Ian Hay Davison (IHD) was born in 1931. He attended Dulwich College and then the London School of Economics before completing postgraduate studies in business administration and computer technology at the University of Michigan, USA. On his return to the UK in 1958 he joined the accounting and public services firm Arthur Andersen & Co. His early interest in IT and its application to business practice, particularly accounting, was put to use, and he developed considerable expertise in financial management standards, self-regulation and governance. In 1966 he became managing partner for the London office, and in 1973 for the whole of the UK. He held the position until his resignation in early 1983.
While he was working at Arthur Andersen & Co IHD was involved in a number of high-profile projects, including a protracted legal case relating to Delorean Motor Cars Limited and financial irregularities. During this time he also served on a number of public enquiries, and as chairman of the Accounting Standards Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW).
In late 1982 he was asked by the Governor of the Bank of England to consider undertaking the job of reforming accounting and financial management practices at Lloyd's of London. He subsequently became Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of the organisation in early 1983, conducting consultative reviews of management and decision-making structures, and introducing new processes for improving accounting standards and self-regulation. IHD resigned from Lloyd's in February 1986. An account of his experiences, entitled A View from the Room: Lloyd's Change and Disclosure, was published in 1987.
IHD's extensive and wide-ranging experience in the private sector followed including directorships of The Independent, Cadbury Schweppes and Midland Bank, and as chairman of Storehouse (BHS, Mothercare and Habitat), Credit Lyonnais Securities and McDonnell Douglas Information Systems. In addition, his portfolio included appointments as director of the Royal Opera House, trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum, chairman of the Sadler's Wells Foundation and president of the National Council for One Parent Families. He served on the Council of the ICAEW from 1982-2005.
IHD was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Bath in 1998, and later by the London School of Economics and the Royal College of Art. He received a CBE in 2002.