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Digby Jones

speaker location icon London, UK

Director General, CBI (2000-06)

Minister of State for UK Trade & Investment (2007-08)

Has travelled to over 60 countries since 2000 to “bang the drum for British Business”

Lord Digby Jones spent the first 20 years of his working life with Edge & Ellison, a Birmingham-based firm of lawyers, where he worked his way up from Articled Clerk to Senior Partner. During these years his responsibilities ranged from running the firm “as a business” to recruiting and managing several hundred employees. In 2000 he joined the CBI (Confederation of British Industry). During his six and a half years as Director General he became known in the public arena for his forthright attitude in his many media appearances. In 2005 he was knighted for his services to business and became Sir Digby Jones in the Queen’s New Years Honours List.

When he left the CBI in 2006, he spent the next 12 months in the private sector as advisor to Deloitte and Barclays Capital. He also held a variety of non-executive board roles and was the unpaid UK Skills Envoy. 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. Following his departure from Ministerial office he was appointed as a Business Ambassador for UK Trade & Investment until March 2013. Now, in addition to his role as an active crossbencher in the House of Lords he serves as Chairman of Triumph Motorcycles Limited, Chairman of Grove Industries, Corporate Ambassador for Jaguar Cars and JCB. He is an Advisor to Babcock International Group plc and Chairman of the Emergency Services Advisory Board of Babcock International Group plc. He advises in a number of other paid and unpaid roles, fulfilling his vision of promoting socially inclusive wealth creation.

Lord Jones is the author of “Fixing Britain – the business of re-shaping our nation” (John Wiley & Sons, 2011), which puts the spotlight on critical national and international business issues and lays out the essential reform urgently needed for the growth of Britain. In 2014 he presented a 3 part BBC documentary – The New Troubleshooter – in which he used his specialist knowledge to help British businesses tackle the challenges they face.

Our Comment

"Lord Jones is one of the leading faces of British business. He is a candid speaker who argues his opinions with passionate vigour, for example, labelling protectionism “a scourge which may well find short term popularity but inhibits growth, reduces wealth and oppresses the weak”."

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