Top UK business leader, Benny Higgins, speaks about the power of the arts

Professor Benny Higgins, who spent a decade as chief executive of Tesco Bank and serves as a Chairman of the National Galleries of Scotland, argued that business leaders are well served by engaging with the arts, during a distinguished lecture at the British High Commissioner's Residence today.

Professor Higgins, an arts-loving banker and a newly appointed Honorary Professor at Heriot-Watt University, spoke at the event attended by over 100 distinguished guests from the world of business and arts.

After the event, Professor Higgins, said:

“I am honoured to be appointed as an Honorary Professor at Heriot-Watt University. To have been given the opportunity to express my very personal views on how business leaders benefit from having a ‘hinterland’ is a precious moment for me.”

Professor Heather McGregor, Executive Dean of Edinburgh Business School, said:

“We are delighted that Professor Higgins accepted our invitation to deliver his Inaugural Lecture in Malaysia. Benny has led major organisations in financial services and retail, as well as a range of entrepreneurial interests and his knowledge is invaluable to our students.

Under Benny’s leadership, Tesco Bank grew to become one of the most established ‘new’ banks in the UK, serving more than 8 million customers and employing over 4,000 people. This was a huge achievement for Benny and his team and we are very grateful for his insight and willingness to share his experience.”

Professor Higgins’ talk coincided with the opening of a permanent Scottish ceramics exhibition at the Heriot-Watt University campus in Putrajaya. Commissioned by Edinburgh Business School, the collection designed by an acclaimed ceramic artist and master craftsman the late David Cohen, constitutes a physical representation of links between Scotland and Malaysia.

Professor McGregor said:

“The collection of ceramics by the late David Cohen decorated our University campus in Scotland for a number of years. It was a huge logistical task to transport this valuable collection to Malaysia and we are delighted to officially open the permanent exhibition today. We hope that the collection will be enjoyed by our staff, students and visitors alike.”