Sir Owen G Glenn

In 2002, expatriate businessman Sir Owen G Glenn donated $7.5 million to the Business School for the development of premises and facilities.


This generous contribution is believed to be the largest private donation in New Zealand educational history, and was driven by Sir Glenn's belief in the Business School's mission and in the benefits high-quality business education confers on New Zealand business and society. In recognition of this gift the Business School’s complex, opened in early 2008, was named the Owen G Glenn Building. In 2018 the building was remamed to the Sir Owen G Glenn Building to recognise his knighthood which took place in 2013.

Sir Owen Glenn followed his initial $7.5 million donation in 2008 with the donation of an additional $500,000 to establish the Barry Spicer and Owen G Glenn PhD Scholarships. These scholarships received matched funding of $250,000.

Mr Glenn is founder, owner and executive chair of OTS Logistics Group. One of the world's largest logistics enterprises, it is a billion dollar revenue company with offices in 105 countries. He has expressed the hope that the global scale of his business achievements might act as inspiration to others.

"Top quality business education is vital to the future success of New Zealand, and I am delighted to be able to help in this way and to be a part of the vision of the Business School and the University of Auckland."

After an initial donation of $100,000 to funded research into the viability of a proposed National Training Centre for High Performance Sport at the Millennium Institute on Auckland's North Shore, Mr Glenn donated a further $1 million with the aim of attracting other private sector donations. In October 2010, he pledged to match other private and business donations by a further $2.75 million, lifting his total donations to the project to $3.85 million.

He supports a number of international charities through the Glenn Family Foundation and helped establish the International SeaKeepers Society. He has financially contributed to the University's South Pacific Centre for Marine Science at Leigh and in 2010 gifted $300,000 for the establishment of a chair in cancer research at the University.

Summary of Owen G Glenn's background

Year Detail
1940 Born in Calcutta on 19 February.
1952 Family immigrates to New Zealand; attends Balmoral Intermediate and Mt Roskill Grammar.
1961 Works at the Bank of New Zealand.
  Overseas experience in Europe/Australia.
1962 Returns to New Zealand; works for TEAL (now Air New Zealand), then Emery Air Freight.
1969 In the UK: joins the Swire Group (included Cathay Pacific Airways). Proposes they form a joint venture company with the Ocean Group, which results in MSAS (McGregor Swire Air Services), later EXCEL Logistics – one of the world’s largest logistical groups.
1976 With partner Malcolm Bush, sets up Sydney-based freight company, Pacific Forwarding Group.
1978 Partners launch DCL (Direct Container Line) in the USA as an NVOCC (Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier). Owen takes over DCL (Los Angeles); Bush is retained PFG. DCL soon becomes the biggest NVOCC and the second-largest exporter of goods in the USA.
1989 DCL wins an "E for Export Award" from President Reagan and Owen completes Harvard OPM (Owner/President Management Programme) 1989-1990.
1991 DCL wins an "E Star Award" for continued contributions to the Export Expansion Program of the United States of America; Owen is presented with a USA "Entrepreneur of the Year" Award.
1994 Owen leads the formation of NACA (North American Consolidation Association). Now NACA's Chair, Owen's vision is for the business to become a fully integrated global transport conglomerate.
2000 OTS Logistics Group, formed from merger of interests of DCL, Brennan and Conterm, creates the leading NVOCC.
2001 Establishment of Vanguard Logistics Group. Expands into warehousing and Container Freight Station market segments.
2005 Establishment of Global Resource Center in China creates processing center for worldwide operations.
  Acquisition of Ocean World Shipping in China, with 13 offices, expands geographic footprint into one of the largest emerging export markets.
  Acquisition of Box Consolidators in the UK.
  Contributes NZ$7.5 million to the University of Auckland Business School, a landmark philanthropic contribution in New Zealand education.
2007 Acquisition of Confreight Belgium completes expansion of global presence in all major markets.
2008 Establishment of own Container Freight Station in Antwerp creates premier warehousing facility in that hub port.
  Barry Spicer and Owen G Glenn PhD Scholarships established and funded by an endowment donated by Owen G Glenn to recognise the period of Barry Spicer's deanship of the University of Auckland Business School.
  Appointed Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, in acknowledgement of his services to NZ business and his philanthropic contribution to the community.
2011 Strategic initiatives to expand organic growth opportunities with investments in warehouses, new offices and IT.
  Made a Fellow by CPA Australia, in recognition of his contributions to both business and philanthropy.
2012 The Glenn Family Foundation launches the Otara Project, a holistic and targeted development project concentrated in Otara, Auckland.
  Awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Auckland in recognition for his ongoing commitment to the University and education in New Zealand.
  Named Knight Companion in the Honours List of the Order of New Zealand Merit. This knighthood was given in recognition of his services to business and community.