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Rod Aldridge, OBE, CPFA, FRSA, (www.aldridgefoundation.com) is an entrepreneur with over 40 years experience of working in the public and private sectors. He was the Founder of the Capita Group and led the group from its formation in 1984 to becoming the market leading provider of support and professional services to the government and to the private sector in the UK. In 1987 he led the management buyout (MBO) of the group from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and the flotation of Capita on the unlisted securities market (USM) in 1989 valued at £8 million. Today the group is a FTSE 100 company, employs 27,000 people and interacts with 33 million people through the services it delivers. It has a market capitalisation of over £4.5 billion and is the best performing share ever in the FTSE.

Prior to Capita, Rod worked in local government for 10 years with East Sussex County Council, Brighton Borough Council, Crawley District Group and West Sussex County Council, joining CIPFA in 1974 ultimately becoming its Technical Director.

In July 2006 Rod retired as Chairman of Capita and subsequently established The Aldridge Foundation to continue with his work on public service reform and to focus on his charitable activities involving educational underachievement and social exclusion.

He is a patron and former trustee of the Prince's Trust and was the Chairman of the CBI's public services strategy board at its inception in 2003 through to July 2006. Rod is also Chair of v the charity launched in May 2006 which aims to inspire and engage over 1 million new youth volunteers. In January 2007 he was appointed Chairman of The Lowry, a theatre and arts venue in Salford and was appointed a Non Executive Director on the Ministerial Advisory Board of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Services, an Executive Agency of the FCO.

He is a qualified accountant with CIPFA and was awarded an OBE in the 1994 New Years Honours List for services to the computer industry. Rod was given the freedom of the City of London in 1996 and was elected fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006. He is on the Court of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.

He is a regular speaker at conferences and is a contributor to the debate on public service reform. Rod's interests are his family and sport, mainly golf, cricket and football. He also enjoys travelling and the theatre.


The evening will be chaired by Jim McColl, OBE, Clyde Blowers, (www.clydeblowers.co.uk). Jim left school at 16 to take up an engineering apprenticeship with Weir Pumps at Cathcart in Glasgow.  After six years having studied part time for City & Guilds Ordinary National and Higher National Certificates, he left work to take up full time study at Strathclyde University for a BSc Degree in Technology and Business Studies.  After graduating with an Honours Degree in 1978 he returned to Weir Pumps where he remained for three years while studying part-time for a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

In 1981 he moved to a senior management position with Diamond Power Speciality Limited, an engineering company supplying equipment to the power industry worldwide.  During this time he studied part-time for a Masters Degree in International Accounting and Finance.

In 1985 Jim was headhunted by Coopers & Lybrand as a senior consultant involved mainly in "corporate care" assignments.   This meant working in various companies who were in financial difficulties and in need of turnaround.  

In 1986 he left Coopers to become a self-employed "company doctor" and, after two successful turnarounds, in 1992 he bought 29.9% of a small Scottish engineering company, Clyde Blowers PLC, which had a full listing on the London Stock Exchange.   Turnover at that time was around £4 million, with a loss making core business subsidised by investment income.   The company was the smallest of eight companies doing what it did in the world market.  Over the following five years Jim acquired six of the remaining competitors, consolidating seven companies into one.  Clyde Blowers now has over 55% of the world market in its original product line, and has expanded into other growth engineering sectors.  

On Tuesday 8th May 2007, over 135 years after the Weir brothers founded their business, Jim McColl announced the acquisition of Weir Pumps (Glasgow) from The Weir Group plc.  As a result of this transaction, the diverse portfolio of technologies, process knowledge and expertise generated by Weir Pumps was incorporated into a newly created company, Clyde Pumps Ltd saving 600 jobs and an important part of Scotland's engineering heritage.

Over the past 10 years Clyde Blowers has developed into a truly global portfolio of 42 Companies in 21 different countries around the world, with an annual turnover in excess of £700m.

Qualifications & Education

Universities: Strathclyde and Glasgow

1974 - 1978          

BSc (Hons) Technology and Business Studies


MBA in Business Administration

1983 - 1985           

MAcc in International Finance and Accounting


1968 - 1969          

City and Guilds Mechanical Engineering Technicians' Certificate in Mechanical Engineering

1969 - 1973          

ONC Engineering

1973 - 1974          

HNC Engineering

Honours & Awards


Alumnus of the Year Award' from Strathclyde University


Entrepreneurial Exchange ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award' for 


Ernst & Young ‘Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award'


Queen's Birthday Honors List with an OBE


Induction into The Entrepreneurial Exchange Hall of Fame


Honorary Doctor of Business Administration awarded by the Academic Board and the Court of Napier University


HRH The Duke of Edinburgh awarded Jim McColl with The Prince Philip Medal 2005 ‘Certificate of Achievement' for an outstanding contribution to the engineering industry


Winner of The SBAAT International Business Award for Sustained Excellence in International Business Endeavour


The Insider Elite Leader of the Year Award


Entrepreneurial Exchange Philanthropy Award


World Achiever's Award Lanarkshire


Standard Life Elite Insider Readers' Award


Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree awarded by Glasgow Caledonian University


Elected to the Fellowship of The Royal Society of Edinburgh


Scottish Engineering Award 2008


The Lord Provost's Award 2007


Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University of Glasgow

Public Service & Charitable

1998 - 2000                           

National Museums of Scotland.  In 1998 Jim led a fundraising Initiative for the New Museum of Scottish Country Life

1998 - 2002                           

Member of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council and Chairman of the Audit Committee

1999 - 2003                           

Member of the Scottish Industrial Development Advisory Board advising the Scottish Executive on Regional Selective Assistance

2000 - 2003                           

Chairman of The Scottish Corporate Advisory Board of Save   the Children

2000 - 2007               

Member of the Board of Scottish Enterprise Glasgow

2002 - 2004                           

Member of the Committee set up under the Chairmanship of Sheriff Principal John McInnes to Review Summary Justice in Scotland  

2004 - 2007                           

Chairman of the Entrepreneurial Exchange, the premier organisation for Entrepreneurs in Scotland

1998 - Present                      

Member of the Singapore Britain Business Council

2002 - Present                      

Chairman of the Glasgow Welfare to Work Forum which has become Glasgow Works, the City Strategy for Glasgow

2003 - Present                       

Cornerstone Funder and Honorary President of Kilbryde Hospice.

2006 - Present                      

The Smith Group - Providing Strategic direction to tackle the NEET issue with a particular focus on stemming the flow into NEET

2007 - Present                      

Appointed as a member of The Council of Economic Advisors to the Scottish Executive

Jim is on the University Of Strathclyde Graduate School Of Business Advisory Board, a member of the Napier University Business School Advisory Board, and a member of Caledonian University Business School Advisory Board.  Jim is also an Honorary Professor of Stirling University and a Visiting Professor at Strathclyde University.

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Venue information

No 29, Glasgow 29 Royal Exchange Square
G1 3AJ

0141 225 5615


Mr Jim McColl, OBE, Clyde Blowers, www.clydeblowers.co.uk


  • Mr Rod Aldridge, OBE, The Aldridge Foundation, www.aldridgefoundation.com

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