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Sir Julian Hodge (October 15, 1904 - July 17, 2004) was a London-born entrepreneur and banker who lived in Wales for most of his life, from the age of five. He formed the Bank of Wales (originally known as the Commercial Bank of Wales), and later the Julian Hodge Bank in Cardiff.

Background and beginnings

As the son of a plumber, he came from humble beginnings. At the age of five he moved with his family to Pontllanfraith, in the South Wales Valleys and within the South Wales coalfield. He left school from the Lewis School Pengam at age 13 but his mother encouraged him to read classic novels and recite poetry to further his education. His first job was as an assistant in a chemist's shop. He joined the Great Western Railway as a junior clerk in 1920 and studied accountancy in his spare time, qualifying as a corporate accountant in 1930. He went into business for himself as an account in 1934.[1] Married to Moira Thomas in 1951, he had 3 children; Jane, Robert and Jonathan Hodge.[1]

He was well known as a philanthropist, using much of his fortune for charity work including setting up the Jane Hodge Foundation in memory of his mother and as a benefactor for Cardiff University from 1970 onwards (one of the halls of residence now bears his name - Hodge Hall). In the late 1990s he did not, contrary to popular belief, fund the "Just Say No" campaign against devolution ahead of a referendum for the Welsh Assembly, which was chaired by his son Robert, however he did support their cause, as did the late George Thomas Viscount Tonypandy. Later he was involved with the Euro-Know campaign opposed to the introduction of the euro in the UK.

In the 2004 Sunday Times rich list his fortune was estimated at £48 Million, making him the 18th richest person in Wales, and the oldest of Britain's 1,000 richest people.

He died peacefully at his home on Jersey, 3 months short of his 100th birthday.

Cardiff Business School (Cardiff University) also has a building named 'Julian Hodge' in Colum Drive, Cardiff. The site comprises one 400 seat lecture theatre, several meeting rooms and a large computer suite hosting 205 workstations. Adajecent to the site is the Aberconway building, the associated Business and Economics School. There are also numerous professorships bearing his name, for example the Sir Julian Hodge Professor of Banking and Finance, the Sir Julian Hodge Professor in Marketing and Strategy (both at Cardiff Business School), the Sir Julian Hodge Professor of Accounting (School of Management and Business, Aberystwyth) and the Sir Julian Hodge Chair in Asset Finance Law (Swansea).


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