Mr de Gelsey received the Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic for setting up the Royal Catholic University Public School Foundation as well as his multi-faceted support activity aimed at improving Hungarian public education.
Together with his brother Alexander de Gelsey, Mr Gelsey played a major role in having 320-year-old Royal Catholic University Public School – banned from operating in 1948 – reinstated in its original building. The Gelsey brothers established the Royal Catholic University Public School Foundation which contributed HUF 100 million to the modernisation of the building. Mr Gelsey personally provided the 15% own risk of one of the grants as well as financed the preparatory phase.
The renowned investment banker was elected Member of the Richter Board in 1995 and has acted as its Chairman since 1999. Mr Gelsey’s efforts to promote educational projects set an example for Richter as well and had a major role in turning the company into a dedicated supporter of Hungarian education. Since its foundation in 1901, Gedeon Richter Plc. builds on Hungarian expertise accumulated over generations, since it believes that well-trained, innovation-oriented experts are vital to development. Therefore, one of the cornerstones of Gedeon Richter’s strategy is the support of education and the retention of talented youth at the company and in Hungary in general.
Gedeon Richter Plc. congratulates William de Gelsey, Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, upon presentation of this prestigious state award.
William de Gelsey
William de Gelsey, a British subject, the son of the late Baron & Baroness Henry de Gelsey, was educated at the Royal Catholic University Public School (KirKat), Budapest, and received an MA degree in Natural Sciences from Trinity College, Cambridge. He obtained his industrial experience with Imperial Chemical Industries followed by Management Consulting.
In 1960 Mr de Gelsey changed for a merchant banking career. First as the Managing Director of Hill Samuel & Co., followed by Deputy Chairman of Orion Royal Bank, a multinational investment bank. In 1988 he moved to Vienna to be the Senior Advisor to the Board of Creditanstalt, today’s UniCredit.
Following the privatisation of Gedeon Richter, Budapest, in 1994 by Creditanstalt’s Hungarian subsidiary, he was invited to join the Board of Richter in 1995 and was made its Chairman 12 years ago.
The Late Pope John Paul II made Mr de Gelsey a “Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great” (KCSG) in 2005 for his services to the Church in having played a significant role in making it possible for the 320 year old Catholic School “KirKat” which was forced to cease to function between 1948 and 2004. Today it is back in its original building with 600 pupils being educated under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest.
Mr de Gelsey was presented with a medal “For Services to the Hungarian Economy” by the Hungarian Republic’s Minister for National Development and Economy in 2009.