Prestigious honour for businessman who’s helped shape Bristol
Press release issued: 14 February 2012
A businessman who has helped to shape the economy in Bristol will today [14 February] be honoured by the University of Bristol. Tim Stevenson, who is credited with bringing 20,000 jobs to the city through his work as a surveyor, is being awarded an honorary degree in recognition to his achievements.
His family ran the firm CJ King & Sons, one of two companies who provided tugs and the staff who loaded and unloaded cargo at the docks in Bristol. But instead of entering the family business, Tim began training as a surveyor and was a pupil at Pritchard’s earning just £1 a week.
While working full-time, he also studied at Reading University on a correspondence course and finally qualified in 1967 as an Associate of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
After qualifying, Tim began to work for Lalonde Brothers and Parham, another well-established Bristol firm of surveyors, where he helped to establish their commercial department.
He became a partner there at the age of just 23 and, following the firm’s merger with Chestertons, he became UK Board Director and ultimately Regional Managing Director. It was in this role that he foresaw the opportunities afforded to Bristol by the construction of the M4.
Professor Selby Knox, Emeritus Professor in the School of Chemistry, is delivering the oration at the ceremony and said: “Tim spent considerable time in London encouraging companies to relocate to Bristol. This included Sun Life, London Life, Phoenix Assurance and the National Television and Licensing Authority.
“In all, Tim can claim to have brought 20,000 jobs to Bristol, along with the construction work and the supply chains that go with it. This has had a huge impact on the local economy.”
Tim moved into the world of commercial property investment and financing before Chestertons was floated and he took early retirement, which has consisted of being a director of five companies and giving his expertise to help charities such as the British Stroke Association, Bristol Old People’s Welfare and the Bristol Guild of Guardians.
Tim also became a member of Bristol University’s Estates Committee and was soon the group’s chair and a member of the Council which governs the University.
He remained chair of the Estates Committee for seven years until 2010, overseeing and advising during a period of major refurbishments and new developments totalling around £200million.
Professor Knox added: “Tim had a major impact on the University’s estates operation, bringing in other lay experts to offer advice, empowering and supporting the Estates team, while keeping them on their toes, and - most importantly - bringing his commercial acumen to bear. He undoubtedly saved the University a substantial amount of money.”