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ISSUE SEVEN: SPRING 2012

serious truffle maker The Highland Chocolatier’s sweet Perthshire success a £12.5bn games changer Baroness Ford’s regeneration project aims for Olympic gold the winning years Mike Cantley on the what, the how and the why BQ live debate Women in the boardroom

quay of life Charan Gill finds life after Ashoka and spiritual  contentment in Rajasthan and... Musselburgh ISSUE SEVEN: SPRING 2012: SCOTLAND EDITION

BUSINESS NEWS: COMMERCE: FASHION: INTERVIEWS: MOTORS: EVENTS

SCOTLAND EDITION

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197-201 Ayr Road , Newton Mearns, Glasgow, Scotland, G77 6AE , Tel 0141 639 3344


WELCOME

BUSINESS QUARTER: SPRING 12: issue SEVEN Welcome to BQ Scotland. As always, we hope you find the magazine a good use of your time. We are committed to writing about business in Scotland and Scots doing enterprising things in their professional lives. We are about lifting the stones, looking underneath and seeing what is going on. Our interview with Baroness Ford, the chairman of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, is typical of the kind of profile we are keen to raise. Yet here is a Scot who seldom gets mentioned in her homeland. We make no apology for our interviews being a bit longer and more in-depth, because in this epoch of sound-bites and rapid digital information, there has to be time for some serious reflection. And our BQ Live Debate on women in the boardroom is an attempt to get to the heart of the matter.  The intention was to make this issue a referendum-free edition until we had a better set of figures about the pros and cons of independence. Many business people in Scotland have been quietly listening as the debate unfolds. When you set aside the emotional aspects of independence – and there can be no doubt that everyone who lives in Scotland is patriotic and shares a love for aspects of their country – then there is a lack of real economic evidence about whether we will be better off. There also needs to be some balance about the many benefits that the Union has brought to Scotland – especially the markets for our produce, goods and services – and these are often hidden and simply taken for granted. The referendum debate is massively important for Scotland, as are the repercussions for England and the rest of the UK. At BQ, we’re listening to this political debate and hoping we hear some clear, hard-nosed discussion about the real costs of Scotland going it alone. Meanwhile, we feel there are more pressing issues that Scotland needs to tackle – how we get more young Scots prepared for the workplace. Our youth unemployment is a worrying trend, when Scotland has traditionally had the highest employment rate in the United Kingdom. From the mid-1990s,

Scotland’s employment rate was steadily increasing, reaching a peak of 74.9% in early of 2007. Since the banking collapse, Scotland’s employment rate, along with the other countries of the UK, has been severely battered. There are now 234,000 unemployed in Scotland, or around 8.7% of the population. These figures are not sustainable for the health and wellbeing of our economy. Helping Scotland’s businesses give young people the experience of work has to be the priority. And here, the Scottish Government has to do its bit. The Curriculum for Excellence in all of our schools is a laudable goal, but we need to work harder on improving the levels of literacy and numeracy for those entering the modern workplace. Anecdotally, we hear of many Scottish business people who say that the basic levels of writing and arithmetic among new starters is extremely poor. And we also need to manage the expectation about young people and the work palce. They need to be prepared and willing to take up the challenges, turn up on time, listen to instructions and be prepared to wait for the opportunities. The astonishing story of Peter Cashmore, the 26-year-old Aberdeen entrepreneur selling his social news website Mashable for a reported £130m is a wonderful exception, but it is not the rule in business. In return, Scotland’s businesses need to pay a fair rate, treat employees scrupulously fairly, and not expect free labour – or shelf-stacking in the guise of “work experience”. Scotland’s immediate priority has to be creating jobs and building enterprises. Our job at BQ is to keep our readers informed about such success stories and shed a bit of light on how to do it. Meanwhile, we are pleased to announce the launch of our new website, bq-magazine.co.uk, which offers readers a rich archive of content from past issues of BQ as well as new, online-only interviews, analysis and insight from our editorial team. Have a great day in the office, the factory or on the road.

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Kenny Kemp, Editor, BQ Scotland

CONTACTS room501 ltd Christopher March Managing Director e: chris@room501.co.uk George Cheung Director e: george@room501.co.uk Euan Underwood Director e: euan@room501.co.uk Bryan Hoare Director e: bryan@room501.co.uk EditorIAL Kenny Kemp Editor e: editor@bq-scotland.co.uk Alastair Gilmour Sub-editor Gillian Law Editorial Design & production room501 e: studio@room501.co.uk Photography KG Photography e: info@kgphotography.co.uk advertising For advertising call 0191 537 5720 or email sales@bq-magazine.co.uk

room501 Publishing Ltd, 16 Pickersgill Court, Quay West Business Park, Sunderland SR5 2AQ www.room501.co.uk room501 was formed from a partnership of directors who, combined, have many years of experience in contract publishing, print, marketing, sales and advertising and distribution. We are a passionate, dedicated company that strives to help you to meet your overall business needs and requirements. All contents copyright © 2012 room501 Ltd. All rights reserved. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, no responsibility can be accepted for inaccuracies, howsoever caused. No liability can be accepted for illustrations, photographs, artwork or advertising materials while in transmission or with the publisher or their agents. All information is correct at time of going to print, March 2012.

SCOTLAND EDITION BQ Magazine is published quarterly by room501 Ltd.

BUSINESS QUARTER |SPRING 12


SMALL FLEET.

