Hailing from the venerable, 300-year-old Goldsmith banking family and the son of a legendary financier who died when Ben Goldsmith was 15, the passionate environmentalist used his own funds to co-found environmental investment group WHEB in 2002 at age 22. In 2015, he left to start Menhaden Capital, where he is currently CEO. This fund for long-term investments in green companies is listed on the London Stock Exchange and focuses on companies that conserve scarce resources and reduce negative environmental impacts. “In a resource-constrained world, efficient resource use and profitability are now wholly complementary,” he reports.
Investors are drawn to Ben Goldsmith’s visionary streak, evident from age nine when he was reclaiming used golf balls from the club next door, refurbishing them, and selling them back to members. BusinessGreen shortlisted Ben Goldsmith among its 2014 Young Sustainability Executives of the Year and he is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
Aside from business, he chairs the advisory board of the family philanthropic foundation, JMG Foundation. In 2003, Ben Goldsmith founded the Environmental Funders Network (EFN) to improve inter-donor coordination in the environmental sector; and The Manuka Club in 2004, which makes small grants for grassroots environmental campaigns in Britain. He is on the Advisory Council for the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, which tackles issues of global significance for the coming decades. Plus, he makes it cool to be good at math: the father of three is a backgammon champion in London, as well as a dedicated cricket fan.