Michael Harper was born in 1945 and educated in his native Barrow-in-Furness and then at Kings College and Imperial College, London University where he graduated in Mechanical Engineering and Management Studies.
His early career was with Vickers plc where he was responsible for their Hydraulic and Nuclear Energy Business in Swindon and latterly the defense industry supplier BAJ Vickers near Bristol.
He joined Kidde Graviner Limited in 1984 and became involved in fire safety equipment for aircraft and military vehicles, and via a series of mergers and acquisitions became responsible for the Kidde division of Williams Holdings plc which supplied fire protection and fire safety equipment to a wide range of industries.
Michael was Chief Executive of Kidde plc – a public company – from 2000 until 2005 when he retired from executive life and has since Chaired BBA Aviation plc (2007 – 2014), Ricardo plc (2003 - 2014), The Vitec Group plc (2004 – 2012) and served on the Boards of Catlin plc (2005 – 2010) and QinetiQ plc (2011 – present). He has been a member of the Aerospace Technology Institute Board since September 2014 and Independent non-executive Chairman of the Fire Sector Federation since 2018.
Michael became a Freeman of the City of London in January 2003. He became a Liveryman of the Company in July 2004 and served as the Master in 2012/13.
He serves as a Governor of Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.
Michael enjoys travelling, various sports (shooting, cricket, rugby and football), opera, ballet and the theatre.
He is married to Judith and has five children.
He is a member of the MCC and The Travellers Club.