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Arnold Weinstock, Baron Weinstock (29 July 1924 – 23 July 2002) was an English businessman.
He was a junior administrative officer in the Admiralty, 1944–47. In 1949, he married Netta Sobell, the daughter of industrialist, Sir Michael Sobell. The couple had two children, Simon (1952–1996) and Gina (b 1955).
In 1954 he joined his father-in law's electronics company, Radio & Allied Industries Ltd., and in 1963 orchestrated its merger with the General Electric Company, becoming the largest shareholder of GEC. He served as a member of the board of directors from 1961 to 1963 and was managing director from 1963 to 1996, thence chairman Emeritus. He transformed the firm, raising its turnover from £100m in 1960 to £11bn at his retirement in 1996. He was noted for holding his counsel during the disastrous dismantling and subsequent collapse of GEC (renamed Marconi plc) under his successors.
He was a director of Rolls-Royce (1971) Ltd from 1971 to 1973. He was a significant investor in London Weekend Television at its launch in 1968. He was Vice-President of the Friends of the Ravenna Festival, 1993–1994, a trustee of the British Museum, 1985–1996, the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Foundation Fund, 1984–1992. He became a friend of the conductor Riccardo Muti, whose recordings he chose on Desert Island Discs. He was also senior trustee of the Next Century Foundation, a peace process organisation he helped establish. He established the Weinstock Fund, a charitable foundation that supports a variety of benevolent and cultural causes.
He became an Honorary Fellow of his alma mater, LSE, in 1985. The Guardian newspaper called him "Britain's premier post-second-world-war industrialist." He was knighted in 1970 and was created a life peer as Baron Weinstock, of Bowden in the County of Wiltshire on 17 July 1980. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, an Honorary Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge (since 1982), and an Honorary Bencher of Gray's Inn (since 1982). He became a Commander of the Ordine al Merito of Italy in 1991 and an Officer of the Legion of Honour of France in 1992. He was awarded an Honorary DSc: Salford, 1975; Aston, 1976; University of Bath, 1978; Reading, 1978; Ulster, 1987; Hon. LLD: Leeds, 1978; Wales, 1985; Keele, 1997; Hon. DTech Loughborough, 1981; DUniv Anglia Poly., 1994; Hon. DEconSc London, 1997.
A member of the Jockey Club, Weinstock owned a number of thoroughbred racehorses. He and his father-in-law, Sir Michael Sobell, entered ownership in 1957 and were immediately successful when purchasing London Cry, who won the 1958 Cambridgeshire Handicap. In 1960 they purchased the Ballymacoll Stud in Ireland from the estate of Dorothy Paget. Although they had many winners their first really good racehorse was a colt called Reform, who was the champion miler of 1967 and won amongst other races the St. James's Palace Stakes Sussex Stakes and Champion Stakes. Up until 1971 his horses were trained by Sir Gordon Richards but in 1970 with his father in law he purchased the West Ilsley stables from Jakie Astor, whereupon Dick Hern became his trainer. They had almost immediate success with two good Ballymacoll bred two-year-olds, and subsequent three-year-old milers, in Sallust and Sun Prince. They also owned and bred the St Leger Stakes runner-up Homeric. In 1974 Gaily, a purchased filly, won the Irish One Thousand Guineas. Their next good horse was Admetus who won the Washington International Stakes and the Prince of Wales's Stakes. A few years later they bred and owned Cistus who won the Lupe Stakes, Child Stakes, Nassau Stakes and the Prix de l'Opera. They achieved every owner/breeders dream when Troy won the 200th Epsom Derby in 1979. In 1981 they sold the stables to the Queen.
Their next outstanding horse was Sun Princess who won both the Epsom Oaks and St Leger. She in turn bred for them the Champion Two Year Old of 1988 Prince of Dance. In 1990 they had another fine race filly in Hellenic, whose finest day was her victory in the Yorkshire Oaks but who was also second in the St Leger. By now the partnership's horses were being trained by Sir Michael Stoute, although Hern remained as a trainer up until 1997 and other trainers such as Ian Balding, Peter Chapple-Hyam and Roger Charlton trained at various times for them. Upon Sir Michael Sobell's death Weinstock continued his racing activities, in partnership with his son Simon. Their next good horse was the 1995 Irish Two Thousand Guineas and Champion Stakes winner Spectrum. On the premature death of Simon Weinstock the racing activities were continued but soon after raced under the name of the Ballymacoll Stud. He also owned Pilsudski, whose wins included the 1996 Grosser Preis von Baden and Breeders' Cup Turf plus the 1997 Japan Cup; Golan (who won the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes after Weinstock's death) and Islington (who won the Musidora Stakes, and after Weinstock's death won the Nassau Stakes, the Yorkshire Oaks (twice) and the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf). Ballymacoll Stud continues as a stud owned by his family to this day. The Weinstock developed families of Reform (but also of Hellenic, Golan and Islington), Sun Prince (but also of Sun Princess and Spectrum), and Gaily (but also of Pilsudski) continue in the stud.
References and sources
- Who's Who 2001
- Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Britain 2001
- Alex Brummer, Weinstock: The Life and Times of Britain's Premier Industrialist (HarperCollinsBusiness, 1998).
- Timesonline article on the Weinstock Fund, charitable foundation