In 1970 he graduated from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, where he read classics. After periods in high street retailing, consumer protection and advertising standards he joined The Building Societies Association in 1981 and in 1988 moved to Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society as its Assistant Secretary.

In 1995 he became Company Secretary of Cheltenham & Gloucester plc, the UK’s third largest mortgage lender and part of the Lloyds TSB Group, from which he retired in 2002.