James Palumbo, Baron Palumbo of Southwark

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The Lord Palumbo of Southwark
Member of the House of Lords
Assumed office
2 October 2013
Personal details
James Rudolph Palumbo

(1963-06-06) 6 June 1963 (age 55)
London, England, United Kingdom
Political partyLiberal Democrats
OccupationEntrepreneur, author, politician
Net worthIncrease £350 million (Est. 2018)

James "Jamie" Rudolph Palumbo, Baron Palumbo of Southwark (born 6 June 1963) is an English entrepreneur, author and politician. He was listed in the Sunday Times Rich List 2018 in 359th place with an estimated fortune of £350 million.[1] The eldest son of property developer Peter Palumbo, Baron Palumbo, Jamie was born in London and educated at Eton College and Worcester College, Oxford.[2]

Early career[edit]

From 1984 to 1992, Palumbo worked in the City of London for Merrill Lynch and Morgan Grenfell in equity capital markets and property finance.[3]

Ministry of Sound[edit]

In September 1991 Palumbo, together with his school friend Humphrey Waterhouse and DJ Justin Berkmann, founded the Ministry of Sound nightclub in South London. Initially Palumbo lost control of the club to drug dealers, and a fight to regain control ensued.[4] Ministry of Sound has expanded into a number of areas including recorded music, live events, digital media and merchandise. Ministry of Sound Recordings has sold over 70 million albums and is the largest independent music company in the world.[5] In 2001 Palumbo sold 16% of the business to 3i for £24 million, which he subsequently reacquired.[6] In 2016 he sold Ministry of Sound Recordings to the Sony Music Group for $104 million.[7] Publishing, live events, merchandise, and the London club remain part of the group.

Family disputes[edit]

In 1994 he launched legal proceedings against his father with his sister, Annabella Adams, claiming his father had mismanaged the family trust,[8] subsequently his father resigned as a trustee.[9] In 2010 new proceedings were launched relating to another family trust,[10] his father also resigned from this trust and paid legal fees.[11]

Life peerage[edit]

Following the 2010 election Palumbo helped reorganise Lib Dem headquarters to make the party more efficient in Government.[12] Palumbo is a major donor to the Liberal Democrats.[13] In October 2013, Palumbo was created a life peer taking the title Baron Palumbo of Southwark, of Southwark, in the London Borough of Southwark.[14]

Bon Jardin DRC, Nakhon Nayok Province, Thailand[edit]

In 2017 he opened an animal sanctuary with Rawipim Paijit, focussed on spay and neuter, rescue and rehabilitation and education and community awareness.[15]


His debut novel about corruption in the modern world, Tomas, was published in 2009.[16] Stephen Fry called the novel "remarkable... It's as if Thomas Pynchon and Burroughs and Vonnegut got together and had a bastard love child."[17] His second novel, Tancredi, about short termism in politics, was published in 2011.

Personal life[edit]

He lives in London with his Thai friend of thirty years, Miss Rawipim Paijit.[3] He has a son, Alessandro, born in 1991 to Atoosa Hariri.[2]

Titles and styles[edit]


  1. ^ The Sunday Times Rich List 2018. The Sunday Times
  2. ^ a b Wynne-Jones, Ros (2 November 1997). "The Man From the Ministry". The Independent. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b Bell, Matthew (9 August 2009). "James Palumbo: There's only money, sex; and music and mellowing". The Independent. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  4. ^ How I risked my life kicking the drug gangs out of my club, by Ministry of Sound boss James Palumbo
  5. ^ Club class: 20 years of the Ministry of Sound, The Independent. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Login".
  7. ^ "Sony bought Ministry of Sound for £67m, Century Media for £12m". 2017-01-11.
  8. ^ Kelsey, Tim (11 April 1994). "Lord Palumbo accused of benefiting from trust". The Independent. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  9. ^ Kate Rankine, 'Daily Telegraph', 13 September 2003, Business profile: Chairman with a passion for needlework
  10. ^ Michael Seamark, Daily Mail, 28 July 2010, Lord Palumbo in fresh court row with children over "missing art worth £2m"
  11. ^ Palumbo the Younger ready to make peace over a cuppa
  12. ^ Sylvester, Alice Thomson Rachel (2013-11-16). "Palumbo the Younger ready to make peace over a cuppa". The Times.
  13. ^ Christopher Hope and Stephen Swinford (1 August 2013). "Peerages for multi-millionaires who 'donated their way into the Lords'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  14. ^ "No. 60648". The London Gazette. 4 October 2013. p. 19575.
  15. ^ "James Palumbo on partying, politics and his new pet rescue mission". 2017-09-04.
  16. ^ "Tomas", Quartet Books. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  17. ^ YouTube

External links[edit]