UWE Bristol award Honorary Degree to Dr Peter Hargreaves

Issue date: 24 November 2014


Dr Peter Hargreaves is to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration in recognition of his exceptional business leadership and in particular his contribution to business leadership across Bristol and the City Region.

The Honorary Degree will be conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Business and Law on Monday 24 November 2014 at Bristol Cathedral.

Peter was born in Lancashire and went to Clitheroe Royal Grammar School. His father was a baker and Peter's first home was above the shop. He picked up his early business acumen by serving in the shop and during this time picked up a significant piece of business philosophy from his father. Peter's father only ever borrowed money once in his life, £400 from his brother which was repaid within six months.

Peter trained as an accountant and after a short while moved into financial firms. A chance interview would change his future career, both Peter and Stephen Lansdown applied for the same job in Bristol. Peter was offered the post but didn't accept immediately because of another opportunity. When this didn't come to fruition, Peter called back, only to be told another person had been hired. That person was, of course, Stephen Lansdown. Fortunately for them both, the employer was so impressed they decided to hire both of them, and that is how they met.

By 1981 both men decided to take the plunge and go into business together. The firm started in Peter's spare bedroom in Clifton and it's claimed that the company is called Hargreaves Lansdown because it was Peter's bedroom so naturally his name had to come first.

The company has gone from strength to strength since these early days, at the heart of Hargreaves Lansdown's business model is the idea that customers are offered a one-stop shop. Acting as a fund supermarket, a fund manager, a discount broker, a stockbroker, a pensions specialist, an annuity specialist, a wealth manager and a financial adviser.

The success of Hargreaves Lansdown shows that you do not need to leave Bristol for London or New York to build something special, it can be done right here. Starting in a spare bedroom in Clifton, to have built a major global financial company that is well respected, worth billions of pounds, with over half a million clients around the world is a stunning achievement.

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