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FB Roundup: Jacqueline Gold, Charles Schwab, Mario Lopez Estrada

In this week’s FB Roundup, tributes are paid to Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold; Billionaire broker Charles Schwab loses $2.9 billion in SVB collapse; and Guatemala's first billionaire, Mario Lopez Estrada, dies aged 84.
Jacqueline Gold, the British entrepreneur who was the executive chair of Gold Group International, Ann Summers and Knickerbox.

Tributes paid to Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold
Jacqueline Gold, the British entrepreneur who was the executive chair of Gold Group International, Ann Summers and Knickerbox, has passed away at the age of 62, following a seven-year battle with breast cancer.

The 16th richest woman in Great Britain (worth £470 million in 2019, according to The Sunday Times Rich List) died just two months after the passing of her 86-year-old father, David, a businessman and co-chairman of West Ham United football club.

“It is with unspeakable sadness that Ann Summers confirm our amazing executive chair Jacqueline Gold CBE passed away yesterday evening with her husband Dan, daughter Scarlett, sister Vanessa and brother-in-law Nick by her side,” said a family statement.

“Jacqueline courageously battled stage four breast cancer for seven years and was an absolute warrior throughout her cancer journey,” said her sister Vanessa.

Gold, who was made a CBE in 2016 for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise, was best known for growing the lingerie retailer Ann Summers into a successful high street chain, after her father David brought the brand with his brother Ralph in 1972.

Jacqueline Gold joined the business on an internship in 1981 and pioneered numerous innovations to make Anne Summers a household name in the UK. She took over as chief executive of Ann Summers in 1987 and continued to lead the business as executive chair, alongside her sister Vanessa, who is now chief executive officer.

“She absolutely paved the way for women to feel empowered in the bedroom and the boardroom and really brought female sexuality into the mainstream,” said Lucy Litwack, chief executive of Coco de Mer, in an interview with the BBC. “It was her vision and championing of women, that I found so inspiring, that I think will be her legacy.”

Billionaire broker Charles Schwab loses $3 billion in SVB collapse
Charles Schwab, the billionaire founder of American multinational financial services company The Charles Schwab Corporation, has seen his personal net worth drop by $3 billion following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

The 85-year-old’s net worth is down more than that of any other US billionaire this year and is the steepest drop since he appeared on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index more than ten years ago. However, with a new net worth standing at $9.99 billion, he is still the world’s 183rd-richest person, and his firm is keen to assuage any portfolio fears.

“Schwab’s long-standing reputation as a safe port in a storm remains intact, driven by record-setting business performance, a conservative balance sheet, a strong liquidity position and a diversified base of 34 million+ account holders who invest with Schwab every day,” said a statement by Schwab and company chief executive officer, Walt Bettinger. “As such, we remain confident in our approach and in our ability to help clients through all kinds of economic environments.”

Much of Schwab’s fortune is derived from a 6% stake in his eponymous company, where he serves as chairman.

Guatemala's first billionaire dies aged 84
Mario Lopez Estrada, the Guatemalan telecommunications businessman who held the honour of being his home country’s first-ever billionaire, has died at the age of 84.

The president and main shareholder of mobile phone service provider company Tigo Guatemala, Lopez is said to have passed of natural causes, according to a statement from Grupo Onyx, a conglomerate with interests in real estate and energy established by the billionaire.

Lopez’s grandfather was the dictator Manuel Estrada Cabrera, who ruled Guatemala for 22 years before being overthrown in 1920. A former government minister himself, Lopez built his wealth after Guatemala’s state telecommunications system was privatised in the 1980s.

A fruitful partnership with mobile phone carrier Millicom International Cellular SA resulted in a $2.2 billion payday (according to Forbes) when Lopez sold his stake in 2021.

“I am somewhat affluent,” he said in a 2014 interview. “What’s important is to not stay in the comfort zone.”

Lopez was also the founder and president of the board of directors of Tigo Foundation, an organisation supporting children in Guatemala with healthcare, education and sports.

Lopez is survived by his son, Mario, Grupo Onyx’s current chief executive officer, and daughters Mariana and Gabriela, who also sit on Grupo Onyx’s board.

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