Who is Hamish Ogston?

Last updated 13:15 05/03/2014
Hamish Ogston
Kirk Hargreaves
CATHEDRAL SAVIOUR? British billionaire Hamish Ogston has pledged $4 million to the restoration of the Christchurch Cathedral.

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UK businessman Hamish Ogston yesterday announced he would fund an independent survey to find out what residents wanted to see happen to the ill-fated Cathedral Square centrepiece.

Shortly after the February 2011 earthquake Ogston pledged $4 million to kickstart the restoration of the building and said he wanted to reiterate his pledge.

Who is Hamish Ogston?

Hamish Ogston joined the Norwegian Merchant Navy at the age of 16 and found himself in Lyttelton Port, Christchurch, a year later. He worked on Kiwi dairy farms before travelling to Australia and Canada.

In 1980 he founded the CPP Group - a British company that sells products including mobile-phone, credit-card and identity protection insurance services.

Thirty years later he pocketed £120 million when he floated the company on the stock market. In March 2011 it was revealed that CPP was under investigation by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) - Read about the CPP case.

The Guardian newspaper reported in August 2013 that CPP faced near collapse after it was fined £10.5m by the FCA in 2012.

The newspaper reported that Ogston offered to buy back the company but he pulled out of talks and resigned as a director of the company in June 2013.

Ogston gained a reputation as a philanthropist when he gave £2 million to the restoration of York Minster in 2008. He was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to business in 2011 and reportedly owns a multimillion-pound house near Harrods in Knightsbridge, London.

Jim Anderton, co-chairman of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust that organised yesterday's announcement, said he was aware of the issues surrounding CPP.

"Firstly, [Ogston] is no longer the chairman of that company... the money for the cathedral is his own and he has his own view on [what happened]."

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- The Press

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