Over half (54 per cent) voted the Virgin magnate top of a list of London business icons above the likes of Sir Alan Sugar (15 per cent), Vivienne Westwood (nine per cent), Sir Phillip Green (four per cent), Mohamed Al Fayed (two per cent) and Peter Stringfellow (one per cent). In addition, Branson topped a diverse line-up of inspirational ‘business heroes’ that placed tech luminaries Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, billionaire investor Warren Buffett and eco tycoon Dale Vince alongside the survey respondents’ own friends, family, colleagues and mentors.
Darrell Sansom, Managing Director at AXA Business Insurance, suggested that Sir Richard’s ongoing popularity with the small business community is thanks to his impact across a range of industries and his ability to connect with people at all levels:.
“Sir Richard Branson tops polls such as this one time and again, and the business success he’s enjoyed in a range of different sectors and industries is clearly a key reason for his sustained profile. But I think there’s much more than that.
“Clearly Sir Richard has enjoyed business success on a phenomenal scale, and he’s reaped the financial rewards for this. Of course he is celebrated for his wealth and success, yet he’s also widely recognised for his ability to reimagine what’s possible, and for making his vision a reality in a personable, authentic and ‘human’ way that excites others rather than puts them off.
“He has built a powerful personal brand around his experience, expertise, actions and values that has established him as a business authority and a ‘likeable’ character. People feel they can connect with him – and that’s something that money can’t buy.”
Full press release on www.axa.co.uk