BBC’s incoming chair to donate £160K salary to charity, inspired by Jewish roots

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BBC’s incoming chair to donate £160K salary to charity, inspired by Jewish roots

Richard Sharp, whose 'great grandparents came to this country escaping tyranny', said he wanted to make a contribution to Britain to show gratitude

Richard Sharp, the former Goldman Sachs banker who will succeed Sir David Clementi as BBC chairman.
Richard Sharp, the former Goldman Sachs banker who will succeed Sir David Clementi as BBC chairman.

The BBC’s incoming chairman will donate his £160,000 salary to charity in recognition of Britain’s granting of refuge to his family.

Appearing before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee this week, Richard Sharp said he wanted to “make a contribution” to Britain to show gratitude for giving his relatives a place of refuge.

The former Goldman Sachs banker who was once chancellor Rishi Sunak’s boss, was asked “What’s in it for you?”, and said: “We’re all a product of our upbringing and I was very fortunate with the parents I have, my great grandparents came to this country escaping tyranny.

“I think I won the lottery in life to be British and if I can make a contribution, I couldn’t be happier to.

“The BBC is part of the fabric of all our national identities, it offers education and enrichment and is also important for our position in the world… It is a massive privilege to be chair of the BBC.”

Sharp, who will earn a salary of £160,000 for three to four days’ work per week, said: “I think that all positions have to provide appropriate financial incentives.

“I was asked to sit on a financial policy committee at the Bank Of England and every year…I asked not to be paid and the pay I was given I gave to charities that I chose.

“I intend to do the same should I be appointed.”

He is due to succeed Sir David Clementi as BBC chairman, who will stand down in February.

The incoming BBC chair is the son of Lord Sharp of Grimsdyke, the former Eric Sharp, who was first knighted and then given a life peerage for his services as chair of the energy company, Cable and Wireless, between 1980 and 1990.

Eric Sharp married the former Marion Freedman in 1950 and the couple, who were members of Westminster Synagogue, had three children: Richard, Nicola, who died in 1982, and Victoria, who, as Dame Victoria Sharp, is president of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court in England and Wales.

Richard Sharp married an American, also named Victoria, in 1987 in Connecticut. He has spent most of his career in banking, starting with the city banker JP Morgan, and then more than 20 years with the Wall Street banking giant Goldman Sachs, where he was boss to the future chancellor, Sunak.

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