The secret of the company's success, Sir Anthony claimed in a recent speech, is “the fact that we have ploughed our own furrow, remained a private company and not ventured into other businesses. That has been my philosophy. I've kept it simple.”
His personal life is rather more colourful. In 2006, Mr Blair's family was reported to be using Sir Anthony's £5 million holiday home in Barbados as a “glorified beach hut” while staying at Sir Cliff Richard's nearby villa.
Mr Cameron has also been the recipient of Sir Anthony's generosity, in the form of £1 million donation. The Conservative leader was later accused of endorsing a commercial venture linked to a benefactor when he announced plans to open JCB's new factory in India.
Sir Anthony stepped down as managing director in 2005 but remains chairman. He denies suggestions that he may be about to retire.
His eldest son, Joe, is mooted as heir apparent to Sir Anthony, who has another son, George, and a daughter, Alice.
In the 2008 Sunday Times Rich List, Sir Anthony was the highest-placed construction tycoon, in 34th place, with an estimated family fortune of £1.2 billion. He was knighted in 1990 at the age of 44. His hobbies include farming and gardening.
Sir Anthony Bamford and family £1.2bn (£950m)
Jan 14 2008 - birminghampost.net
Sir Anthony Bamford is a man who puts his money where his mouth is. Not for him the empty carping about schools failing to produce people who want to make things. He intends to grow his own.
His Staffordshire-based JCB is planning to spend £20 million on its own JCB Academy for pupils who want to pursue careers in engineering and manufacturing.
The academy, due to be opened in 2009, will offer 540 places to students aged 14-19 in a refurbished historic mill close to JCB’s world HQ at Rocester near Uttoxeter.
The plan is to rebuild and expand the mill in an eco-friendly way, with energy generated by the mill’s water race via a new water turbine and waste timber packaging from JCB’s factories to provide biomass chips for heating.
Pupils will be able to gain diplomas in engineering, manufacturing and international business.Back at JCB, things continue to go well, fuelled in large part by the staggering growth of the Indian and Chinese economies.
Latest figures show profits of £110 million on a turnover of £1.42 billion. Demand for JCB equipment has been high, with a factory output of 45,000 machines - up 21 per cent.
The company also picked up not one but three Queens Awards for its export achievements. JCB’s Loadall business unit, JCB Compact Products of Cheadle, and Wrexham-based International Transmissions were all honoured. This means that JCB has cemented its position as the UK company with more Queens Awards than any other, with 21 since its first in 1969.
JCB’s success comes on the back of its international growth. A massive £80 million order for the Pentagon supplying the US Army with 500 vehicles is being delivered. And JCB recently opened a £15 million facility in Pune, India as part of a substantial investment on the sub-continent which includes a £36 million expansion of the company’s plant at Ballabgargh near New Delhi, doubling its capacity. There’s also a new factory in Shanghai.
A host of JCB machines are also playing a key role in the construction of a major highway linking the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans across the Central American country of Panama.
Sir Anthony is a longstanding Conservative Party supporter and donor, but also counts Tony Blair and the Prince of Wales among his friends. His relationship with Gordon Brown has yet to be documented but is likely to be less sociable than his cordiality with Blairs, who have been guests at the Bamford’s Barbados holiday home.
Sir Anthony and his wife Lady Carole Bamford have a £24 million house in Chelsea and a 1500-acre estate in near Stow-on-the Wold where Lady Bamford also runs Daylesford Organics. The ex-air hostess founded the company five years ago and it is now one of the country’s largest working organic farms.
She counts David Cameron, Liz Hurley, Bryan Ferry and Kate Winslett among the farm shop’s customers. The Bamfords also own the 3,000-acre Wootton estate in Staffordshire.
Lady Carole received an OBE for her charity work, and through her own charitable foundation has raised vast amounts of money for children all over the world.
The Bamford’s fortune has been amassed through hard work and business acumen, which began in 1945 when Joseph Cyril Bamford started his business in a small garage in Rocester which prospered on the back of the post-war building boom.
Now it employs more than 6,000 people and sells 278 different products in 150 countries worldwide.
Sir Anthony Bamford tops construction rich list
12:15 28 Apr 2008 - contractjournal.com - By Daniel Franklin
A number of big names from the construction industry made it into the 2008 Rich List published by the Sunday Times.
A total of 30 from the construction industry made it into the top 750 names in the Britain and Ireland Rich List - the results showing another impressive year for the industry as a whole.
Sir Anthony Bamford topped the competition amongst construction tycoons, finishing at 34, with an estimated wealth of £1,950m. Owner of the JCB group, Bamford’s wealth has grown significantly in the last year, providing a jump up from 46th place in the 2007 rich list.
In the silver medal position for the construction industry, with 81st place in the list, was Kevin and Michael Lagan, owners of Lagan Holdings, who specialise in large construction projects. Most recently, they have been noted for a £250m road building contract in Northern Ireland.
Keith Miller and family took 110th place with an estimated wealth of £729m. Their 25% stake in the Edinburgh-based Miller Group contributed hugely to this with a profit of £87.2m in 2006.
Leicestershire builder David Wilson and his family came in 112th after the sale of property group Wilson Bowden. This was taken over by Barratt last May, with Wilson netting around £727m.
Completing the top five in the construction industry's richest was John Bloor in 178th place. As well as construction, Bloor’s ownership of motorbike manufacturer Triumph has seen him finish with an estimated wealth of £475m.
