Britain’s Prince Andrew, a member of the British royal family, has appointed his friend, Swedish billionaire, Johan Eliasch, as a director of his project to promote entrepreneurs.
Eliasch, sports equipment tycoon, will be able to add his considerable business expertise to the position on the Prince’s initiative, Pitch@Palace.
The project was launched by Prince Andrew in 2014 to provide a platform for young entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses to network and seek advice.
Eliasch, 57, is an eco-campaigner and chairman and chief executive of Head, the international sporting goods group and renowned also for co-founding Cool Earth, a charity he co-chairs, which helps to conserve endangered rainforest.
He also in 2007 served as a special representative to then Prime Minister Gordon Brown between 2007 and 2010 and advised on deforestation and green energy. He also served in many different roles for the Conservatives.
His friendship with the Duke of York stretches back to the 1990s.
In 2007, Andrew flew in Eliasch’s private jet to stay with the tycoon in Brazil and enjoyed golf and dinner parties.
The long-time friends were pictured in 2000 while enjoying holiday on the Thai island of Phuket, riding jet-skis.
Sources stressed that Eliasch, who was invited to join the Pitch@Palace team personally by Prince Andrew – was chosen for his expertise, contacts and experience.
The project was founded by the Duke ‘to provide a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs’. It has helped to create nearly 6,000 jobs in 62 countries.
Eliasch Has dual Swedish and British citizenship.