Billionaire explains one of biggest anxieties felt by the super-rich

How can the super-rich keep their children grounded as they grow up surrounded by privilege? 

Heather Saul
Thursday 01 September 2016 19:53
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A billionaire philanthropist has described what he says is one of the biggest sources of anxiety for the super-wealthy.

David Harding, the British CEO of the investment management firm Winton Capital Management, is worth an estimated $1.5 billion, according to Forbes.

The Cambridge graduate, 55, began his career as a stockbroker before launching his company. He has since given away millions of pounds to educational organisations, donated £5 million to London’s Science Museum for its mathematical gallery and funded research into probability and market risk.

In an interview with the Evening Standard, he dismissed the shame felt by some about having achieved such financially rewarding success and criticised the notion of “giving back” for implying that his company in some way takes from society.

But he said there is one concern held by many of the world’s richest people about having amassed such significant wealth.

“I like nice things in life but of course a source of anxiety probably to many rich people is that you don’t want to spoil your children by bringing them up in an atmosphere of intense privilege,“ he explained.

This fear is evidenced in some of his more frugal lifestyle choices. For his 55th birthday, Harding celebrated by taking his two sons for a walk in the Yorkshire Dales

This anxiety was one also expressed by the late Duke of Grosvenor, whose son Hugh recently became Britain’s youngest billionaire when he inherited his father’s estate, worth an estimated £9bn.

In 1993, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor insisted his son would have to put in some graft throughout his life: “He's been born with the longest silver spoon anyone can have, but he can't go through life sucking on it.” He sent his children to state primary schools and refused to have them boarding at their private secondary school.

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