Peter Orchard was born in 1927 and worked for De La Rue from 1950 until 1993;he was a Director from 1963 to 1993, Chief Executive from 1977 to 1987 and Chairman from 1987 to 1993.
He was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1982.
Peter joined De La Rue as a graduate trainee and joked that he was only taken on because the company needed-and gained-a good cricketer.
His first management role was in international sales, making best use of his skills as a linguist,ambassador and negotiator.
By 1959 he was Managing Director in Brazil and later Managing Director of Thomas De La Rue International. In the early 1960s De La Rue was expanding, setting up operations in Colombia and Nigeria as well as opening its Gateshead facility-then the largest banknote factory in the world.
In 1965, Peter was instrumental in setting up a key alliance with Organization Giori to form De La Rue Giori, which supplied banknote printing equipment to the industry. The venture enjoyed great success for more than 30 years.
In 1987, he became Chairman, succeeding Sir Arthur(Gerry)Norman who wrote to Peter at the time saying “I know that your own brand of leadership has been mainly responsible for creating such a good team as we now have” and wishing him good luck.Although in a non-executive role, Peter continued to work and travel extensively for the company
Without warning, Peter collapsed and died on a train station platform on his way to work after 43 years with De La Rue.
During that time he had seen the company expand then contract back to the core business, weather hostile bids, and form great alliances.During this period, Peter Orchard was De La Rue, and his contribution to the company and the wider banknote industry is incalculable.