Sir Brandon Gough, 1937-2012

May 10, 2012

A leading businessman who went on to become a greatly valued "ambassador, guide and friend" to the University of East Anglia has died.

Sir Brandon Gough was born in Merseyside on 8 October 1937 and educated at Douai School in Wolverhampton. Once he had completed his military service, he studied natural sciences and law at Jesus College, Cambridge, graduating in 1961. He then qualified as a chartered accountant and embarked on a highly successful business career at Coopers & Lybrand.

After joining the firm in 1964, Sir Brandon became a partner four years later and served as chairman from 1983 to 1994, overseeing its complex merger with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells in 1990.

Following his retirement, he served on the boards of several public companies, notably as deputy chairman of the S.G. Warburg Group (1995), chairman of Yorkshire Water (1996-2000) and chairman of De La Rue (1997-2004), a company specialising in the secure printing of national currencies, passports and identity papers.

Equally distinguished as a public servant, Sir Brandon was appointed by John Major to chair the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration, a role he filled from 1993 to 2001 and for which he received a knighthood in 2002.

Sir Brandon also had a number of significant links with higher education. A member of the Council for Industry and Higher Education (1985-93), he then became chairman of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (1993-97) during the period that brought the traditional universities and former polytechnics under one umbrella.

Having served on the council of City University London from 1991 to 1993, Sir Brandon was awarded an honorary DSc by the institution in 1994. He also received honorary degrees from the University of Kent and UEA. He was appointed chancellor of the latter in 2003 and remained in the post until his death.

Paying tribute, Edward Acton, UEA's vice-chancellor, described Sir Brandon as "a wonderful ambassador, guide and friend to the university. He was highly effective at promoting UEA externally and engaging the enthusiasm of alumni. His advice on policy was offered sparingly and with unfailing courtesy. It was always based on careful thought and real evidence, and I found it invaluable.

"Above all, he took the keenest interest in UEA and was the most generous benefactor. He relished the cycle of visits he made to different schools and university services, and the feedback he gave me was succinct, frank and deeply perceptive."

Sir Brandon died on 25 April and is survived by his wife Sarah and three children.

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