“If you wake up in the morning and you think you have made it, you should stay in bed.”
That’s a little piece of wisdom, from billionaire businessman, oil tycoon, philanthropist and all round North Sea doyen, Sir Ian Wood.
The former Wood Group head honcho added: “There are always new things to do. I have still got a bunch of ambitions and objectives.”
The 74-year-old was speaking to the Scotsman newspaper earlier this week.
From growing his father’s shipping business into the oil services giant it is today, to mapping out the future collaborative effort to Maximise Economic Recovery in the North Sea for the now defunct Department of Energy & Climate Change with the Wood Review, Sir Ian has become a figurehead to the industry.
But he said it was in 1972, on a return flight from Houston, Texas, that he realised that he may have first come across a money spinner.
He had travelled to Texas with several other oil and gas delegate sin the hope of securing some work.
He said: “I had no idea it was to alter Aberdeen, my life and the life of my employees.
“I remember coming back on the plane and for the first tune I realised this was going to be really transformational.”
The second big moment came at a Wood Group conference in Malaysia, circa 1995, when he noticed the scale that the company had grown to.
Sir Ian said: “When I left for the conference I had the view that Wood Group was an important company based in Aberdeen with tentacles around the world. When I got there I realised it had grown into a global company, that it no longer had a centre. This was truly worldwide.”
Today much of the tycoon’s focus is on philanthropic ventures through his family named charitable foundation.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains a key focus of the Wood Foundation’s work.
Closer to home, he and his wife Helen have also supplied money for a multi storey car park near Aberdeen Royal infirmary – after seeing the parking problems that staff and visitors were encountering.
He said: “By the time I die I will have given a lot of my money away, partly to my family but heavily outside of the family.
“My family have all benefited and that gives me great pleasure.
Recommended for you
Read the latest opinion pieces from our Energy Voice columnists
- Opinion: Accountants are the next big thing in renewable energy
- Opinion: The $10 trillion resource North Korea can’t tap
- Opinion: Onshore decommissioning needs a coordinated port plan
- Opinion: How do you use oil’s wealth to build a sustainable future?
- Opinion: Powertrain Wars – Battery or Fuel Cells?