Chair of Envision
0207 096 1714
Simon became Chair of Envision in 2015. Simon’s philanthropic activities have focused on creating a more level playing field for young people. He believes in enabling every young person from whatever background to have the educational and employment opportunities many young people from professional families can take for granted. Simon previously served for 10 years as Trustee (and ultimately Deputy Chairman) of Fairbridge, a medium sized charity tackling social exclusion in inner city areas. Fairbridge became part of the The Prince’s Trust in 2011. Simon is also a Governor of The Fulham Boy’s School, a new free school in Fulham (where he has lived for 20 years).
In his business career Simon worked for 7 years in Tokyo with first the UK merchant bank Kleinwort Benson and then a boutique Swiss bank. In that process he acquired an enduring love of Japan, its food, culture language and people (including most importantly his wife Zahira). He moved back to the UK in the mid-1990s, and joined his brother who had established a UK wealth management business Heartwood. Simon started the London office, which now has more than 50 employees. He became Chief Executive of Heartwood in 2008, and led its successful acquisition by Handelsbanken, the highly regarded Swedish bank. Simon left Heartwood on the 3 year anniversary of this transaction and now has a portfolio of philanthropic and business interests.
Simon hopes to use his business background and experience to help the senior management team at Envision to work with an increasing number of young people.
One of the greatest rewards of this role is meeting Envision graduates, and learning from them first hand how Envision has changed their lives. I see huge potential in Envision to inspire more young people to take social action. Their projects will benefit their local communities but also help them personally. The Envision programme helps young people develop exactly the qualities which I know from personal experience that employers are looking for.”