Danny Fiszman

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Daniel David Fiszman (9 January 1945 – 13 April 2011) was a diamond dealer, best known as a shareholder in and director of Arsenal Football Club, and played a leading role in the club's move from Highbury to Ashburton Grove, now known as Emirates Stadium.

Early life[edit]

Fiszman was born in Willesden, North London [1] and was the son of a Belgian Jewish couple who fled the Nazis during World War II.

Career[edit]

Fiszman made his fortune in diamonds, building Star Diamonds Group which traded in rough diamonds.[2] Star Diamonds Group also owns 16% in Abbeycrest, whose major clients include Argos and Asda. He sold the group in 2007 for £150M, to concentrate on his role in completing Arsenal's new stadium.[3]

Other shareholdings took his total worth to around £236m, ranking him 348th on the 2008 Sunday Times Rich List [4] (351st in 2007, 273rd in 2006, 305th in 2005 and 207th in 2004).

Arsenal Football Club[edit]

Fiszman bought into Arsenal Football Club and became a board member through his purchase of an 8% stake from his friend David Dein, starting with 10,000 shares in 1991.[1] Fiszman slowly increased his stake to 24%, the largest shareholder as at 27 September 2007,[5] at which point he led the building of the new Ashburton Grove stadium.

In March 2007 Fiszman sold a block of 659 shares for over £3.9m to Stan Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE).[6] This was a significant sale as reducing his stake to less than 25% resulted in a loss of veto rights over any future changes to the company statutes. Speculation linked this with a move abroad where he would substantially reduce any Capital Gains Tax liability that would come with a sale of his stake in the club.[7] Fiszman stated his desire not sell any more of his shares for the foreseeable future,[8] after the sale of 5,000 ordinary shares to Kroenke takes the American's stake in Arsenal Holdings plc to 12,756 Shares (representing 20.5%). On 27 March 2009 Fiszman sold 5,000 ordinary shares of £1 each in Arsenal Holdings plc to KSE, UK, Inc, at a price of £8,500 per share.[9] On 11 April 2011, two days before his death, he sold his Arsenal shares amounting to 16.11% of club's stake to KSE, due to his declining health.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Fiszman and his wife Sally lived in St Prex near Geneva, Switzerland. His hobbies included running and flying - he was a fully qualified commercial jet pilot. Fiszman had been undergoing treatment for throat cancer at the time of his death.[11]

He died on 13 April 2011.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Danny Fiszman: a brief view - Mail Online
  2. ^ "Graff ranked as 36th richest in Britain". DIB Online. 12 June 2006. Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  3. ^ David Bond (20 Apr 2007). "Fiszman the power behind throne". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Danny Fiszman on Sunday Times' Rich List
  5. ^ Wyett, Charlie (9 May 2007). "Whos who on Gunners board". The Sun (London). 
  6. ^ "Arsenal Holdings plc - Director's Shareholding". Plus Markets Group. Archived from the original on 3 March 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  7. ^ [1] Guardian Unlimited
  8. ^ [2] Arsenal.com
  9. ^ Club Statement: Arsenal Holdings plc - Arsenal.com
  10. ^ "Arsenal investor Fiszman 'sell shares'". Plus-sx. 11 April 2011. Archived from the original on 25 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Charles Sale: Danny Fiszman's fight is worry for Arsenal". London: Daily Mail. 11 January 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  12. ^ "Danny Fiszman 1945-2011". arsenal.com. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2014.