Peter Hargreaves Quotes

  • I have wanted to run my own business since my time at Clitheroe grammar school. I remember thinking if I could get a penny from everyone in Britain, I would earn £208,000 a year.
  • We need an honest politician in charge who doesn't care whether they are re-elected and is prepared to make the unpopular decisions.
  • When I fly to European destinations, I always fly economy; I don't fly business class - there is no advantage apart from a few more inches of room.
  • We are one of only two FTSE 100 companies which do not use offshore or other tax avoidance arrangements. In fact, we are probably one of the highest taxpaying companies in the index.
  • Income-producing unit trusts are brilliant because if you can accept capital values will be volatile for a while, your dividend income will always be higher than what you get in the bank.
  • Other men have created FTSE 100 companies. But I believe no man has done this in his lifetime without acquisition or borrowing. My one regret is handing over the reigns.
  • People in retail banks are not smart. They have a business model that's quite difficult to not make money out of - but still they somehow manage it.
  • Quite often, people who build big businesses don't believe anyone else can run them, and you end up with an old rascal in their 70s and no one to take them on. I could name several - and I won't - who put themselves in that invidious position.
  • The Conservatives, along with Labour, I don't think understand what it is like to run a business.
  • I love criticism. Equitable Life went down because management wouldn't brook criticism, but if you are in business, you have to hear what's going wrong.
  • I couldn't have predicted the business would be worth so much. I could see that we would have this sort of market share, but I didn't realise the numbers would be so large.
  • I think I've been a moderately good boss. I've made a lot of people extremely wealthy - I think we've created 30 millionaires.
  • Money in property is dead money. It doesn't help the country. It's funny how the U.K., Ireland and Spain are the most property-obsessed nations in Europe and yet are also the ones suffering the most.
  • Our aim is to help the clients help themselves, not to tell them what to think.
  • People should buy a house to live in, not as an investment. Property has become such a national obsession - it was the primary subject at dinner parties and how many television shows were dedicated to the market. It's not good for the economy.
  • Range Rovers are the greenest cars on the road.
  • The older you get and the wealthier you get, the more complicated life becomes. That's why I have as few material assets as possible. Every material thing you have is more hassle.
  • There is an old adage that the quickest way to drop your tax take is to increase taxes. If capital gains tax is going to be 50 percent, my contingent capital gains tax is going to be 250 million pounds.
  • I knew my successor would be better than me for the next stage of the company's life. And it was a relief - I'd been doing it for 30 years. My only worry was what the hell I was going to do with my time.