Ken Olisa knighted

Wednesday, 3 January, 2018 - 12:30
Fitzwilliam College alumnus Ken Olisa honoured with Knighthood

Fitz alumnus and 1869 Fellow Benefactor Ken Olisa OBE FBCS FRSA (Natural Sciences, SPS and Management 1971) honoured with a Knighthood for services to Business and Philanthropy in 2018 New Year's Honours.

Olisa (Natural Sciences, Social, Political and Management Sciences 1971) is a businessman and philanthropist, the founder of two technology merchant banks and the first British-born black man to serve as a Director of a FTSE-100 company (Reuters). An advocate of social inclusion, he is Chair of the Shaw Trust, supporting the disabled and chronically unemployed to find work; founding Chair of the Powerlist Foundation, supporting future leaders from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and disadvantaged backgrounds; a former Governor of the Peabody Trust; and a former Non-Executive Director of the West Lambeth NHS Trust.

He was appointed as Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for Greater London in 2015. The Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London is Her Majesty’s representative in Greater London and is charged with upholding the dignity of the Crown. Across the thirty two boroughs (but not the City of London) he is responsible for the promotion of civic, commercial, voluntary and social activities within London and thus is part of the fabric of London in all its manifestations. 

Commenting on the knighthood, the Master, Professor Nicola Padfield, said: "Ken has had an extraordinary record of service in the public domain, serving today as the first black Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, very evident when the Queen or other members of the Royal family attend events in the City. But much more than this: a very successful businessman, he has also done an immense amount of good investing in many charities and organisations which seek to challenge the very obvious disadvantages faced by so many in modern Britain. And let’s not forget that he and his wife Julia endowed the wonderful Olisa Library here in College. We are truly thrilled by the news of his knighthood."

Photo credit: Ken Olisa (CC BY-SA 4.0)