Video Transcript

00:08 Richard Branson: Well, I mean if you take the space program as an example, I mean, obviously if you're a government-run space program and you have a disaster, you can afford to most likely get through that disaster and continue... Keep going. If you're a private company and you have a disaster in the space program, depending on what stage the disaster comes, how early on in the progress, it could do major damage to the program. So, I think you just have to go into it with your eyes open and you have to do everything you can to try to avoid those disasters. NASA lose 3% of all the people they put into space. A private program can't afford to lose anybody, really. So I mean, it's...

01:02 Branson: As a group of companies, we protect ourselves against a catastrophe happening in any one of our companies by having 300 separate limited companies. So, if we had the rogue trader one of our companies or if we had a disaster in one of our companies, it's not gonna bring the rest of the Virgin Group crashing down. And so, we have firewalls between each company. Fortunately, we've never let a company go bust and if a company does have problems, because our reputation is everything, we'll put our hands in our pocket and bail it out rather, than suffer the reputational damage of letting it go bust. But I think you have to realize that if you're doing these big ventures, the downside is much bigger because most likely the investment's gonna be that much bigger of it going wrong and you have to take that into account.

Published on: Nov 6, 2012