Born in 1943, Lord Vallance was educated at Brasenose College Oxford University and the London Business School.
He spent his executive career with BT Plc, joining its Board at its inception in 1981, becoming Chief Executive in 1986 and Chairman from 1987 until 2001.
He was made a Knight Bachelor in 1994 and joined the House of Lords, as a Liberal Democrat Peer, in 2005. He is a former Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs and is now a member of the European Union Committee on Financial and Economic Affairs.
Lord Vallance is Chairman of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, a recent member of the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG and a member of the Allianz AG International Advisory Board. He is Chairman of Amsphere Ltd and Amsphere Consulting Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland, a Fellow of the London Business School, an Honorary Governor of Glasgow Academy and an Honorary Fellow of Brasenose College Oxford.
He held a number of positions in other organisations including: President of the CBI (2000-2002), Chairman of the European Services Forum, member (former Chairman) of the European Advisory Committee to the New York Stock Exchange. Former Chairman and Vice-President of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Chairman of Nations Healthcare Ltd, Vice Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, member of the Board of Directors of the Mobil Corporation, member of the Security Commission and a member of the European Advisory Council of the Rothschild Group.