Honorary Speaker: Lord Parry Mitchell '66
As shared by Lord Mitchell, Labour Party's Shadow Business Minister and entrepreneur:
Parry Mitchell was thrown out of school aged 16 and his first job was selling vacuum cleaners in North London.
Realising that he was on the road to nowhere he decided to do something about it. Four nights a week at evening classes over five years saw him obtain his A levels and then an external B.Sc (Econ). It was then that he went to Columbia Business School. He had no money but he did have a green card which enabled him to work three nights a week at a very trendy (but exhausting) bar in Greenwich Village - great fun and he made amazing tips. Being English in New York in the mid 60s was a plus. An MBA, a demanding job and a non-stop social life - he never slept and even now he regards it a miracle that he got his degree!
But then the downside of the green card kicked in. He was sent a letter from the draft board telling him to report for a medical once his studies were complete. It was no time to hang around - it was getting hot and heavy in South East Asia. JFK and London beckoned.
Parry joined IBM and then he got into the business that was then called computer leasing. He built up three successive companies from scratch - each became a market leader - and each one he sold. The last was in 2006 - full marks for timing!
He was appointed to the House of Lords by Tony Blair in the year 2000. He has sat on the Science and Technology Select Committee. In September 2012 he was appointed by Ed Miliband as Shadow Business Minister.
Parry is 70 next birthday. He is married and has three children and two grandchildren. He lives in Hampstead and Umbria.
Gala co-chairs: Yolande Schuler ('08), Farouk Hadeed ('04)
Thursday, 7 February 2013, 7pm
The Lansdowne Club
9 Fitzmaurice Place
Mayfair W1J 5JD
7 pm: Cocktail Reception
8 pm: Dinner
Dress Code: Cocktail Attire
Spouses and guests are welcome