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Hamish Ogston

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Name  Hamish Ogston

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Hamish Ogston CBE, FRSA, FRGS (born 1948) is a British businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder and former chairman of CPP Group plc.


Hamish Ogston Hamish Ogston Cranleigh School 1865

Personal life

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The son of a dental surgeon, Ogston was educated at Cranleigh School. At the age of 18, he left the UK. His father gave him £50 at Euston Station and didn't see him again for a year. Ogston joined the Norwegian Merchant Navy, which took him to work across Canada. From here he joined a ship in the German Merchant Navy, leading him to travel and work in New Zealand, Australia and Tahiti. He worked his way around the world on building sites in Toronto, farms in New Zealand and in the advertising department of Esso in Sydney, Australia. Ogston subsequently attended Manchester University, where he studied Management Sciences, graduating in 1970.

Business career

Upon leaving Manchester University in 1970, Ogston co-founded Countdown PLC – Europe's first retail loyalty card company that eventually operated in 16 countries.

In 1977 Ogston co-founded Supreme Awards, which he sold to Luncheon Vouchers. 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.


In 1980 Ogston founded Card Protection Plan Ltd., which successfully grew into what became the CPP Group (CPP). He persevered for 13 years before the company fully recovered its startup losses and 21 years before it paid its first dividend. Ogston was also tested by a 12.5 year legal battle with Customs and Excise (HMRC) which went through 6 courts, including the House of Lords and the European Court of Justice, before coming out the victor. The judgment became a landmark case and is the most cited in VAT history. CPP grew into a company operating in 16 countries with over 11.2 million customers, 200 business partners worldwide and 2,220 employees.

Ogston's involvement in the day-to-day management of CPP ceased in 1999, but he continued to serve as the company's non-executive chairman. He retained this position until January 2010, although from July 2004 he handed over the responsibility for chairing and administering the board to Mr. Colin Lloyd, the senior independent non-executive director. In March 2010 CPP floated on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. Ogston stayed on as a non-executive director until June 2013

The UK FSA announced an investigation into two of the products sold by CPP in March 2011. Prior to the investigation, CPP was valued at £533m. However, the uncertainty caused by the FSA forced CPP to suspend its shares on 20 February 2012 and, due to the support offered by Ogston, was able to relist five weeks later, and according to Stock Exchange records, is only the second company to return to a full listing in its original form.

The FSA's investigation concluded in November 2012 with the imposition of a civil financial penalty of £10.5 million. The FSA disciplinary notice acknowledges that CPP took a number of steps to improve systems and controls during the relevant period.

In an August 2013 telephone conversation with the Press Association, Ogston remarked that the compensation figure set by the FSA was 'ridiculous.' The comment referred to the process of calculating the figure, which assumed a 100% success rate of the compensation scheme, but it was later misinterpreted by media outlets. Ogston was subsequently proved right when the payout was a third of the figure published by the FCA.

Although media accusations suggested that the Card Protection Plan policy was 'largely useless' and 'unnecessary,' only 1 out of the 18 benefits offered by the policy was subject to criticism by the FSA and FSA's Final Notice acknowledged that the policy offered a number of other features.


Ogston is one of Yorkshire's biggest philanthropists and in 2008 he gave £2m to York Minster, helping the Minster reach its target for vital restoration work to start. At the request of York City Council, he provided the initial funding to commission a report on the possible development of 100 acres of brown field site in the centre of York. He is a Vice-President of the Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond, North Yorkshire and a former benefactor of the Oxford Philomuscia Trust.

In 2009 Ogston funded the construction of Cranleigh School's new organ, a project undertaken by the renowned organ maker Mander Organs. In 2011 Ogston pledged NZ$4m to help rebuild Christchurch Cathedral, New Zealand following the earthquake. In March 2014, after seeing nothing had been done with the building, he reiterated his offer and recommended the establishment of foundation to oversee construction work. He has also donated the cost of building the Life Sciences building at St Edward's School, Oxford and in July 2013 the building was formally named the Ogston Building. Through his support and further donations, St Edward's School has also been able to acquire a site for a new and much bigger music school, which has been named The Ogston Music School. Ogston has played a role in the rejuvenation of Rangoon General Hospital. At the behest of the Burmese leader of the opposition, Aung San Suu Kyi, Ogston held discussions with seven British university medical schools, to find one that would be prepared to rebuild the Hospital's healthcare system and provide a degree course for the brightest Burmese medical students. The leading candidate was University College London Medical School, who submitted an outline proposal to Aung San Suu Kyi in her role as head of the hospital rejuvenation committee.


Hamish Ogston was appointed a CBE in 2011 for services to business and the community in York. In 2001 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Ogston has also been awarded Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Financial Services Award in 2000 and Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award from University of Manchester in 2002.

In 2010 Ogston was presented with a ‘Proclamation of Resolution’ by Councilwoman Janice Hahn on behalf of the Los Angeles City Council. It was awarded in recognition of his long-standing relationship with the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, his business relationships in America and his altruistic and philanthropic efforts.


Hamish Ogston Wikipedia