Chairman, Man Group plc
Lord Livingston of Parkhead is the Former Minister for Trade and Investment.
Ian grew up in Scotland and studied Economics at Manchester University after leaving school. He graduated at the age of 19 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He worked for Arthur Andersen, Bank of America International and 3i, the private equity investor, before joining Dixons Group plc in 1991.
During his time with the company, Ian held a variety of roles. At the age of 28, Ian was asked to be Chief Financial Officer for Dixons US $1billion based in Philadelphia. Shortly after returning from the US, Ian was put in charge of all the group’s financial activities, IT and property. He was made Group Finance Director at the age of 32, the youngest FTSE 100 Finance Director by some distance. In 1998 Ian’s Corporate Development Team launched “Freeserve”. He floated the business a year later in the first major European floatation of an internet company. Freeserve became a FTSE 100 company which was sold for almost £2 billion in 2001 (from an original start-up cost of £240,000).
Dixons enjoyed a period of international expansion, extending its operations into 11 countries through a mixture of acquisition and organic growth. It also expanded its UK operations and over the period, sales doubled, profits quadrupled and it became the best performance FTSE stock over a 5 year period.
In 2002, Ian joined BT as Group Finance Director. During the three years Ian spent in this post the company’s financial position was substantially improved. Debt was reduced by £6 billion and costs fell by around £400m per annum.
In 2005 Ian was appointed CEO of BT Retail which is responsible for all BT’s UK small and medium enterprise and consumer business, BT Ireland and BT Enterprises (a portfolio of businesses including BT Conferencing, BT Directories, BT Redcare and Dabs.com). Ian drove a turnaround in results in this £6 billion division with profits increasing at double digit rate having been falling by 20% prior to taking over.
In 2008, Ian was appointed Group CEO. Despite this being at the height of the financial crisis and major issues being uncovered that year in the Global Services business, Ian drove a new multi-billion investment in fibre, a transformational efficiency programme reducing costs by £5billion and a few years later an major push into sport including the acquisition of English Premier League football rights.
Profits and cash flow increased substantially and the share price more than quadrupled from its 2008 low.
In 2013, Ian was asked by the Prime Minister to join the Government as Minister of State for Trade & Investment and for two years was responsible for all the UK’s trade promotion, inward investment and trade policy, and front bench spokesman in House of Lords. Ian remains a member of the House of Lords. Following his period in government, in 2016, Ian became Chairman of Man Group plc. Man Group is one of the world’s largest independent alternative investment managers responsible for the pensions and savings of 10’s of millions people around the world. The original business was founded in 1783 as a sugar cooperate and brokerage and for nearly 200 years provided the daily tot of rum to the Royal Navy. Today, Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
In May 2017, Ian also became chairman of Dixons Carphone plc, the leading electrical retailer in eight countries in Europe.
Ian has two grown up children and lives in Hertfordshire with his wife. He is a keen football fan – he was a director of Celtic Football Club for 10 years – as well as an avid theatre-goer. He was previously a director of Hilton Group plc (now Ladbrokes plc) and a Director at Belmond Ltd., a hotel and leisure company that operates luxury hotels, train services and river cruises around the world. Ian is also a Trustee on the Board of Jewish Care, one of the UK’s largest charitable providers of health in the UK.
Former Director of Porsche & BMW
Academic, Economist, Author
Senior Adviser Welsh Affairs for Severn Trent Water and Former Director, BT Wales
Head of the Department of Economics, University of Birmingham
Peer & Former Cabinet Minister