Honorary graduates 2011-12
Les Halpin (LLD)
Wednesday 20 July 2011 9:30am
Les Halpin is an exemplary Exeter graduate, a successful entrepreneur and a generous philanthropist. He graduated in 1979 with a First Class BSc in Mathematical Statistics and Operational Research and began his career working for Barclays Bank, British Gas and Lloyds Bank International, where he was responsible for the analysis of a variety of major mining projects around the world. He then spent 15 years with Record plc which offers currency investment and hedging services to pension funds and corporations culminating in the position of CEO. Les retired as a non-executive director of Record after it was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2007. He is a director and active investor in several other start-up and early stage companies, including Lightfoot Solutions, which specialises in the use of statistical techniques to help improve organisational performance, where he became Chairman in January 2009.
Les joined the University’s Fundraising Campaign Board in 2009. He is a major supporter of the University, giving of his time, funds and expertise. He has acted as an advisor and supporter of the Business School, where the new social area and café is named La Touche, after his historical family name. He and his wife Claire have also supported Biosciences, enabling important research on rice blast fungus, a major killer of rice crops worldwide. Recently, Les has been advising the University on reducing its reliance on public funds and has supported a major student expedition by Exeter graduates to Borneo’s rainforest which aims to study, record and preserve the extraordinary biodiversity there.