Lord Jonathan Kestenbaum
Chief Operating Officer of RIT Capital Partners plc and a Labour Member of the House of Lords
Lord Jonathan Kestenbaum was born on 5 August 1959 in Tokyo, Japan. Both his parents' families fled Nazi Germany – first to the United States, then Japan. The family moved to the UK in 1964 when he was five years old.
Lord Kestenbaum is a great-grandson of Joseph Breuer and a great-great-great-grandson of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. He graduated from LSE where he read Economics and Anthropology and then pursued postgraduate study at Cambridge University in the Department of Anthropology. He completed an MA in Education at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and was subsequently awarded a research scholarship in Education at the Hebrew University.
On his return to the UK, Kestenbaum earned an MBA with distinction from the Cass Business School. He is a graduate of the Cabinet Office Top Management Programme and a graduate of the Strategic Agility Programme at Harvard Business School. He has an Honorary Doctorate in Technology from the University of Plymouth and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art.
He was Chief Executive of the Office of the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and then Chief Executive of the United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA).He has also represented Britain at the Maccabi Games for football, worked as Chief of Staff to Sir Ronald Cohen, the Chairman of Apax Partners and was founding Chief Executive of The Portland Trust. In 2005 he became Chief Executive of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).
In 2010 he was appointed Chairman of Five Arrows Ltd and subsequently became chief operating officer of RIT Capital Partners plc. He chairs the board of directors of The Capital Holdings Funds (EDR Group), as well as serving on the Board of Windmill Hill Asset Management. In December 2013, Kestenbaum was installed as Chancellor of Plymouth University. Kestenbaum was created a Labour life peer in January 2011.