The man who dumped the Dome
Guy Hands made his name at Nomura International buying pubs. However it was his move for the Millennium Dome, followed by his decision to drop the bid, that brought him into the public consciousness in the UK. With the Dome already fading into the distance, Hands’ Principal Finance Group is dusting itself off and looking for other business ventures to invest in. He tells Julian Marshall why his great white hope turned into a white elephant and what his plans are now
Everyone in the UK now knows that Guy Hands works 18-hour days and earns himself multi-million pound pay cheques. They also know that he works for a Japanese bank called Nomura.
People know of him because Hands decided to get involved with the Millennium Dome, the London tourist attraction that has turned into one of the most expensive cock-ups in British history.
As soon as Hands said he could make something of the Dome, he stepped out of the cloistered world of finance and straight onto newspaper front pages.
Hands and his Principal Finance Group at Nomura International have done some high-profile deals in the past. He had already gained a certain amount of notoriety through his acquisition of Annington Homes, from the Ministry of Defence and his purchase of Angel Trains.
However nothing could match the intense scrutiny focused on the Dome, the focal point of London's Millennium celebrations and a bottomless pit for public funds ever since.
Despite problems at the Dome from its first day, Nomura was prepared to put up a winning £105 million($153 million) bid to take it over when the millennium year closed.