Honorary Award for industry leader

A former Taunton student who went on to hold top posts in industry, including Director of Wessex Water plc and Chief Financial Officer of the worldwide technology services Achilles Group, is to be awarded an Honorary Master of Business at Somerset College’s university graduation ceremony this week (Friday Nov 4).

The Honorary Award for Chris Bishop, of Taunton, is being conferred by the University of Plymouth, which validates the university degree courses at Somerset College in Taunton.

Mr Bishop was a student and part-time lecturer in Accounting at the former Taunton Technical College which became part of Somerset College, and is a former Governor and Chairman of the College’s Board of Governors.

He is a Chartered Public Finance Accountant with a Bachelor of Science degree and after an early career in local government followed by financial consultancy with leading accounting firms, he spent 23 years in the water industry, 12 as a Director of Wessex Water plc.

He went on to manage global customer services operations for Azurix Corporation, the then parent Company of Wessex Water, and later joined Windforce, developing funding options in the wind energy development industry for projects in Sweden, Norway, Spain and Greece. 

In 2002 he became Chief Financial Officer of the Achilles Group, a technology services company operating in sixteen countries worldwide. In 2005 he was part of a buy-out of the Achilles Group to form Insight Assured Limited, and is still a consultant and shareholder. He is also currently involved in providing financial support and advice to regional businesses.

He has been a Board member of the Wiltshire and Somerset Colleges Partnership Limited from 2005 until 2011, and was Chairman of the Board from 2006.

He was a trustee of the British Institute for Brain Injured Children from 2001 until 2010 and is currently a trustee of a number of local organisations.