Lord Digby Jones
After Dinner & Event Speaker (in association with SpeakOut)
He made Partner at Edge and Ellison in 1984 and it was in corporate finance and client development that he made his name. He was responsible for developing the firm's London presence and establishing its representation in many European countries and several states in America. He was involved in most of the major management buy-outs and merger and acquisition activity in the West Midlands in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was made Deputy Senior Partner in 1990, becoming the Firm's Senior Partner in 1995.
In 1998 he joined KPMG as vice chairman of Corporate Finance, acting as close adviser to many public companies across the United Kingdom and in KPMG's global markets.
Digby served as Director-General of the CBI, the Confederation of British Industry, the UK's 'Voice of Business', from 1 January 2000 to 30 June 2006 where he regularly visited businesses in the UK and worldwide taking their views back to those who make the rules. During his appointment he took the British business message to 70 different countries, internationalising the organisation and opening CBI offices in Washington DC and Beijing..
Following his departure from the CBI he held a number of senior corporate advisory positions Senior Advisor to the Executive of Deloitte Senior Advisor to Barclays Capital Corporate and Governmental Affairs Advisor to Ford of Europe and its Premier Automotive Group Senior Advisor to JCB Special Advisor to His Royal Highness the Duke of York in connection with his role as the UK Special Representative for International Trade & Investment Senior Advisor to Computer Science Corporation inc., Member of the Advisory Board of Monitise Ltd Member of the Advisory Board of Thales (UK) Ltd Advisor to Hugh James, Solicitors, Cardiff and London, Advisor to Wragge & Co., Solicitors, Birmingham and London, Non-Executive Director of Alba plc, i-Clean Systems Ltd. and Leicester Tigers Rugby plc.
In 2007 he served as the UK's Skills Envoy, campaigning for both private and public sector employers to raise the level of skills of all of their employees to Level Two by 2010.
Digby is a Fellow of University College London (2004), an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University (2004), an Honorary Doctor of the University of Central England (2002), the University of Birmingham (2002), the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology (2003), the University of Hertfordshire (2004), Middlesex University (2005), Sheffield Hallam University (2005), Aston University (2006), the University of Hull (2006), Queen's University, Belfast (2006), Warwick University (2006), Bradford University (2006), Thames Valley University (2006), Wolverhampton University (2006), Loughborough University (2007) and Nottingham University (2007). He is a visiting professor at the University of Hull Business School and Chairman of the Birmingham University Business School Advisory Board.
Digby served as an Ambassador for Investors in People (2004 - 2007), was President of the Diversity Works Initiative (2004 - 2007) a programme led by the disability organisation, Scope. He was a Director of Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre (2004 2007). President of Heads, Teachers and Industry (2004-07), Deputy President of the Institute of Export (2005 - 2007) and Vice President of the Friends of the British Library (2005 - 2007). He was President of the Ambassadors for the West Midlands region (2004 - 2007) and Honorary President of Birmingham Forward (2006 - 2007), the professional services lobby group.
Digby is a Corporate Ambassador for Cancer Research UK, Chairman of the Corporate Development Board of Sense, helping those born deaf and blind and a Fellow of UNICEF. He is a Diamond Ambassador for Mencap's WorkRight initiative, designed to spread the message of equality for disabled people, a Vice-President of Birmingham Hospice, a Patron of Where Next? helping autistic young people become meaningfully employed, a Patron of Lifecycle UK, Chairman of the trustees of the Redrow Foundation, a Patron of the Campaign for Learning, a Patron of Every Child a Reader, a Patron of London Excellence, a Corporate Ambassador and member of the Royal British Legion and a member of the Aston Reinvestment Trust. He is a member of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Development Trust, a Patron of F1 in Schools and Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
He is Vice President of the Birmingham Civic Society, a member of the Bromsgrove School Foundation Board, a member of the Yorkshire Society, a Freeman of the City of London, and a member of the Japan Society, Vice President of BEN, the Motor Industry charity.
In 1998, as Chairman of the Birmingham Hospice Appeal, which raised 1.5 million, he personally raised 218,000 towards their target by cycling from John O'Groats to Land's End in 14 days. He ran the 2005 London Marathon in under six hours raising 191,000 for both Cancer Research UK and UNICEF.
He appears regularly on television, radio and in the newspapers, being known for his firm views on several aspects of life in a globalised economy. He is an active public speaker at events and engagements all over the world. He is the Association of Speaker Clubs Speaker of the Year 2008.
He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2005 New Year Honours' List.
From 01 July 2007 to 04 October 2008 he served as the United Kingdom Minister of State for Trade & Investment accepting a lifetime peerage in the House of Lords where he now sits on the cross benches and is known as Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham. During his 15 months in Ministerial office he made 45 overseas visits, travelling to 31 different countries and meeting with the worlds top business leaders and politicians. He changed the way that UK Trade & Investment was perceived in delivering a record year for inward investment and expanding the UK's presence in all of the major international markets. Following his departure from Ministerial office he was appointed as a Business Ambassador for UK Trade & Investment.
Digby is married to Pat. They live in Marylebone and Warwickshire. He enjoys the theatre, skiing, football, rugby and cricket and has more than a passing interest in military history.
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Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham Kt., Llb(Hons), D.Univ, D.Lit, DL, D.Sc(econ), CIMgt, FRI, HonFIMechE
Digby Jones was born in Birmingham on 28th October 1955, he began his schooldays at Alvechurch Primary School Birmingham (1960 1966) before winning a major scholarship to Bromsgrove School (1966 1974). He gained an Upper Second class Honours Degree in Law at University College London in 1977.
He was awarded a University Cadetship in the Royal Navy (1974 1977) then took articles with the Birmingham corporate law firm Edge and Ellison in 1978. He was admitted as a Solicitor in 1980.