Rupert Pennant-Rea

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Rupert Pennant-Rea
Born Rupert Lascelles Pennant-Rea
(1948-01-23) 23 January 1948 (age 69)
Nationality British
Education Peterhouse Boys' School
Alma mater
Occupation Businessman
Spouse(s) Helen Jay
Children 3
  • Peter Pennant-Rea (father)
  • Pauline Pennant-Rea (mother)

Rupert Lascelles Pennant-Rea (born 23 January 1948) is a British businessman, journalist, and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.

Early life[edit]

The son of Peter and Pauline Pennant-Rea, he was educated at the Peterhouse Boys' School, an Anglican church boarding school near Marandellas, Rhodesia (now Marondera, Zimbabwe), before attending Trinity College, Dublin and Manchester University, where he received his MA degree.

He married Helen Jay, daughter of the late Labour cabinet minister Douglas Jay. They have three children.


He joined the Bank of England in 1973 and remained until 1977, when he left to work for The Economist magazine.[citation needed] He was the magazine's editor from 1986 until 1993.[1] Between 1993-95, he again joined the Bank of England as Deputy Governor of the bank, under the governorship of Edward George.[citation needed]

He resigned in March 1995, following disclosure of his affair with a journalist, Mary Ellen Synon, which allegedly compromised his position at the Bank, after he had entertained her in his office.[2] He complained at the time about tabloid intrusion in the private lives of those in public positions.[citation needed]

In 1995 he became a director of Canadian mining company, Sherritt International.[citation needed] In March 1996, he was banned from the USA (along with his wife and under-age children) because of Sherritt's commercial interests in Cuba, under the terms of the USA's Helms-Burton Act.[citation needed] He said, 'It is a great sadness to me. I have spent many years of my life expressing admiration for the US. I used to go there 15 or 20 times a year. The majority of those visits were for business, but some were not. My son is able to go, since he reached 18 and sought permission to re-enter but we cannot go as a family.'[citation needed]

Pennant-Rea was chairman of the British Stationery Office following its privatisation in 1996.[citation needed] In 1994 he became a member of the influential Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty. He was a British American Tobacco director from 1998-2007.[citation needed]

He was Chairman of Henderson Group and a non- executive director of Go-Ahead Group, First Quantum, Gold Fields and Hotshild Mining.[citation needed]

Pennant-Rea was appointed as non-executive chairman in July 2009 of The Economist Group, having served as a non-executive director since August 2006.[citation needed] He is also Chairman of Royal London[3] and a director of the Times Newspapers.[4]

Pennant-Rea chairs the board of trustees for the UK's largest youth drama festival, the Shakespeare Schools Festival.[citation needed]

Rupert Pennant-Rea is also a trustee at Speakers Trust, the UK's leading public speaking training charity.[5]

He has also written a series of books about economics and a novel, Gold Foil.[citation needed]

Preceded by
Andrew Knight
Editor of The Economist
Succeeded by
Bill Emmott


  1. ^ Tryhorn, Chris (22 June 2009). "Job cuts help lift Economist Group profits". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  2. ^ A thoroughly modern mistress | The Independent
  3. ^ "Royal London Announces New Chairman". London: Royal London. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Greenslade, Roy (2 March 2011). "Another Murdoch joins The Times board - with a retired spy". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Our Trustees