Derek Higgs

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Derek Higgs
Born (1944-04-03)3 April 1944
Birmingham, England.
Died 28 April 2008(2008-04-28) (aged 64)
London, England.
Cause of death
Heart attack
Occupation Businessman
Known for Higgs review (2003).
Spouse(s) Julia Higgs, née Arguile
(married 1970–2008)
Children 3

Sir Derek Alan Higgs (3 April 1944 – 28 April 2008) was an English businessman and merchant banker.[1] He was knighted in 2004. His father, Alan Higgs, was a multimillionaire through property businesses in the Midlands.

Early life[edit]

Sir Derek was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire and was educated at Solihull School,[2] and in 1963 he went to the University of Bristol and graduated in Economics and Accounting in 1966.[3]

Business career[edit]

After graduating from the University of Bristol in 1966, Sir Derek joined Price Waterhouse, a large accountancy firm, and after training he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.[1] In 1969 he became a corporate finance executive at Baring Brothers, a merchant bank. He moved-on and joined S. G. Warburg & Co. in 1972 and continued his career in merchant banking.[1][4] He was also a board member of several companies including Prudential, British Land, and Coventry City Football Club.[5]

In 2002 the British Labour Government commissioned Sir Derek to chair the Review of the role and effectiveness of non-executive directors. The report, widely known as the "Higgs review" or "Higgs report", was published on 20 January 2003 and many of its recommendations for large companies have been implemented.[1][6][7]

In October 2005 he became the chairman of the Alliance & Leicester bank and worked there through difficult times, which were partly caused the credit crunch that took effect during 2007 in Britain.[3]


His father, Alan Higgs died in 1979, and because he thought that inherited wealth did more harm than good, he made provision for a charity to be created after his death to help deprived children from Coventry and nearby localities.[1] The Alan Edward Higgs Charity (also sometimes incorrectly called the Alan Higgs Trust) was set up, and Sir Derek and his sister became the trustees.[2] In January 2008 he also became one of the trustees of the Scott Trust, a British non-profit organisation which owns the Guardian Media Group.[3] He has been on the Board of Trustees of The Architecture Foundation.

Personal life[edit]

Sir Derek married Julia Arguile in 1970 and they had two sons and one daughter. He died unexpectedly owing to a heart attack aged 64 years on 28 April 2008 in a London hospital.[3][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Sir Derek Higgs: Doctor of Laws". University of Bristol. 2005-07-13. Retrieved 20 October 2007. 
  2. ^ a b "The MT interview by Matthew Lynn: Derek Higgs". Management Today. 2002-11-01. Retrieved 20 October 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c d Treanor, Jill (29 April 2008). "Sir Derek Higgs dies suddenly aged 64". London: Retrieved 29 April 2008. 
  4. ^ "Board Mentors: Sir Derek Higgs". CMi. Archived from the original on 3 March 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2007. 
  5. ^ a b "Sir Derek Higgs". London: timesonline. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2008. 
  6. ^ Higgs, Derek (2003-01-20). "Review of the role and effectiveness of non-executive directors" (PDF). Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Retrieved 28 April 2008. 
  7. ^ "The Higgs Review". Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Retrieved 28 April 2008. 

External links[edit]