Stratford businessman Sir Peter Rigby joins Bill Gates in getting rare honour from France
SIR Peter Rigby has become the first British-born businessman to receive France’s highest honour - the Legion d'honneur.
The award was given to Sir Peter, founder and chief executive of the Stratford-based Rigby Group, in recognition of his services to the French economy and promoting strong business relations between the UK and France.
The honour is only occasionally awarded to non-French nationals and sees Sir Peter join a select band of international luminaries, including Bill and Melinda Gates, Sir Paul McCartney, and General Dwight Eisenhower, to have received the award.
It recognises how the Rigby Group’s French business, which began with the establishment of technology division SCC - with a staff of just two – has grown into a company that employs some 3,300 people at 23 city locations across the country.
“I have always passionately believed in the importance of building positive relationships with neighbours and colleagues beyond the UK’s borders and am both grateful and deeply honoured by my appointment to the Legion d'honneur,” he said.
“It has been a great privilege to be able to see the birth of our business in France through to its present position and I’m also grateful to the many good people and the senior management who have helped to make the company what it is today.”
Sir Peter, who was knighted by the Queen in 2002 for his services to technology and business, has overseen 23 years of growth in the group’s French businesses to create an operation that recorded revenues of €2billion Euros in the fiscal year ended 31st March 2021.
The Rigby Group, which has its HQ at Bridgeway House just off the gyratory, is the parent company of a number of businesses that together employ more than 8,500 employees and operate in 20 countries covering technology, airports, hotels, real estate, aviation, and finance.