SCOTTISH Labour peer Lord Sandy Leitch, named as Kimberley Quinn's "fourth man", is planning a new career as chairman of an embryonic financial services company.
The 58-year-old son of a Dunfermline coal miner has raised 30 million in finance from heavyweights Royal Bank of Scotland, Friends Provident and others, and is aiming to launch his "Intrinsic" operation in the New Year, with a staff of about 30 based in London.
His present jobs include directorships of Lloyds TSB, BUPA and United Business Media, while he is chairing a review of skills, education and productivity for the government.
"I have financial services in my blood and I see in the country both a need and an opportunity," he said at the weekend. "I am a completely driven person so I want to create something."
Leitch made his reputation as a 21-year-old when he helped build up the Hambro Life group (later to become Allied Dunbar), which was sold to British American Tobacco and eventually became part of the insurance giant Zurich.
He retained close links with the business after stepping down as a regional chief last year. Former Zurich executives Henry Ronaldson and Wallace Dobbing are also taking key roles at the new Intrinsic company, which is is being advised by corporate financiers at Lexicon Partners.
The new business is intended to advise retail customers as well as the business market on areas such as savings, life insurance and bonds.
Away from business life, Leitch recently emerged as a former lover of Kimberley Quinn, alongside her husband, David Blunkett and Simon Hoggart.
But the "brief friendship" was seven years ago, when both were between marriages. Leitch is now happily married to his second wife. He says he has not talked about Quinn to Blunkett, although the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions remains a friend.
Other prominent friends include Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, and Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, while Leitch shares an office at the House of Lords with former Labour MP Lord Foster and with Lord Griffiths who heads the Methodist Church.
He sees his new company as a way for individuals to access advice and take responsibility for their finances, pointing out that only 40 per cent of families have life assurance.
Apart from his business and political activities, Lord Leitch is a keen collector of antiquarian books and Scottish landscape paintings. Brought up by his mother and his grandfather at the village of Oakley following the death of his father when he was three, he is also a lifelong follower of Dunfermline Athletic.
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