Barry Stephen Townsley CBE
(born 14 October 1946
) is a British
stockbroker and philanthropist. He sold his stockbroking business, Townsley & Co., to the Dutch private bank Insinger de Beaufort
. In June 2005 he set up a financial services venture, Dawnay Day Townsley.
He is married to Laura Wolfson, daughter of Leonard Wolfson, Baron Wolfson of the GUS retail company. He was a governor of the Weizmann Institute of Science, and supporter of The Israel Center for Social & Economic Progress.
Galloping Major scandal
Barry Townsley and Ronnie Jacobson were barred from the Stock Exchange for six months for "gross misconduct" in 1981. Jacobson Townsley had been one of the broking firms used by Sir Trevor Dawson, who used clients' funds to trade on his own account. Dawson was a colourful character whose love of horse racing
led to his nickname, the "Galloping Major".
Townsley was investigated by the Financial Services Authority
after buying 500,000 Railtrack
shares for a client in March 2002, days before Transport Secretary Stephen Byers announced that the Government would be rescuing the firm. No action was taken.
"Cash for peerages"
He was a member and supporter of the Labour Party, recorded as donating "more than £5,000" before 2001 and £6,000 since 2001. He also donated £10,000 to the London Mayoral campaign of Frank Dobson.
Described as "colourful" by The Sunday Times, Townsley was involved in the so-called "cash for peerages" scandal in March 2006, in which it was revealed that he had lent £1m to the Labour Party at the solicitation of Lord Levy, and contributed £1.5m to a City Academy in Hillingdon. He was nominated for a peerage shortly after making the loan, but in February 2006 he withdrew from the nomination on the grounds of press intrusion into his private life.
He was also connected with Crown Corporation Limited (now Langbar International
), the largest share fraud on a listed company of the London Stock Exchange
and his company Insinger Townsley (now Insinger de Beaufort) was Crown's broker at the Initial Public Offer and supplied with a copy of the Proximal Report by Banque SCS Alliance, which proved that Crown's key asset was fake. Townsley was due to become the vice chairman of Crown Oil, a subsidiary of Crown/Langbar, but as with the other Langbar ventures, this failed. He resigned from the company in January 2005.
He was due to give evidence at the Royal Courts of Justice in the case of Langbar International Limited v Mariusz Rybak and others that started in the High Court on 12 November 2007. However, the court was informed on 3 March 2008 that he was unable to give testimony to corroberate his witness statement following the loss of his father on 14th Feburary 2008.