IOE&IT saddened by passing of two former executives

Fri 26 Jan 2024
Posted by: Richard Cree
IOE News
IOE Graduation John Robinson

The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) was saddened to hear the news this week of the death of two former members of the IOE&IT's senior leadership team.

Former IOE&IT president, Sir Martin Laing, who held that role in the early 2000s, which was a turbulent time for IOE&IT, has died in hospital in Malta aged 81. He was a major figure in the UK construction industry and in the late 1990s served four years as chair of the Overseas Board of Trade.

Marco Forgione, director general of IOE&IT, said that Sir Martin had played a significant role in advising Andrew Nemes, chair of IOE&IT while Sir Martin was president.

“During those troubled times for IOE&IT, Sir Martin played a significant role offering support and advice to the chairman and senior team and ultimately helping to keep the Institute alive.”

Academic leader

We also learned this week of the death of John Robinson, who died peacefully at home aged 82. Robinson was academic director at IOE&IT from 2007 to 2018.

Forgione added:

“We were saddened to hear of the passing of these two former senior figures within IOE&IT. John, in particular, will still be remembered by plenty of people, both on the Board and across the Institute.”

Robinson’s career in academia and international trade followed a first career in a senior post in Europe’s NATO headquarters, which itself came after a successful career in the RAF.

Jumping into this new career, he not only gained a formal teaching qualification, but also held two master’s degrees from UK universities. He taught all the qualifications produced by the IOE&IT at the time and took on the role of chairman of the IOE&IT’s Academic Board in 2007.

In this role led many educational developments, including the design and introduction of a Foundation degree. He also oversaw the start of moving towards greater digitisation.

He was elected an IOE&IT Fellow in 2011.

As an expert in education, training and international trade at all levels of business, he frequently interacted with the UK government, as well as devising and delivering training for the Egyptian government.

One of those who remembers working with John Robinson is Kevin Shakespeare, IOE&IT director of international and special projects. Shakespeare has fond memories of that time,

“I was fortunate enough to have had the pleasure of working with John. What impressed me most was John's knowledge across a range of different areas of international trade, from export marketing to operational aspects such as logistics and Incoterms.

“I am very grateful to John for sharing that wisdom.”

Picture: John Robinson, former academic director at IOE&IT