Robert was a founder of the Virgin Group and has subsequently chaired amongst others:
- Soho House
- Big Sleep Hotels
- The New First Company
- The Conduit
He founded the African Arts Trust in 2011 and is a collector of art mainly from the Africa continent. He was the first Chair of the Tate’s African Acquisition Committee, a governor of The South Bank Centre, is deputy Chairman of Workplace Foundation and a member of the ICA council.