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29 July 2017

In Memoriam Sir Paul Judge

Tag(s): In Memoriam, Worshipful Company of Marketors, business
The passing of Alderman Sir Paul Judge on 21st May came as a deep shock. I knew he had been seriously ill with septicaemia. He was taken ill on 19th April last year, the day of The Marketors’ Spring Lunch at Grocers’ Hall and so could not attend. I next saw him at the Past Masters’ annual lunch at the Guildhall on 7th July. 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 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 but 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 had been a fulltime executive position for which he took no remuneration. He turned round their failing finances reducing their overdraft from £19m to £2m before transferring for a time to the Cabinet office as a Ministerial adviser. But he 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 effort and while it did not succeed it was nevertheless a commendable attempt.

Paul Judge won an Open Scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge where he studied Natural Sciences and Management Studies, graduating in 1971, the same year as me. He then gained a Thouron Fellowship to the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated with his MBA in the top 5% of his class. Many judge the Wharton School as the best of all the US Business Schools.

He spent the first 12 years of his business career with Cadbury Schweppes, working initially in the Overseas Group finance department and becoming Group Deputy Finance Director at the age of 28. He was then Managing Director of Cadbury Schweppes Kenya which had three factories and 600 employees. In 1982 he became Managing Director of Cadbury Typhoo, which had 3000 employees and a turnover of £150 million. In 1984 he became Group Planning Director and a member of the Group Executive Committee.

In 1985 he initiated and led the £97 million buyout of the UK, Irish and French food businesses of Cadbury Schweppes to form Premier Foods with 6,000 employees and a turnover of £400 million. The company was turned round and described by the Grocer as having “the best overall performance of any British food company”. Premier Foods was successfully sold for £300 million in 1989. His personal investment of £90,000 had grown to £45 million.

Paul then moved into the public and political sectors and became a government-appointed Member of the Milk Marketing Board and Chairman of Food from Britain which led to his being voted the 1992 Food Industry Personality of the Year.

In 1990 he gave £8 million to the University of Cambridge to found the Judge Business School where he chaired the Advisory Board for 12 years. Today the Judge Business School has 80 academic staff and more than 400 students. He was a member of the Board of the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) from 2008-10.

He 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), Poland (Advisory Board for Lynka Promotional Products), Russia (Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration), Serbia (Chairman of the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce), China (Chairman of the  Advisory Board of the School of Management at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou), Dubai (private equity), and the USA (mattress and bedding). In Britain he was Chairman of Schroder Income Growth Fund plc and also served on the boards of Boddington Group, Grosvenor Development Capital, and the WPP Group.

He gained Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Cambridge and Westminster and from City University and London South Bank University. In 1996 he became a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his public and political service.

After his time in Westminster he turned his attention to the City becoming Alderman for the Ward of Tower in 2007, and Aldermanic Sheriff in 2013-14. As well as being a Past Master of the Marketors, he was the Foundation Master of the Guild of Entrepreneurs, a Liveryman of the Educators and Clothworkers and an Honorary Liveryman of the Management Consultants.  He hoped to go on to be Lord Mayor and stood twice but was not elected.

My friend Alderman David Graves said on his passing: “He had a stellar City career and his ambition to become Lord Mayor will not now be realised.”

While he had withdrawn from active national politics he never lost his interest in it and could always be relied on for acute insights into what was really happening. I cut out this letter he wrote in to the Daily Telegraph about the financial plans of the coalition Government as announced in the Autumn Statement in 2011.

“The coalition is not planning to reduce its expenditure. It is planning to increase annual expenditure by 9%: from £697bn in this financial year to £757bn in 2015-6. This is not any Plan B that might be put into operation if the announcements on 20 October go wrong. The 9% increase is the Government’s Plan A. it is shown in Table C13 of the June budget. This plan includes a 15% increase in social security and tax credits: from £193bn currently to £223bn by 2015-6.

Departmental expenditure will be essentially constant: £343bn this year and £340bn in 2015-16. As always, the Government will rebalance priorities within the total expenditure envelope that is allowing that envelope to expand.

The Government, despite the planned increase in expenditure, is also planning to reduce the deficit from £149bn in the current financial year to only £20bn in 2015-16 (when it would be just 1.1% of GDP, much lower than almost any other member of the G20).
How will it achieve this spectacular reduction? The answer is found in Table C11, which sets out the planned taxation income. Total receipts are planned to increase by 34% from £548bn this year to £737bn in 2015-16. This means a £7,000 average tax increase for each of the UK’s 27 million households.”

Sir Paul, of course, received many obituaries and other tributes for his outstanding career. He even got one from Private Eye.

In Memoriam Sir Paul Judge, City grandee, former philanthropist and director-general of the Conservative party

So. Farewell
Then Paul Judge.
You were many
Things in your life,
But, despite your name,
You were never
A judge.
Unlike Igor Judge,
Who is, and is
Known as
Judge Judge.
This made headlines
Very confusing.
“Judge dies” for
Example could easily
Be misinterpreted.
I hope this poem
Will correct any
Now that you
Have gone before
The great judge
In the sky.

                       E. Judge Thribb     (17.5 years’ suspended sentence)

Sir Paul kindly agreed to write the foreword to my book The 20 Ps of Marketing published in 2013. He was then the President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He took my request very seriously and wrote a very thoughtful piece. He was particularly interested in my last five Ps relating to behaviours. And in his final paragraph he wrote “University is something you complete. Life is something you experience. We all know that life is not a dress rehearsal. We only get one chance to have a life so we should all make as much of it as we can.”

There is no doubt that Sir Paul made as much of his life as he could even if it came to a premature end.

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