The University of Stirling has honoured Terry O’Connor, Group CEO of Courts Asia Limited, with an honorary degree – in recognition of his outstanding contributions to retailing and British business in Singapore.
Mr O’Connor received his award at the Singapore Institute of Management campus on Friday (15 August), in front of His Excellency Antony Phillipson, the British High Commissioner to Singapore, Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of University of Stirling, graduates from the University of Stirling Management School, faculty, students and invited guests.
Accepting his award, Mr O’Connor said: “I am privileged and humbled to be receiving this recognition from the University of Stirling, an institution renowned internationally for its rigorous and distinguished retail and management programme that has played an integral role in developing the talents and potential of many across the globe. “
“Retail is no longer the rudimentary act of a customer buying a product from a seller. Technology has mobilised change, and the digital revolution has blurred the traditional boundaries demarcating the shopper, retailer and the touchpoints in between. The new generation of retailers must be ready to harness these changes for growth and innovation and take the lead in forging the future of our industry. Be the change-maker.”
Professor Gerry McCormac said: “This award reflects not only Terry’s success as a businessman, but also as a highly respected member of the Singaporean community and his achievements in activating the British Chamber of Commerce during his tenure as President. We appreciate Terry’s continued support for the University and are honoured to recognise his extraordinary contributions with this award.”
Mr O’Connor began his career as a trainee buyer in Colorvision in 1986 before joining Courts in 1993 as a Buying Director responsible for transforming the retailer from a predominantly furniture business to a leading electrical, IT and furniture retailer in Southeast Asia. After the private equity-led buyout of Courts operations in Southeast Asia in 2007, he assumed the role of Group CEO for Courts in Asia and led a turnaround of its operations in Malaysia.
A leading figure in the wider British community in Singapore, Mr O’Connor was the President of the British Chamber of Commerce from 2006 to 2010. Under his leadership, it grew to become an active organisation with over 1,000 members, delivering valuable services to the British business communities in Singapore and establishing links with other British Chambers in neighbouring countries to identify opportunities in Southeast Asia.
Mr O’Connor is also a regional board member of Young Presidents’ Organisation and a Senior Advisor to the Institute of Advertising, Singapore. He is actively involved in community outreach initiatives that include the development of local football, helping children, youth and families in need.
He holds a Master of Business Administration in Retailing and Wholesaling from the University of Stirling, and was conferred the award of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty, The Queen of England in 2010.