Former head of UK retail at Fidelity International, former chief executive of Zurich EMEA and chair of the Z Zurich Foundation Gary Shaughnessy has been awarded a CBE in the King's birthday honours list for services to business and charity.

Having received a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease in 2015 while working with Zurich, Shaughnessy went on to take the role of chair for the Z Zurich Foundation, which he still holds.

He is also chair of the board of trustees for Parkinson's UK, taking on multiple fundraising challenges each year, including cycling, swimming and running, and has raised more than £500,000 to date for the charity and Zurich's own foundation.

Shaughnessy said that news of the honour was "so unexpected" but it was nonetheless "an honour to receive it",

"I certainly did not set out to receive personal accolades," he said. "I wanted to simply focus on what I could do. It was my way of taking control of my Parkinson's and I hoped that maybe I would help a few others along the way."

"Awards like this underline and show the value that charities, and charitable people, make to society. It should never be forgotten that we can all make an impact."

Having begun his career in financial services in 1989 with the Bank of Scotland, Shaughnessy later held managing director roles with Prudential Assurance and Fidelity UK, before joining Zurich as its chief executive of the EMEA region in 2012 - a role he held for six years before stepping down in 2018.

In addition to fundraising work and role as chair of the Z Zurich Foundation, he also chairs the England Athletics governing body on a part-time basis.

"I get so much out of the roles that I do, and they give me a platform to raise awareness and make a change, but I could not do it alone. I want to take time to recognise the Parkinson's community," he said.

"Through meeting so many incredible people and families affected by the condition, I have learnt so much more about their reality of life with Parkinson's. Whether it is taking part in research, leading a support group, increasing their physical activity or learning how to live with their diagnosis, they inspire me every day.

"Separately, we are 145,000 individuals, each with our own journey complete with challenges to overcome and wins to celebrate. Together we can be an unstoppable force."

Grégory Renand, head of the Z Zurich Foundation, added: "Gary is a genuine role model for the support he's given to communities. This recognition is testament to his dedication to the charity sector over several decades. We cannot think of a more deserving recipient to receive this honour."