Industrialist and business troubleshooter. Born in Dundee, the son of a jute baron, Robertson was educated at Ardvreck School in Crieff and Trinity College, Glenalmond. He was a code-breaker during World War II, serving for a time at Bletchley Park, but returned to Dundee in 1946 to join the family firm. He became its Managing Director in 1954 and offered its shares on the stock exchange in 1958. Thereafter he accepted a series of Directorships and served on various public bodies. In 1975, he was appointed the first Chief Executive of Scottish Development Agency and also served as the first Chairman of Girobank Scotland. He went on to gain a reputation for turning round failing companies, including the Glasgow-based Reo Stakis Hotel Group (1991-95), and created his own consultancy firm, the Postern Group, specialising in business rescue across the UK.
He was also Chairman of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and Treasurer of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was knighted in 1991 and received honorary degrees from several Scottish universities, including Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Napier.
Robertson died in Edinburgh and will be remembered for his tough decision-making, clear-thinking and organisational abilities - he was once labelled "the most methodical man in Scotland."