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Ivan Massow welcomed to York

Posted on 10 November 2015

Businessman, gay rights campaigner and media personality Ivan Massow will speak at the student-run York Union this week.

Ivan Massow (credit: Rory Flint)

Massow, founder of the multi-million pound Massow Financial Services and former Chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Art, will speak about his rags to riches story.

Offering financial services to gay people, Massow founded Massow Financial Services in a London squat using just a mobile phone at the age of 23. Seven years later, the company was one of the UK’s largest financial advice firms, valued at £20 million.

In 2003 however, Massow’s business stopped trading and he lost a high-profile £13 million court case with Zurich, having accused them of homophobia. Leaving the UK for Spain, he returned in 2011 and became involved in Tory politics, narrowly missing selection for the Conservative Party London mayoral shortlist this year.

Martin Vander Weyer, Business Editor at The Spectator and Patron of the York Union, said: “Ivan Massow might have stepped out of the pages of a novel by Martin Amis or Will Self. The product of a broken home life and a fractured education, he turned himself into a serial entrepreneur, foxhunting Tory, gay rights campaigner, patron of contemporary art, would-be mayor of London and survivor of everything life could throw at him. Truly a 21st Century man, Ivan has a fascinating and remarkable story to tell.”

Founded in 2013, the York Union has hosted guests including Jon Snow, Adam Boulton, Alastair Campbell, Jonathan Powell, Baroness Scotland, Dominic Grieve, Shami Chakrabarti and Lord Robert Winston. Panel debates have discussed topics as diverse as religion, the happiness agenda, Thatcherism, immigration and the welfare state.

Ivan Massow’s event takes place at the University of York’s Ron Cooke Hub on Heslington East campus, 6.30pm – 8.00pm on Thursday 12 November.

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