James Palumbo, Baron Palumbo of Southwark

James "Jamie" Rudolph Palumbo, Baron Palumbo of Southwark (born 6 June 1963) is a British entrepreneur, author and politician. He was listed in the Sunday Times Rich List 2018 in 359th place with an estimated fortune of £350 million.[1] The eldest son of property developer Peter Palumbo, Baron Palumbo, Jamie was born in London and educated at Eton College and Worcester College, Oxford.[2]

The Lord Palumbo of Southwark
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
2 October 2013
Life Peerage
Personal details
James Rudolph Palumbo

(1963-06-06) 6 June 1963
London, England
Political partyLiberal Democrats
ResidenceLondon, England
OccupationEntrepreneur, author, politician
Net worth £350 million (Est. 2018)

Early career

From 1984 to 1992, Palumbo worked in the City of London for Merrill Lynch and Morgan Grenfell in equity capital markets and property finance.[3]

Ministry of Sound

In September 1991 Palumbo, together with his school friend Humphrey Waterhouse and DJ Justin Berkmann, founded the Ministry of Sound nightclub in South London. Initially Palumbo lost control of the club to drug dealers, and a fight to regain control ensued.[4] Ministry of Sound has expanded into a number of areas including recorded music, live events, digital media and merchandise. Ministry of Sound Recordings has sold over 70 million albums and is the largest independent music company in the world.[5] In 2001 Palumbo sold 16% of the business to 3i for £24 million, which he subsequently reacquired.[6] In 2016 he sold Ministry of Sound Recordings to the Sony Music Group for $104 million.[7] Publishing, live events, merchandise, and the London club remain part of the group.

Family disputes

In 1994 he launched legal proceedings against his father with his sister, Annabella Adams, claiming his father had mismanaged the family trust,[8] subsequently his father resigned as a trustee.[9] In 2010 new proceedings were launched relating to another family trust,[10] his father also resigned from this trust and paid legal fees.[11]

Life peerage

Following the 2010 election Palumbo helped reorganise Lib Dem headquarters to make the party more efficient in Government.[12] Palumbo is a major donor to the Liberal Democrats.[13] In October 2013, Palumbo was created a life peer taking the title Baron Palumbo of Southwark, of Southwark, in the London Borough of Southwark.[14]

Bon Jardin DRC, Nakhon Nayok Province, Thailand

In 2017 he opened an animal sanctuary with Rawipim Paijit, focussed on spay and neuter, rescue and rehabilitation and education and community awareness.[15]


His debut novel about corruption in the modern world, Tomas, was published in 2009.[16] Stephen Fry called the novel "remarkable... It's as if Thomas Pynchon and Burroughs and Vonnegut got together and had a bastard love child."[17] His second novel, Tancredi, about short termism in politics, was published in 2011.

Personal life

He lives in London with his Thai friend of thirty years, Miss Rawipim Paijit.[3] He has a son, Alessandro, born in 1991 to Atoosa Hariri.[2]

Titles and styles


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