BRITAIN’S MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE OF AFRICAN AND AFRICAN CARIBBEAN HERITAGE.
Founder of Crossword Cybersecurity; African Gifted Foundation
He’s a cyber-security expert who has founded several incredibly successful tech companies, including Crossword Cybersecurity and was Chief Information Officer at Egg, the first major internet bank. But it is his work as an educational philanthropist that has propelled Tom to the number-one spot on this year’s Powerlist. Tom’s passion for education has seen him found the Hammersmith Academy in west London and transform Lilian Baylis comprehensive from a failing to outstanding school, influencing the lives of thousands of children in the process. And his achievements aren’t confined to the UK. He set up the charity, African Gifted Foundation, to help transform the lives of children in the continent and this year he opened the first science and technology school – the African Science Academy. It is based in Ghana and accepts young women with a passion and gift for maths and science from across the continent. On day one it had students from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Uganda on its roll. Volunteer teaching assistants came from Cambridge University as well as from universities in the United States to support the permanent teaching staff. Back in the UK, Tom is the brains behind ADA, the new National College for Digital Skills, a specialist computing further education college, offering 6th form and Foundation Degree apprenticeships. It was one of four new FE colleges announced by David Cameron in 2014 and industry partners include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, IBM, Deloitte and Gamesys, among others. ADA opened in September this year and is located in Tottenham Hale, north London. Tom is a trustee of the college and helped guide it towards launch. He took over as chair in August in readiness for the opening in September. Tom was until recently Managing Director of Consumer Markets at Callcredit Information Group, a credit reference agency which was sold to Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR in 2014. Prior to Callcredit, Tom founded and was CEO of Garlik, an identity protection company which he sold to Experian in 2011. Earlier Tom was one of the founders of internet banking pioneer Egg. He has also held senior roles at Goldman Sachs, PwC, Cap Gemini and the London Stock Exchange.