Peter Shalson left Hendon County School at just 16, like many other successful UK business men he started out within the sales industry and his business sense escalated from there.
At 52 Shalson is one of the UK’s most experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business investors. He first sold encyclopaedias, door to door, to save enough money for his first car. His first taste of success started in the mid 1970’s working as a clothes hanger salesman in London. Here his potential for making ‘it big’ within this industry quickly grew .
Braitrim was then a small manufacturing company making clothes hangers for the trade, which Shalson bought with a £10k down payment in 1978. The next 20 years saw Shalson build this small company into an international packaging manufacturing brand. In 1998 Braitrim was sold to Mercury Asset Management (a private equity arm of Merrill Lynch), for £85million, Shalson retaining a 20% stake of the company. He disposed of this holding in 2001 when Mercury sold Braitrim to ‘Spotless Group’, an Australian business service for £120million.
In 2004 Peter Shalson expanded his ever growing business interests and investments and decided to venture into the pub industry. Initially acquiring approximately 20 pubs Shalson then built up a portfolio under the name ‘Pubfolio’- the biggest acquisition being 545 pubs in 2005 for an estimated £162.5million from Punch Taverns. Thus bringing the Pubfolio’s investment value up to £250m and some 800 pubs on their books. In 2004 Pubfolio ‘sprang from no where’ and became number 10 in the UK’s largest pub estate, the day to day running of such is done out of Country Estate Management whilst the directors of the company are focusing more deals in the City.
With the exception of the pub industry Mr Shalson has various other interests. In 2001 he founded ‘Brightview’ which focused his interest within the internet technology sector. Brightview quickly became the UK’s most successful privately owned Internet Service Provider and was sold in 2004 for £25m to Invox.
In 2003 he joined as Chairman for Consolidated Equity, which is a highly profitable, privately-funded company that provides 100% backing for property deals with professionals and entrepreneurs.
Mr Shalson’s next investment in 2005 was within the Sky TV market and acquired ‘PitchTV’ a television and online shopping channel business. The slogan for the company being ‘its’ clever, it’s simple, it works!’, Pitch TV focuses on selling several niche products , 24 hours a day seven days a week and since December 2009, Shalson has turned from Investor to taking an active role in the running of the company. In 2006, he also bought into two gaming channels and an entertainment channel.
In 2007 Peter Shalson bought the majority stake in TradIndex , which was founded in 2002 as an online spread bet trading platform. He re-branded the company as ETX Capital. Responsible for several hundred million £s of client deposits, ETX is constantly growing into a highly regarded financial spread betting company within the City and offers clients’ access to 1000s of global instruments from a single trading account over the phone or online.
In 2007, Peter Shalson was approached by 2 good friends who persuaded him to invest £2m into a new soft drinks business called Hopper, developing the new soft brew category. By the end of 2009 , soft brew was successfully selling in Marks and Spencer and in May 2010 it achieved a Waitrose listing. Shalson is convinced that The Juice Brewery (founding company) is destined for global success.
For personal interests, Shalson has devoted time to supporting and raising funds for a number of different charities, including the well-regarded Osteopathic Centre for Children, a special school for autistic children in London. Shalson’s biggest single donation is the £1.5 million sponsorship of ‘The London Academy’, a City Academy based in Edgware, which is a ‘non-selective, mixed, all ability Academy’ and is based in North London. Having been acknowledged by Ofsted to be the one of the most successful academies in the UK, rising from 9th from bottom in the national league tables ten years ago, is now achieving 63% of GCSE results with grades A-C. This places the academy within the top 10% of the national schools’results table. He is also a past member of the Development Board of the Prince’s Trust, also having served on the Advisory Council of the Trust with Sir Angus Ogilvy.
Another charity that Peter Shalson has been hugely active with is ‘The Presidents Club’. The charity mostly raises money for sick children, amongst other charities.
Under Shalson’s Chairmanship, the success of the charity has meant that it has been able to donate many millions of pounds to worthy causes. Pete Shalson, when it comes to helping children’s charities is consistently generous and willing to give all the help he can. Recently working with the Presidents Club on the Royal Marsden Hospital to help build Europe’s leading Children’s and Teenage Cancer Centre. Going into their 26th year Shalson continues to give his support in every way he can to help those in need.
Outside of business and helping others, Peter Shalson lives in St.Johns Wood, London with his wife Polly and four daughters. He says that the most worthwhile thing he has ever done is to have built The London Academy, which continues to be dedicated to improving the lives of thousands of students from disadvantaged backgrounds by offering them educational opportunity and facilities that they would never have had the benefit of.