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In 2007, Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham, served as the UK Minister of State for Trade & Investment accepting a lifetime peerage in the House of Lords. Forthright and as ever loyal to British business he spent his 15 months in the position promoting Britain across the world, making 45 overseas visits, travelling to 31 different countries and meeting with the world’s top business leaders and politicians. He changed the way that UK Trade & Investment was perceived in delivering a record year for…
In 2007, Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham, served as the UK Minister of State for Trade & Investment accepting a lifetime peerage in the House of Lords. Forthright and as ever loyal to British business he spent his 15 months in the position promoting Britain across the world, making 45 overseas visits, travelling to 31 different countries and meeting with the world’s 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, he was appointed as a Business Ambassador for UK Trade & Investment until March 2013.
Digby currently serves as Chairman of British Airways International Business Advisory Board and Chairman of Triumph Motorcycles Limited. He is Senior Advisor to HSBC and Corporate Ambassador for Jaguar Cars. He is a Corporate Advisor to JCB and an Advisor to Babcock International Group PLC. Digby is a Senior Advisor to Harvey Nash plc and a Business Advisor to Grove Industries Limited and Barberry Developments Limited. He is a non-executive director of Leicester Tigers plc and Chairman of the Advisory Board to the Jaguar Academy of Sport. Digby is Chairman of Neutrino Concepts Limited and a member of the Advisory Board of Monitise plc.
Digby first made his name in corporate finance and client development when he made Partner at Edge and Ellison, the law firm, in 1984. 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. Following this, he served as Director-General of the CBI, the Confederation of British Industry, the UK’s ‘Voice of Business’(2000 to 2006), during which 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 visiting professor at the University of Hull Business School and Chairman of the Birmingham University Business School Advisory Board. He has received many honorary fellowships at UK universities, some of which are: a Fellow of University College London (2004), an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University (2004), an Honorary Doctor of the University of Central England (2002) and Nottingham University (2007).
Digby is a Corporate Ambassador for Cancer Research UK and a Fellow of UNICEF and in the 2005, he completed the London Marathon in less than six hours raising £191,000 for both charities. He is a Diamond Ambassador for Mencap’s WorkRight initiative, designed to spread the message of equality for disabled people. In 1998, as Chairman of the Birmingham Hospice Appeal, he personally raised £218,000 towards their target by cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 14 days. Digby is also a Patron of the following - Lifecycle UK, the Campaign for Learning, Every Child a Reader, London Excellence, Marie Curie Cancer Care West Midlands Hospice Appeal and Just a Drop.
Digby was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2005 New Year Honours’ List. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Birmingham Law Society in 2001 and an Award recognising a Lifetime Contribution to Midlands Business by the Midlands Business Awards in 2009.
Digby regularly appears on television, radio and in the newspapers, being known for his firm views on numerous aspects of life in a globalised economy. In 2011, he published his first book titled "Fixing Britain - the business of reshaping our nation".
“I have heard nothing but compliments for his speech from the assembled audience – he really did capture their attention. It is not something we have done before but Lord Jones’ presence and speech really added to our conference.”
Charlotte Knight, Cavendish Corporate Finance LLP
“Lord Jones possesses an amazing ability to be both fast-paced and detailed, serious yet humorous. His analysis of global markets is refreshingly candid and educational. People pay attention to what he says and how he says it.”
Vaughn Gilbert, Westinghouse Electric Company, USA
“I have to say that I have seen a number of speakers over the years but never experienced an ovation quite as you received after your speech. Your presentation certainly ensured the standard was raised to the highest level.”
J F Rathbone, Rotary District 1090 Birmingham