Hamish Ogston CBE

Hamish Ogston CBE (BSc Management Science 1970) has had an extensive business career spanning four decades and six start-ups. He is a serial entrepreneur who has always pursued his vision with determination and persistence. 

Hamish went to school at Cranleigh and worked his way around the world including a spell in the Norwegian Merchant Navy and the German Merchant Navy whilst in the Pacific. He came to Manchester just before that amazing year of 1968 – which many vice-chancellors carry engraved on their hearts as the year of student sit-ins and rebellions.  But Hamish was on his way to a BSc in Management Sciences in 1970, after which his first significant venture in the world of work was to co-found and chair Countdown – a retail loyalty card company operating in 16 countries.

In 1977, he co-founded and became director of Supreme Awards, an incentive and motivational award scheme – and his own reward came when Luncheon Vouchers bought the company within two years.  Ogston also co-founded the Guinness World of Records Museum at London’s Trocadero in 1979. In 1980 he was one of the original investors in the marketing rights to the FIFA World Cup in Spain and launched Sportsworld Gp plc, a specialist hospitality, travel and event services company delivering sporting and cultural occasions such as the Olympic Games and Football World Cups.

The defining success of Mr Ogston’s career to date came when he founded Card Protection Plan Ltd, which successfully grew into what became the CPP Group. The business was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2010 and reached a valuation of more than £530m.The success of this business was hard won and a result of Hamish’s determination – it took thirteen years to make a positive return on invested capital. CPP grew into a company operating in 16 countries with over 12 million customers, 200 business partners and 2,200 employees.

Mr Ogston was awarded a CBE in 2010 for services to business and the community in York and his entrepreneurial energy and spirit of adventure stands for a great deal of what we have always aimed to produce at The University of Manchester. Mr Ogston is looking to spend more time on his Philanthropic work which includes projects in the Heritage, Music and Health sectors.

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