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SCC’s founder, Sir Peter Rigby, has received the accolade of being the first British-born businessman to receive the Legion d’honneur.
The award, France’s highest honour, is handed out only to a select few, usually celebrities and military leaders, including the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates and Sir Paul McCartney. The decision to award it to Rigby is in recognition of his services to the French economy and building strong business relations.
That story started with the firm’s efforts to set SCC up on the other side of the Channel. Starting with a team of two in 1998, the privately owned Rigby Group’s French business now runs an operation that employs 3,300 staff across 23 locations.
The Rigby Group has expanded over the years beyond just offering technology, and its activities include hotels, aviation and real estate.
Its French businesses generated a considerable amount of turnover and have been actively acquiring over the years and expanding to the point where the operation delivered revenues of €2bn in the fiscal year ended 31 March 2021.
The French Ambassador’s citation pointed out that Rigby had made a real difference to the relationship between the neighbouring countries: “In bestowing this decoration, France recognises your important contribution to the French economy and your effort to reinforce business relations between our two countries.”
For Rigby, this is another major honour to add to the knighthood he received from the Queen back in 2002 for his services to technology and business.
“I have always passionately believed in the importance of building positive relationships with neighbours and colleagues beyond the UK’s borders and am both grateful and deeply honoured by my appointment to the Legion d’honneur,” he said.
“It has been a great privilege to be able to see the birth of our business in France through to its present position and I am also grateful to the many good people and the senior management who have helped to make the company what it is today. I see this great honour not simply as recognition for myself, but for the company and the team who have helped create and develop our business into what it has become today.”