Shaper: Ben Elliot encore

Show aired on 30th June 2018

Ben Elliot

Quintessentially, a company engaged in the provision of concierge and luxury lifestyle management services through a network of subsidiaries, was founded in 2000 by Ben Elliot, Aaron Simpson and Paul Drummond. Co-Founder Aaron Simpson has said that the business idea came after Elton John asked him to go and buy Christmas cracker fillers, giving him a “few hundred thousand pounds in cash” to do so. The task, which was for a dinner party of 12, inspired him to think: “Why not create a company for time poor but cash rich people?” Aaron met lawyer Paul while studying at Oxford and was later introduced to Ben through Tom Parker Bowles. The trio created Quintessentially as a way to “access the inaccessible in London.” Concurrent to his role as co-founder, Ben is a non-executive Director of YouGov plc as well as a Co-Founder and Partner at Hawthorn, a corporate communications and reputation management consultancy. In addition, Ben is a Trustee of the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Eranda Rothschild Foundation and sits on the Board of the Royal Albert Hall. Ben is also Chairman of the Quintessentially Foundation, the grant giving arm of the Quintessentially Group.

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“I’ve been working hard –to be a good husband and father. When you become a father you really do look differently at the world you live in.”

“If you have a good business and have committed people who work for you and the customers, it’s brilliant to bring them to places and charities you think are important.”

“The City of London has huge social problems. I think businesses should partner with charities to accelerate their progress and success.”

“Work hard and be nice to people – and enjoy yourself.”

“We have put our junior people in more senior positions. As the business gets bigger, of course there are more challenges, but our young talent has been given the right opportunities and responsibility.”

“I’ve always been philanthropic. When I did a paper round I didn’t want to do it for just my village, but three villages over.”

“I’ve considered being a Politician. I feel very politically committed.”

“If I think I can be more effective to drive social change outside of politics, then I’ll do that. If I think I can make more change as a politician, then I’ll do that.”

“I’ve learnt so much. I was intimidated when I went to my first Board meeting at the V&A, but unless you’re prepared to roll up your sleeves and make a difference, there’s no point in being there.”

“If you gave 3-4 extra days for your staff to volunteer, then, your staff, particularly millennial staff, will think better of you and be more productive.”