Ian Marks

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Biographical Information

Ian Marks CBE "It was as a successful businessman that he was awarded his CBE – growing the Trebor Group to £350 million annual turnover during his time as CEO, as well as chairing the Cocoa, Chocolate and Confectionery Alliance of manufacturers. Since leaving Trebor, Ian has been actively involved in 3rd World debt relief with the Jubilee 2000 project and community work with the Essex Community Foundation . He was the Founder and Chairman of the Foundation for Integrated Health with HRH Prince Charles. Ian is very interested in nutrition and its role in health, and his charitable foundation is the major shareholder in Nature's Own Ltd. " [1]


"On graduating from Cambridge, he joined the family confectionary firm of Trebor, that is the same Trebor whose mints you suck, which relocated to Colchester in 1979. He rose to become its Managing Director and then, in 1980, its Chairman. A highly successful career in business but you might conclude nothing truly remarkable except that there were already signs that Ian Marks was no ordinary businessman. When the Medical Research Council undertook a major research programme on shop floor attitudes it found that Trebor staff were the highest motivated staff that they had ever researched. And the reason was that Ian Marks had pioneered a new approach to management, which relied on leaderless, democratic, shop floor work groups to solve problems, set standards and improve productivity. Trusting those on the ground to know best is a theme that recurred in his later ventures.

"In 1989 Ian Marks sold Trebor to Cadbury, since when he has devoted much of his life to philanthropy. But he is not the kind of philanthropist who from time to time writes out cheques on a whim for his pet charities and leaves it at that. He backs bright new ideas for charities. What kind of ideas? Strategic ideas; new ways of increasing the capacity of the voluntary sector, new ways of developing the charity infrastructure, new ideas for sustainable social improvement.

"He began by setting up his own family charitable trust, the AIM Foundation, which pro-actively takes initiatives to stimulate sustainable social change, at home and abroad. Its projects range from the integration of orthodox and complementary medicine, to the provision of a national bicycle network and cycle routes, to the development of long term policies for addressing crippling Third World Debt. What all these projects shared in common was strategic intervention to help an existing charity develop experimental and embryonic projects.

"His biggest and most ambitious venture has been the Essex Community Foundation which he established in 1996." [1]


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  1. Health Empowerment Through Nutrition About, organizational web page, accessed February 29, 2012.