Death of one of Wales' most respected businessmen.
ONE of Wales' most respected entrepreneurs Peter O' Toole, whose aim was to make shopping more attractive, has died following a long illness, writes Robert Llewellyn Jones.
Mr O'Toole, who was 53, was the founder and chief executive of Newport-based Retail Merchandising Services (RMS).
He started the business in 2005 after leaving the Musgrave Group where he was store development director.
RMS quickly grew into one of the UK's leading specialist merchandising solutions firms with clients including the likes of retail giants John Lewis, Tesco, Asda and B&Q. In 2012 he was a finalist in the IWA/Western Mail Entrepreneur of the Year award, which he went on to win in 2013.
During that time RMS achieved impressive revenue growth of 200%, recognised by the fact that it was ranked 11th in the 2013 Wales Fast Growth 50 initiative that ranks the fastest growing indigenous firms in Wales.
And with such passion for supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship, he ensured that RMS became a sponsor of the initiative.
His entrepreneurial flair also saw him establishing technology firm Mini Checkout, pioneering an app that allows shoppers to scan items and then directly charge their bank account so avoiding the need to go through a checkout.
Mr O'Toole was born in Rhoose and educated at Barry Boys' Comprehensive School which he left at the age of 16 to become a motorcycle mechanic.
Four years later he joined Kwik Save where he became head of format development. Within six months he was made a store manager.
With a name like Peter O'Toole it would be natural to assume Mr O'Toole possessed some thespian tendencies.
A story he loved to tell involved his namesake, who he met on a Cardiff street before an international rugby match.
Addressing the great actor he said: "You'll never guess who I am. I'm Peter O'Toole and I was once a child actor who, like you, appeared at the New Theatre."
The late Peter O'Toole Matthew Horwood