School of Economics


Martin Totty (Economics 1978)

Martin Totty (BA Economics, 1978) is Chief Executive of Barbon Insurance Group, a specialist provider of risk solutions to the Residential Lettings sector and owned by The Carlyle Group, the US Private Equity investor. In this capacity he is often quoted in broadcast media.

He was formerly CEO of FirstAssist Insurance Ltd, another private equity owned business, on whose behalf he led the sale of the business in 2011 to Cigna, the US-based global healthcare insurer. Prior to these experiences in the UK financial services sector, Martin spent many years at Pepsico Inc in a variety of commercial and general management positions both in the UK and international markets. On graduating from the University of Nottingham, the early part of his career was spent in consumer goods brand marketing which remains a keen interest.

The school is indebted to Martin for his support which facilitates a wide range of activity, both within the school and beyond. In 2019, the school announced the launch of the Martin Totty PhD Studentship, a new full-time PhD studentship generously gifted by Martin.

For many years Martin supported our public lecture series at which leading academics and economic luminaries address issues of topical interest. This support was key in terms of allowing the school to establish this lecture series and invite stellar speakers to provide our students with a broader perspective beyond the classroom.

Martin also sponsored a range of annual prizes to reward the best academic performance by an undergraduate in first, second and third year, as well as a prize for the best final year dissertation.

To reward and inspire activity beyond the lecture hall, Martin also sponsored an annual Entrepreneurship prize which acted not only as a source of encouragement to budding entrepreneurs in the school, but also as recognition of the great many outstanding contributions that they make, often with have a strong social or charitable dimension, while studying at the University.

We are particularly grateful to Martin for his commitment to awarding these prizes in person at the Prize Giving reception on Graduation Day. Speaking at one such occasion, Martin said:

The University gave me the platform on which to build a career. I've made my gift because at this time of life I can afford to give a little back to a few people so that they might have a similar experience to mine, so that they can take the opportunities this University will give them and build their own success in a world that is much tougher than when I left university.

Philip Watson (Economics 1965)

Philip Watson, an eminent professional statistician for over 40 years, was granted Chartered Statistician status in 1993 having held fellowships the Royal Statistical Society and Institute of Statisticians.

Born in Lincolnshire, some fifty miles up the River Trent from Nottingham, Philip Watson won a County Scholarship to attend the University of Nottingham, where he read Economics and nurtured a keen interest in statistics. As for so many undergraduates, University was a life changing experience.

Author of over 40 papers, Philip Watson worked as a Statistician for internationally renowned companies such as Bassetts confectioners and Pirelli tyres prior to becoming Chief Statistician at the International Rubber Study Group in London and subsequently its Consultant Statistician.

More recently he has advised the Office of National Statistics and the Department of Work and Pensions, devoting much of his semi-retirement to the earnest pursuit of bridge - as Committee Member and Tournament Director. It turns out that his passion for economic statistics and bridge date back to his university days where, as a resident of G Block, Lincoln Hall, Philip honed his skills, cannily sharing a room with fellow economist and international bridge player, Tony Sowter.

Philip's experience of university exemplified just how much can be attained in just three short years. Not merely a dedicated scholar, Philip engaged in all aspects of university life, as Manager of the Students' Union Stationery Shop, member of NUTS (Nottingham University Tiddlywinks Society, a game, incidentally, at which he claimed to be "reasonably proficient") and University Carnival.

Recalling those student days he wrote, "I felt as if I was putting something back into university life", a commitment that continues to the present day as sponsor of the School of Economics' student magazine Nottingham Economic Review. Philip's generosity contributes significantly to its production costs and is of significant importance to the publication.



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