Barnaby Swire was born in January 1964. He was educated at Eton College. He is a son of Sir John Anthony Swire, Chairman of the Swire Group between 1966 and 1987 and life president of John Swire & Sons Ltd. He graduated from University College, Oxford in 1985, where he studied History and Modern Languages.
Swire started his career at the family business, John Swire & Sons, in 1985. He worked for them in Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea and Japan. He transferred to London in 1994, where he continued to work for the Swire Group. He served on the board of directors of Lewmar Marine.
He has served as the chairman of the Swire Group since the end of 2014, when he replaced James Hughes-Hallett. He also serves as the chairman of two subsidiaries, The China Navigation Company and Swire Oilfield Services, and on the board of directors of Swire Pacific Offshore and the Steamships Trading Company.
He is married and has four children. They reside in Kent.