Sir Tom is the founder of Kwik-Fit, one of the World’s largest automotive parts repair and replacement specialists. He has spent all of his working life in the tyre and automotive industry.
Born 10th July, 1940, he was born and raised inEdinburgh. He opened his first business, Tyres & Accessory Supplies in 1964 inBuccleuch Street,Edinburgh. He was then 23 years old. At the age of 27 he tried early retirement when he sold his business for £450,000 and moved toSan Francisco, but quickly got bored and came back to his homeland.
In 1971 he founded Kwik-Fit in Edinburgh, which developed into one of the world’s largest automotive service companies with more than 2,300 company owned service parts and insurers. In April 1999 The Ford Motor Company made an agreed offer of £1.2billion for Kwik-Fit. Sir Tom left Kwik-Fit in February 2002 and now concentrates on his other business interests i.e. property development, venture capital and investment companies and is involved with a number of charity and community projects, including:
- Chairman -Scotland Against Drugs Campaign.
- Chairman of The Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
- Non-Executive Director – My Travel PLC.
- Member of the Development Board of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.
- Trustee of the Clerk Maxwell Cancer Research Fund.
- Honorary President – Young Enterprise Scotland.
- Trustee of Scottish Business Achievement Award Trust
- President Queen Margaret University College Foundation
- Honorary President of the Entrepreneurial Exchange.
Honours and Awards
- 2005 Awarded Andrew Carnegie Medal for Philanthropy
- 2002 Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University College,QueenMargaretUniversityCollege,Edinburgh.
- 2000 Recipient of the Golden Plate Award –American Academyof Achievement.
- 1999 Scotland’s Elite Leader of the Year Award.
- 1998 The Institute of Management Gold Medal.
- 1997 Knights Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
- 1997 Knight Commander with Star of the Order of St. Gregory the Great (From Pope John Paul II)
- 1996 Degree of Doctor honoris causa,UniversityofEdinburgh.
- 1996 Entrepreneurial Exchange – Exceptional Achievement Award.
- 1996 Honorary Degree of Doctor of Technology,Glasgow Caledonian University.
- 1996 Clydesdale Bank Corporate Citizenship Award.
- 1996 Officier in de Orde vanOrange-Nassauof The Netherlands (From Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands).
- 1994 Fellow of the Scottish Vocation Education Council.
- 1993 Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration,NapierUniversity,Edinburgh.
- 1993 The Knight Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland(From the President ofPoland).
- 1990 CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
- 1989 Scottish Businessman of the Year.
Tom Farmer is an excellent After Dinner Speaker, being able to use his experience as a Captain of Industry to bring in themes of leadership and motivation.
He is married to Anne, his wife of 36 years. They have one daughter (35), one Son (34) and three grandchildren.