Richard Boot 'moved' to receive OBE in New Year Honours
Jan 5 2011 By Alun Thorne
A top Birmingham businessman, who was made an OBE in the New Year’s Honours, said he was so shocked that he re-read a letter 100 times informing him of the award.
Richard Boot, who spent two spells as chairman of the Institute of Directors in the West Midlands, said he was moved and humbled to receive the OBE for his services to business in the region.
He said: “It was quite moving really and recognition not just for me but for all those who I have worked with at the IoD over the last two or three years and recognition of what we have been trying to do in the thick of the dreaded 'R' word.
“I was actually 60 on Boxing Day so it was a fantastic Christmas and birthday present all rolled into one.”
Mr Boot has spent his entire life in and around Birmingham having been born in Selly Oak and living in Kings Norton before moving out to north Worcestershire, where he lives today.
He was educated at King Edwards Camp Hill before joining the company that would eventually become Ernst & Young where he qualified as a chartered accountant “much to the surprise of everyone who knew me”, he said.
He then joined Peats, which would go on to become part of KPMG and ended up staying with the firm for 35 years – 20 of those as a partner.
Over that time he became non-executive chair of the firm’s automotive group, help set up the firm’s management consulting arm and was also involved in corporate finance for more than a decade, “never letting me too close to a set of accounts”, he added.
In more recent years he has worked with Coutts, was regional chair of the IoD for two three-year spells as well as being on the national council for 14 years, and is now involved with computer specialists Tempus Group and recruitment firm Active Human Capital – but he has no desire to slow up just yet.
“I shall keep pedalling fast. I love business and meeting people and that has been one of the real highlights of working with the IoD – meeting so many great people,” he said.
* Another West Midlands business figure recognised in the Honours was Jas Bains, the chief executive of Ashram Housing Association, based in Birmingham and Coventry. He received the MBE for his services to housing.
The married father-of-one from Solihull has made a significant contribution to housing and community cohesion in the region over 20 years, working for local authorities, including Sandwell and Walsall councils, before becoming chief executive of Ashram Housing Association, part of the Accord Group, in 2003.
Since then, the organisation has won a number of awards, including the Housing Corporation’s Gold Award for Community Cohesion and the Chartered Institute of Housing’s (CIH) Outstanding Achievement in England Award.
Mr Bains, 47, said: “It’s a privilege to be given this honour. Such accolades are never down to a single achievement and I would like to thank all my colleagues within Ashram and the Accord Group.
“I would also like to thank all those that I have worked with over the past 20 years, without their support this wouldn’t have been possible.”