(Bloomberg) -- Peter Hargreaves is expanding his family office to put to work his growing fortune held outside of Hargreaves Lansdown Plc, the investment platform that’s made him one of the world’s richest people. The British businessman, who’s worth about $4 billion, has sold 850 million pounds ($1.2 billion) of Hargreaves Lansdown stock since the start of last year. Prior to that, he hadn’t offloaded shares in the investment firm since its 2007 initial public offering. Hargreaves, who co-founded it with Stephen Lansdown in 1981, still owns about 20% of the company.
In recent years, Hargreaves has backed London-based money manager Blue Whale Capital and donated 100 million pounds of Hargreaves Lansdown stock to set up a foundation. Hargreaves, 75, said in a phone interview he’s also taken stakes in private-equity funds, something that continues to be of interest, and has plans for his “embryonic” family office.
“We are expanding,” Hargreaves said, adding that he’s now considering his family office’s investing focus.
The former accountant hasn’t named his family office, the catchall phrase for firms that manage the financial affairs of the wealthy.
“We don’t have a name for it -- it’s just our family office,” he said.
Hargreaves left the company’s board in 2015, five years after stepping down as chief executive officer of the Bristol, England-based firm.
The company pioneered the business of helping retail investors buy funds and shares. Hargreaves Lansdown’s stock has returned more than 800% since it began trading publicly, though its shares slumped during 2019 when one of four of its clients was exposed to the collapse of Neil Woodford’s flagship fund.
Hargreaves sold 550 million pounds worth of Hargreaves Lansdown stock in February 2020 as part of long-term financial planning and another 300 million pounds a year later. He’s used some of the proceeds to bet on U.S. tech shares through Blue Whale, which launched in 2017 with 25 million pounds from Hargreaves. Led by Stephen Yiu, it now manages assets totaling about 1 billion pounds, with more than 200 million from the Hargreaves family.
The family foundation has supported education, food and sport programs, according to its website.
Hargreaves set up the company that still makes up about half his wealth in his spare bedroom. It now has more than 1,500 employees and reported assets on its platform of 136 billion pounds for the year ended June 2021, an increase of about 30% from 12 months before. “I enjoyed every moment,” he said on his time at the firm. “I had fantastic people working for me.”
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