Tom B Hunter

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Tom Hunter is the former owner of Sports Division, which he sold to JJB Sports in 1998 for £290 million, making £252 million personally on the deal (he also owns 7% of JJB). He is Chairman of Blane Leisure (his salary is £380,000) and TBH Holdings. He owns a 6% stake in Rangers football club. He gave £100,000 to the Labour Party in 2001. He drives a Bentley worth £200,000 and his personal wealth is estimated at £320 million.

Tom Hunter is the Vice-Chair of the Entrepreneurial Exchange and gave £5 million to the University of Strathclyde to set up the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship in January 2000. He is a friend of Lord Gus Macdonald, the Transport Minister. Tom Hunter owns the Fosters clothing chain (now called D2) and has a stake in the Ultimo bra company and Newco (which owns BHS). He sold a software company, Reality Group, to Great Universal Stores in 1999 for £35 million (making £7 million for himself).


Having graduated from the Business School of the University of Strathclyde, he began his career by selling trainers from the back of a van, and in 1984 he founded the Sports Division chain of sports shops. He built it up into a leading retailer, and in 1998 he sold the chain to JJB Sports, making him over £250 million.

Along with his wife Marion, Hunter established The Hunter Foundation in 1998, which has donated millions to supporting educational and entrepreneurial projects in Scotland.

In March 2001, Hunter was a founding partner of West Coast Capital, an investment firm. Through this firm he has become a major shareholder in a number of retailers including USC, Office, D2 and Qube. One of his most significant shareholdings is in BHS, of which he owns approximately 8%. Philip Green owns the rest of the business.

Substantial investments in commercial property, shopping centres and licensed premises also contribute to his extensive portfolio.

Hunter was listed on the Sunday Times Rich List 2005 as the 2nd richest man in Scotland, with an estimated wealth of £678m. In the Sunday Times Rich List 2006, he was ranked as the richest man in Scotland, with an estimated wealth of £780m.

In 2005 Hunter received a Knighthood for "services to Philanthropy and to Entrepreneurship in Scotland".

Hunter has been a major supporter of Band Aid, donating over £6m to the appeal. The Hunter Foundation has provided £1m to support the Make Poverty History campaign, supported the Live 8 concerts. On 17 November 2006, he donated £1 million to the 2006 BBC Children in Need charity appeal telethon, via the Hunter Foundation. On 16 March 2007 he donated £1 million to the 2007 BBC Comic Relief charity appeal, via the Hunter Foundation, to match the £1 million raised during Comic Relief Does The Apprentice.

Hunter's views

Tom B. Hunter, a Scotsman who owns 5% of BHS, says Green's critics are simply green with envy. "The fact of the matter is, he can be very abrasive," says Hunter. "There's also a lot of jealousy with people who earn that sort of money." [1]
Speaking at a seminar in the capital as part of the Edinburgh Lectures series last night, Sir Tom Hunter said political correctness should not stand in the way of allowing Scotland's elite young people to reach the top of their fields... Sir Tom said: "Political correctness can bring us to mediocrity. We are helping at the bottom, but we are looking at the leaders as well. We want to deal with future leaders. We're not looking at bright kids in the narrow academic sense, but at exceptional people whom we can help along the way. "This will be the next programme from our foundation, and it will be launched soon." Earlier, in his speech, Sir Tom said: "Dampening down support for the next generation of leaders may be politically correct to some skewed minds, but it's certainly not correct for Scotland's future." [2]
Hunter told Scotland on Sunday: "Scotland led the world in the old enlightenment. What is to stop us leading the new enlightenment? Particularly in an election year, this is about both raising our game and the bar. "We cannot simply aspire to mediocrity. If we always do what we always have done, that is precisely what we will end up with - a mediocre Scotland, and that is not good enough for this generation of Scotland, and more importantly for future generations of Scots. "When Kennedy set the ambition to reach the moon, he didn't know how to get there but he raised a nation's spirit and ambition. We might not be aiming for the moon, but we believe there are five key areas that we will debate - education, biotechnology, tourism, financial services and alternative energy. Scotland can once again lead the world in these areas. What we need is courage, ambition, and we need to take huge big bets in these sectors." [3]


From the West coast Capital website:

Tom is an ardent supporter of fellow entrepreneurs and passionate about making Scotland a more enterprising nation. He continues to devote considerable time, money and energy in his efforts to work with educational establishments and fellow entrepreneurs to further this cause. He is past Chairman of the Entrepreneurial Exchange and personally bequested £5m to support the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University.
Tom and his wife Marion established The Hunter Foundation (THF) in 1998, a venture philanthropy that initially targetted investment in education and enterprise across Scotland. Since inception it has invested, or committed to invest in excess of £35m in national programmes aimed at engendering a more enterprising spirit within Scotland, particularly within its young people. In turn THF is now investing over $100m in Africa through partnerships with The Clinton Foundation – The Clinton-Hunter Development Initiative – Band Aid, UNICEF and FDC to support the development of self-sustaining communities with education a key pillar of these investments.
He is a director of the Princes Scottish Business Youth Trust (PSYBT) and Schools Enterprise Scotland – where he led the £5m fundraising campaign to deliver enterprise education for all of Scotland’s primary school children. He is also a Trustee of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and Chairman of the Make a Wish Foundation in Scotland. Tom was awarded a doctorate by Strathclyde University in late 2001 where he is a visiting alumni.[4]


External links, resoureces and notes