Honorary Degree for local business leader
Bob Woods, co-founder of Leicester-based wealth management company Mattioli Woods, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Leicester.
He received his Honorary Degree at the University’s graduation ceremony in De Montfort Hall on Friday morning, 17 January, in front of hundreds of graduating students and their families.
Bob Woods has over 35 years’ experience in pension consultancy and wealth management. After studying at the University of Reading he joined Leicestershire-based pension provider Pointon York where he met Ian Mattioli and in 1991 the two men founded Mattioli Woods plc – literally in Ian Mattioli’s garage.
Their company is now one of the UK’s leading providers of wealth management and employee benefit services, advising over 15,000 clients with assets under management, administration and advice of £9.4 billion.
Strong growth led to Mattioli Woods being listed on AIM in 2005, at which point Bob became the Group’s Executive Chairman and subsequently Chair of the Group’s Investment Committee. He stepped down as Executive Chairman at the Group’s AGM in October 2016, but continues to provide strategic input in a full-time, executive role as Senior Adviser to the Group.
Bob has been key to the development of Mattioli Woods’ strategy and investment ethos. His personal achievements include winning the London Stock Exchange AIM Entrepreneur of the Year award jointly with Ian Mattioli; and a Lifetime Achievement Award co-sponsored by the Leicester Mercury and the University of Leicester.
Bob Woods and Ian Mattioli were both awarded an MBE for services to business and the community in the 2017 New Year’s honours list.
Along with an ethos of excellent service, Mattioli Woods has for many years demonstrated its commitment to Leicestershire by supporting a wide range of ventures including cancer charities, Alzheimer’s research, the heritage of Leicester Cathedral, the Leicester Tigers rugby club, and many amateur sports clubs.
As a benefactor of the University, Bob Woods has supported research into the effects on the human body of long-term exposure to the thousands of toxins that surround us all the time, in this age of manufactured environments. His growing interest in environmental health prompted him to endow a chair of Environmental Epidemiology which led to the establishment of a Centre for Environmental Health and Sustainability.
Bob Woods said: “I have been most fortunate in my life, and it has been a privilege to be able to support such an important and worthy cause as the University of Leicester’s new Centre for Environmental Health and Sustainability. A truly pioneering initiative which one day may improve health outcomes worldwide.”
Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: “Bob has long been a friend and benefactor of the University, funding important research into the effects on health of environmental pollution. As a local employer, Mattioli Woods has been an exemplar of good practice and professional excellence. This Honorary Degree recognises not just Bob’s personal achievements but also those of other people and organisations which he has enabled through his contribution to the city. I am delighted to welcome Bob Woods to our University family.”