Alderman Sir Paul Judge – an appreciation

The passing of Past Master Sir Paul Judge on May 21 came as a deep shock to us all. We knew he had been suffering with septicaemia; he was taken ill on April 19 last year, the day of our Spring Lunch at Grocers’ Hall, and so could not attend. I next saw him at the Past Masters’ annual lunch at the Guildhall on July 7. He was on crutches and told us that his knee had grown to the size of a football. We were drinking champagne and he amused us with stories that he’d been much higher on the drugs they gave him in hospital.

I had known Sir Paul — who served as Master between 2005 and 2006— for many years, primarily through the Marketing Society where we were both Fellows. In 2003, he invited me to join the Marketors and I did so the following year. Our paths often seemed to cross, and a certain pattern seemed to persist. While I was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, he was its Chairman; while I was a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, he was its President; while I did some advisory work for the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, he was its Chairman; while I was a member at Chatham House, he was a Special Adviser there; and while I was a member of the Conservative party, he was its Director General.

That last job had been a full-time executive position for which he took no remuneration. He turned round the party’s failing finances, reducing their overdraft from £19m to £2m before transferring for a time to the Cabinet office as a Ministerial adviser. He eventually became disillusioned with party politics, as many do, but in his case he tried to do something about it by founding the Jury Team political movement and party. This was intended as a truly independent force and, while it did not succeed, it was nevertheless a commendable effort.

Such ambition and generosity came naturally to Sir Paul. In 1990, just a couple of years before his venture into politics, he donated £8m to his alma mater of Trinity College, Cambridge, to fund the creation of a new Judge Institute for Management Studies — now known as the Judge Business School. Today, this school is now home to 80 academic staff and over 400 students.
He then turned his attention to the City, becoming Alderman for the Ward of Tower in 2007 and Aldermanic Sheriff in 2013-14. He hoped to go on to be Lord Mayor and stood twice, but was not elected. As Master last year I was asked to give a reference for his candidacy and inter alia I wrote the following:

“Sir Paul has had an outstanding business career and is one of the pre-eminent marketers of his generation. After gaining his MBA from the Wharton School in Pennsylvania he started his career with Cadbury Schweppes, becoming its group deputy finance director at the age of 28. I did not know him at the time but have met people who did who all spoke of his acute business skills. He rose rapidly through the ranks and in 1985 led the buyout of their food businesses to form Premier Brands which was successfully sold in 1989. Since then he has combined a business career with continuous public service in many capacities.

He has served on many international boards with interests in South Africa (banking), Togo (President’s International Advisory Council), France (Advisory Board for HEC in Paris), Greece (Athens University of Economics and Business), Russia (Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration), Serbia (Chairman of the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce), Dubai (private equity), and USA (mattress and bedding). In Britain he has served on the boards of Boddington Group, Grosvenor Development Capital, and the WPP Group.”

In 2013, when I was Chairman of the Heritage Committee, I arranged for interviews with some of our older Past Masters to be recorded on video for posterity. Sir Paul kindly allowed us the use of his sumptuous penthouse flat by the Thames. I asked him to introduce the video and with just a moment’s thought he gave to camera a superb introduction focusing on the history of the City of London. With tragic irony I did not ask Past Master Venetia Howes, who conducted the other interviews, to interview Sir Paul.

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