Robert Devereux

Deputy Chair

After graduating from Cambridge University, Robert Devereux worked with Amnesty International and Macmillan Publishers before joining Virgin in 1980 as Richard Branson’s partner.  He established the entertainment division of the company of which he was Chairman, which included the creation of Virgin Vision, in its day Europe’s leading film and video producer and distributor, the launching of Virgin Radio, Virgin Net, Virgin Interactive Entertainment and masterminding the purchase of Virgin Cinemas.In 1996 Robert sold his interests in Virgin in order to concentrate on his family, leisure investments and his charitable activities.  He has been Chairman of Soho House plc, The Big Sleep Hotels Ltd., Frieze Events and magazines Ltd, New Forests Holdings Ltd and the Tate’s African Acquisition Committee.


His non-commercial interests include the Portobello Trust, Save the Rhino International, Westside School and Kuona Trust.  He has established The African Arts Trust, which through its grant making will support professional practicing artists trying to make a livelihood out of art in Africa.  He is on the advisory board of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, Catalyst Partners a Nairobi based private equity firm and the Global Advidsory Council Board of Ifa Lethu, a Tshware based non-profit foundation.  He has been a Governor of The South Bank Centre, a Founding Director of the Central London Training and Enterprise Council and a Founding Director of North Kensington City Challenge.


Robert spends much of his time now working with young entrepreneurs helping creating new business. These range from a new toothpaste brand and a re-entry into the music business to digital production and desktop manufacturing. He spends a significant amount of time in East Africa, where he owns a house in Lamu in Northern Kenya, and is involved in a number of community and commercial projects.  He is also a passionate collector of modern and contemporary British art and African art and has formed, in partnership with friends, the Daraja collection.