Philip Akeroyd (1949-2020)
A leading businessman and hotelier who helped to steer the 2017 America’s Cup success has died.
Philip Akeroyd, the owner of the Inverurie Executive Suites hotel on Harbour Road in Paget, was 70.
Mr Akeroyd served as deputy chairman of the West End Development Corporation, where he was appointed in 2013 by Trevor Moniz, a former public works minister and close friend.
“He did a yeoman’s job up there; his work was excellent,” Mr Moniz said yesterday.
“Philip was a chartered accountant and very experienced. He enjoyed the detail of business — he was fascinated by the things in business that a lot of people aren’t interested in.”
Mr Moniz said Mr Akeroyd had qualified as an accountant right out of Reading School in Britain and worked on the finances of business projects around the world, including Africa and Brazil, before delving into the oil business in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
He added: “He knew all the ins and outs of complex projects from a financial point of view, and it was great that we had him when it came to the America’s Cup and Cross Island. I’d asked him if he wanted to do public service in his semi-retirement, and he was the guy to have.
“He was a great supporter of Bermuda.”
Mr Moniz called him “generous, with a lovely dry sense of humour, always with a twinkle in his eye”.
Mr Akeroyd moved to Bermuda, which he researched at length, for the climate and its relative proximity to his parents, John and Daphne, in Britain. Both predeceased him.
Mr Akeroyd bought and refurbished the Inverurie, which he reopened in 2015 as high-end accommodation for business guests.
Mr Moniz said he took on the project as “an interesting challenge”.
He added: “He really turned it around. It was typical of him; he was very good with things like that.”
Edward Harris, a former executive director of the National Museum of Bermuda, called Mr Akeroyd “one of Bermuda’s unsung heroes”.
Dr Harris said: “After he sold his business and retired, he decided to live and invest in Bermuda, and make a difference, particularly in tourism. I don’t think we give anywhere near enough credit to the people who come here and invest in the island.
“He was a very friendly individual, with a wonderful sense of self-deprecating humour, and exceptionally generous.”
Dr Harris said Mr Akeroyd was a trustee of the museum, which was among the local causes that benefited from his generosity.
Unmarried, with no children, Mr Akeroyd was “delighted when he became a ’belonger’ in Bermuda — it wasn’t status, but it was everything but voting, and he felt like he was a part of the island”.
Dr Harris added: “It is a great miss for Bermuda.”
He said Mr Akeroyd, who bought property here before moving to the island in 2012, later sold his multimillion-dollar home and moved to Harbour Road, Paget.
Dr Harris said his friend took pleasure in returning the Inverurie to its original name — the premises had been retitled The Wharf Executive Suites — and funding projects such as bringing the historic, restored Sphinx statue back to the property.
“He put a tremendous amount of money into it,” Dr Harris said.
“It’s a small hotel, but he revamped it into something first-class, investing in a vital Bermuda tourist business.”
Mr Akeroyd is survived by brother Nigel and sister Nicola.
Philip Denman Akeroyd, accountant and hotelier, was born on December 24, 1949. He died on September 27, 2020, aged 70.