Virgin’s Pursuit: Sir Richard Branson’s Dilemmas in Creating a Presence in Retail Financial Services

Case Solution

Bernardo Batiz-Lazo, Kimio Kase
IESE ()

In the forty years to 2010, Sir Richard Branson (born 1950) of the Virgin Group went from a high school dropout to a billionaire and a world legend. The establishment of more than 300 business interests as far away as Great Britain, South Africa, Australia and the US was the result of a unique management style. Branson and the Virgin brand often associate music (such as records and music stores) and travel (airlines, trains, and booked vacations), but between August 2007 and February 2008 they were involved in a failed acquisition of Northern Rock, a British bank. collapsed. However, as this case study details, Virgin Group was eager to enter the financial industry. The Northern Rock Affair was one of a long series of steps dating back to the 1980s that saw Branson and Virgin develop skills to enter the UK retail banking sector.

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