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Arts role for Tesco chief

Banker Higgins appointed Galleries chairman

Tesco Bank chief executive Benny Higgins has been appointed chairman of the National Galleries of Scotland board.

He succeeds Ben Thomson and the appointment will run for four years from from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “I am pleased to welcome Benny Higgins as the new chair of the board of trustees of the National Galleries of Scotland. Having served as a member of the NGS Board for three years now, he has been a real asset to the organisation, bringing in a wealth of experience and business acumen.

“Building on the legacy of the current chair Ben Thomson, under whose leadership NGS has flourished into an organisation of international reputation, I am confident that he will pursue the Board’s good work and ensure that the NGS will continue to inspire a wider national and international audience through its innovative programme of exhibitions and activities.”

Mr Higgins is group strategy director for Tesco and is also a member of the Tesco Executive Committee.

He began his career at Standard Life in 1983 where he joined as an actuarial student and became a member of the Standard Life Group Executive in 1996. In 1997, he moved to the Royal Bank of Scotland to become chief executive of retail banking during which time he led the successful integration of NatWest Retail Banking, one of the largest mergers ever undertaken in UK banking.

He became chief executive of the retail business of HBOS in 2006, before joining Tesco Bank as chief executive in 2008.

He holds a First Class Honours degree in Mathematics from the University of Glasgow and became a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries in 1986.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland, a member of the Scottish Government Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB) and a member of the Financial Capability Board.  He is also a non-executive director of the Buccleuch Estates, a trustee of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit and a Prince’s Trust ambassador.


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