Sunday, 7 February 2010

Highly-skilled Hands

This is a bit interesting...
Guy Hands, who moved from Kent to Guernsey last April in protest at higher income and capital gains tax rates, says he has "never visited" his school age children since he left the country. They have remained with his wife at their former family home in Kent and they now have to travel to Guernsey to see him.

Neither has he visited his mother and father – and wouldn't unless there was a family crisis: "I do not visit my parents in the United Kingdom and would not do so except in an emergency."

This means, presumably, we could put a rough cash figure on the value Guy Hands attaches to his family. Given that he is (was?) pretty wealthy, the amount of extra tax he would have paid in the UK must be pretty large. So the Hands family can feel proud that they are valued to seven figures at the least, and surely much more. But he must have done some basic calculations and clearly the extra money has a higher value to him that his family's close proximity.

By the by, here's what he said at the time of deciding to move:
“Recent developments in UK policy may well drive global firms and highly skilled individuals away from London at significant cost to the UK economy in terms of lost revenues and lost taxes,” Mr Hands says.
I assume he would count himself as one of those very same highly-skilled individuals. But actually doesn't the mess at EMI raise a slight doubt about this? To many people who are less highly-skilled it might look a bit like he bought something he didn't really understand at the top of the market with a lot of borrowed money. After all, the current CEO says the targets set for the business were all wrong. And Hands himself, via his suit against Citi, seems to be suggesting he was sold a pup. Or more precisely he claims he was pushed into a deal at an inflated price by being led to believe another buyer was circling. Isn't that one of the oldest sales tricks going? A lesser-skilled person might have thought that a highly-skilled individual would spot that kind of thing. So it must be much more complicated than that. And require higher skills.


Gaw said...

A man who finds money so important he's willing to sacrifice being with his family and invite people to believe he's an idiot. Anyone would think he was desperately poor but he's obviously not. I almost feel sorry for him. Perhaps we can describe him as desperately rich?

The Great Simpleton said...

I have little sympathy for his losses at EMI, in fact I'll go further and say I have some schadenfreude because I suspect it was a hubristic purchase.

Having said that, I can also accept that perhaps he his making a point of principle by moving. Just because someone has a lot of money it doesn't give us the right to dip in to their wallet.

Tom Powdrill said...

I can accept the point of principle in theory, but odd to break up your family to it?

On EMI I agree it was an hubristic buy, and it has looked like it almost from the off. Also they have lost a some ky artists haven't they? (That said, don't have much time for very well-paid 'stars' moaning about the management!)