John was born in Manchester and was educated at Sheffield and Warwick Universities. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) and he has an MBA degree.
During his career John has worked in a range of financial and accounting roles in professional practice, industry and commerce and most recently in the public sector in Scotland where he has been the finance director of a number of arms-length public bodies.
John was the chairman of the ICAEW in Scotland from 2006 to 2008 a has been a member of its local committee since 2002. He has also been an audit committee member for the Scotland Malawi Partnership since 2012.