Ian Matheson

House and Years at Fettes:
Moredun 1965-1970

Qualifications and career:
CPsychol AFBSsS, BSc (Hons)

I met a Personnel Manager (as they were called then!) who recommended a career in Personnel. He also recommended a degree in Cardiff which specialised in occupational psychology. My path was set and I completed my degree in Cardiff. On graduation I joined Glaxo SmithKline as a Personnel Officer and spent 2.5 years there getting a good grounding in Human Resources (HR).

I then moved to P&O Nedlloyd, the container shipping company, to take up a generalist HR role, something which eluded me at Glaxo. After 5 years at P&O Nedlloyd I felt ready to lead my own HR function and an opportunity came along with the Industrial Bank of Japan (now Mizuho), a little known bank outside banking but the Japanese equivalent of JP Morgan in the USA.

My time with the bank came to an end when I decided to try a completely new angle to my career – management consultancy. For the next 15 years I worked with my wife to run our own consultancy business. Since 2009 I have been working with Penna, one of the UK’s largest people management consultancies, heading up the delivery of psychological assessment services to identify talent at the most senior levels in organisations.

What is your most cherished memory from your time at Fettes?
Sailing on the Forth in the Sailing Club and RN Section of the CCF.

And your least?
Steeplechases!

What event or personality left a lasting impression on you?
Charles Whittle for his quirky eccentricity which appealed to the schoolboy mind and his mentoring as I aspired to a career in the Royal Navy, which I then turned my back on to his disgust having been awarded a scholarship to Britannia RN College Dartmouth.

Were you a conscientious student?
No, I learned to study at university.

Outside the classroom, how did you spend your free time at Fettes?
Sailing, chatting with friends and listening to rock music.