With a combined wealth of £4,797m, these five front runners have really shown the growing strength of the construction industry.
34. Sir Anthony Bamford, JCB- £1,950m
How he made his Pile: Sir Anthony Bamford, retired owner-manager
Date: 01-Oct-07 - managementtoday.co.uk
How did he make his millions? The company and the boy appeared on the same day in 1945, both sired by returning war veteran Joseph. Bamford Jnr took over as chairman and managing director at 29; by 2006, profits had risen to £149m - from £6m three decades earlier - fuelled by a thriving construction sector. JCB, worth an estimated £1.2bn, is still family-owned.
The secret of his success? He's a family man who refers to his staff as 'people who consider themselves part of the JCB family'. He's famous for his car collection, but his familial investments have included a hip-hop record label for daughter Alice. The big Tory donor also has a well-stocked address book: the Blairs dropped by his £5m Barbados beach pad for a cold beer last summer.
JCB boss falls in rich list as recession wipes £1 billion from assets - Sir Anthony Bamford
Monday, May 04, 2009, 08:00 - thisisstaffordshire.co.uk
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JCB boss Sir Anthony Bamford has lost his billionaire status after the recession saw his wealth slashed by more than half.
The drop in fortune means the 63-year-old – who took over the business empire following his father's retirement in 1975 – has fallen 10 places to 44th in the Sunday Times Rich List.
His pockets took a staggering billion-pound hit and his estimated worth now stands at £950 million – down 51 per cent from £1.95 billion this time last year. Rocester-based JCB has cut more than 1,600 jobs since last summer and the family-owned operation is now valued at £800 million.
Sir Anthony's other assets, including his 4,500-acre Staffordshire estate, believed to be in the Alton area, total £150 million.
The new estimates are in stark contrast to a record year in 2007 when sales rose 28 per cent to £2.25 billion and profits hit £187 million.
Sir Anthony, who now employs around 4,500 people in Staffordshire, has previously played down the significance of the list.
He told the Post & Times last year: "If you think about what people are supposedly worth, the reality is that business goes up and down enormously. I don't have money like that in my bank account.
"A firm like ours has borrowings of hundreds of millions of pounds. I'd prefer not to be on the list at all. I don't think it relates to business."
He has been overtaken by Stoke-on-Trent's former mobile phone magnate John Caudwell who, despite having £200 million sliced off his fortune to £1.4 billion, is now the richest man in the West Midlands. He was ruled to be the 25th best-off in the UK.
But it is not all doom and gloom for the Bamford family, their fortune still dwarves that of Apprentice star Sir Alan Sugar, who has an estimated worth of £730 million.
And Sir Anthony also managed to find a spare £207,554 to give to the Conservative party – making him the 15th largest political donor in the country. Sir Anthony Bamford
Elsewhere on the rich list, Stoke City Football Club chairman Peter Coates, pictured, has leapt 142 places to 128th.
Mr Coates, who is on the brink of steering the Potters to their second season in the Premier League, has seen his wealth rise £100 million to £400 million. He made the advances thanks to his Festival Park-based bet365 firm.
Finally, Stone billionairess and former Miss United Kingdom, Kirsty Bertarelli, née Roper, is now the country's richest woman. She is ranked as the fourth richest person in Britain thanks to Swiss pharmaceutical tycoon husband Ernesto's £5 billion fortune, which had dropped by £650 million.
The annual Sunday Times Rich List – regarded as the definitive guide to wealth in Britain and Ireland – is based on identifiable wealth such as land, property and other assets, but excludes bank accounts.
JCB's Sir Anthony Bamford eyes Jaguar
17:15 24 Aug 2006 - contractjournal.com - By Neil Gerrard
Flushed with success after his company smashed the land speed record for a diesel powered vehicle, Sir Anthony Bamford has hinted that he could bid for British car manufacturer Jaguar.
The JCB chairman said he would buy the troubled carmaker if current owner Ford was willing to separate it from UK-based luxury car unit Premier Automotive Group (PAG), which also makes Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo cars.
According to a report in the Financial Times, Bamford, who dreamt up the scheme to break the diesel land speed record in order to promote British engineering and the JCB444 engine that powers the Dieselmax, said he wanted to see a "British solution" to Jaguar's problems. Sir Anthony Bamford
He confirmed his own interest in taking on the prestigious marque, saying: "If they (Ford) can separate Jaguar out (from Land Rover), then I'd like to buy it."
Ford was reported to have pumped £1.2bn into Jaguar in December to keep the ailing manufacturer afloat. Jaguar posted pre-tax losses of £429.3m for 2004. By comparison, JCB recorded a record £110m profit in 2005, on the back of a £1.42bn turnover.
Sir Anthony Bamford names successor
4 November, 2004 - cnplus.co.uk
JCB BOSS Sir Anthony Bamford is stepping down from his role as managing director of the company after 29 years to make way for current chief executive John Patterson.
Sir Anthony will remain actively involved in the business as chairman. He said: 'This change in responsibilities is recognition of the excellent job John Patterson has done in leading the team that has taken the company to where it is today.'
The firm has stressed that the move is not part of any succession process and there are no plans for Sir Anthony either to retire or sell up. But it has given rise to speculation that the naming of someone outside the Bamford family to the managing director's position has significance for the company's future.
One industry-watcher said: 'JCB need to keep the business in the hands of a trusted deputy, rather than an unknown quantity and they have to give time for the successor to prove himself, whether it be Sir Anthony's son Joe, or someone else. It could be a 10-year plan.'