Spotlight On... Algy Cluff; Chairman, Cluff Gold
Algy Cluff. Who's he?
John Gordon Cluff, the dapper six-and-a-half footer known as "Algy", is one of the City's best-known veteran (for which read "septuagenarian") entrepreneurs, raconteurs and all round jolly good eggs.
High praise. Best known for?
Depends on your interests. Those of a Tory bent remember his ownership of The Spectator magazine. He bought it from his chum Henry Keswick in the 1980s before selling it on to the Telegraph group. Business types know him best for making a fortune in oil and mining. Something of a swashbuckler, by any definition.
Swashbuckler, eh? Why so?
Eschewing university, he had a stint in the Guards and the SAS, wrote dispatches for The Guardian in Vietnam, then worked in the plantation business in Malaysia. That earned him the cash to get into the oil game. He discovered the Buchan field in the North Sea in the 1970s, later selling his business to BP. More recently, he's set up three mining and resources companies, including Cluff Gold in 2003.
Why is he making the news now?
He's decided to step down as the chairman of Cluff Gold, which explores in West Africa and operates a mine in Burkina Faso.
So he's finally hanging up his boots, then?
Far from it. He's actually leaving to set up his fifth, as yet unnamed, venture.
Returning to the North Sea oil world. As he said yesterday: "My headmaster always said all the best things end up in the same place and I never knew what he meant. But I think I do now, since I find myself inclined to go back to the North Sea."
Sounds like he had a wise headmaster...
That's what you pay those high fees for at Stowe public school. Not that Cluff was inclined to stay in education any longer than he had to. As he once said: "If I'd gone to university it would have killed my restless spirit and without that the entrepreneur is nothing."
From the blogs
A slight deviation from style this week and admittedly a bit weird, but at least I can finally say I...
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Justice, the bedrock of our society is for sale under the Government’s latest plan to sell legal aid...
Take inspiration from the green-fingered brigade who have been showing off their creativity at the R...
Woolwich terror attack: Suspect Michael Adebowale saw friend 'literally sliced to pieces' in 2008
Emergency landing at Heathrow sparks further controversy over London airport capacity
Unrest may spread across Europe, warns Red Cross chief
EDL marches on Newcastle as attacks on Muslims increase tenfold in the wake of Woolwich machete attack which killed Drummer Lee Rigby
You want to get an Eton scholarship? All you need to do is answer four (not so simple) questions
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 EDL marches on Newcastle as attacks on Muslims increase tenfold in the wake of Woolwich machete attack which killed Drummer Lee Rigby
- 5 Farewell, Shameless. Your heirs have work to do
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.