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*Offer is available to business users only, figures exclude VAT. Participating dealers only. Not available in conjunction with any other offer. Figures include service, maintenance and repair for the duration of the contract. Hiring example is based on a 36 month BMW Corporate Finance agreement for the model shown. A BMW 316d Sport Saloon, a deposit of ÂŁ1,173.00 followed by 35 monthly rentals of ÂŁ391.00, mileage charge in excess of contract mileage 11.57 pence per mile. All agreements are based on a contract mileage of 30,000 miles and include metallic paintwork. Vehicle condition charges may apply at the end of your agreement. Offer correct at the time of printing and may change without prior notification. All hiring is subject to status and available to over 18s in the UK (excluding the Channel Islands). Guarantees and indemnities may be required. Hiring facilities provided by BMW Financial Services, Europa House, Bartley Way, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9UF. BMW EfficientDynamics reduces BMW emissions without compromising performance developments and is standard across the model range.


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CONTE BUSINESS QUARTER: SPRING 12 PASSION THE DRIVER

Features

44 bq live debate Women in the boardroom – how do we achieve it?

24 the quay of life Charan Gill on finding contentment in Rajasthan – and Musselburgh

30 my £12bn games Baroness Ford’s regeneration project

36 the green path The Scottish renewables revolution has innovation and knowledge on its side

BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12

50 passion the driver

50 SERIOUS TRUFFLE

Turnberry’s general manager is very happy, and still getting to grips with golf

73 the winning years VisitScotland’s Mike Cantley on the what, the how and the why

76 serious truffle The Highland Chocolatier reveals Perthshire’s sweet success

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76


TENTS SCOTLAND EDITION

KEEP SHARP

40 COMMERCIAL PROPERTY The landmark developments creating our industrial and commercial landscape

Regulars

56 BUSINESS LUNCH Sharp to the bottom of the glass

60 motoring

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BMM’s new 3-Series – like an old friend

62 wine

THE ITALIAN JOB

The Italian Job with Cookies on the side

08 ON THE RECORD Doing the positives in business

64 equipment Patek Philippe’s latest classic model

12 NEWS Who’s doing what, when, where and why, here in Scotland

20 AS I SEE IT It pays to pay attention to the risks

68 fashion Vivienne Westwood is queen of the ritzy

78 bit of a chat Gripping gossip from our backroom boy

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62 BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12


ON THE RECORD

SPRING 12

>> Team culture motivates supporters A ten-minute tea-break with Jane Wright, chief executive of Law at Work, which is celebrating ten years in business and has been named one of the Sunday Times’ Best Workplaces in Scotland What is it that Law at Work does? We manage risk for organisations in all elements of health and safety, employment law and human resources. What we do is provide the quality that organisations would expect from a leading law firm with a guaranteed all-inclusive fee structure. But what makes Law at Work different from a traditional law firm with its own legal expertise? We are very, very different. In a traditional law firm, everything is about fee generation and it is priced by the hour, even with a retainer in place. We truly do not measure the time we spend with clients; we don’t have the systems to do it. There’s not clock on the table. Unlike a traditional law firm we are there from the beginning for clients, so it’s a business partnership and we operate more of a consultancy model. We only work for organisations and we are seen as part of the in-house HR team. So how do you measure the value of what you do then? We are measured on client satisfaction and retention and we are measured as a team. This drives a different behaviour in the firm. Everybody’s working to support all the clients – there are no barriers. What does a business or an organisation get? Most of our business is in fixed-fee employment law and health and safety services. We also provide consultancy and add-on but for the core services, what our clients get is unlimited access to our qualified team of employment lawyers or health-andsafety specialists – 24/ 7, 365 days a year. They can consult us as early in the process – right up to dealing with litigation. What is your approach? We have a much more commercial approach, so what we do is look at the solution and outcomes for business

BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12

and we’ll work within the law to guide them to the best outcome. More than 97% of our clients have had a positive client outcome. What kind of people do you have at Law at Work? We’re different because we have a range of highly qualified people both legal and HR.  Our legal team – headed up by Donald MacKinnon – can deal with the simple issues right through to tribunal and litigation. We are not a call centre with HR advisers. What are the issues that your clients face? Some are very complex, such as large-scale redundancies, and TUPE transfers and a tricky disciplinary case that might end up in tribunal. Some of them are just additional help with HR support.

much more effective at work. What attracted me was that I looked through all the material I was sent and I thought what a fantastic product. I thought why are they not bigger and why haven’t I heard of Law at Work? It was an opportunity to make a difference. What have you brought since your arrival? When I joined, the first thing I did was spend time with every person in the business and asked them a host of questions. The best insight is from your own people. Then I talked to our clients. I shared my research and what came out loud and clear was, “We’re good but we need to spread the word”. It was my job to bring a vision and a three-year business plan. I didn’t have to change the products,

It was my job to bring a vision and a three-year business plan. I didn’t have to change the products, I had to engage people in what we could deliver What is your typical client size? Every one of our clients works in a different way with our legal team, depending on what’s important. Some of our smaller clients don’t have an in-house HR department support, we are that outsourced support, with a legal angle. Others with an in-house HR director will use us for the more complex issues. What attracted you to Law at Work? I knew I wanted to do something different. I’d worked with GlaxoSmithKline and Diageo in senior sales roles. There was the personal side that I wanted to live in Scotland. I believe if you’re happy as a person that makes you

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I had to engage people in what we could deliver. Where will the business be in three years’ time? I want to be the leading fixed-fee provider in Scotland. Our chairman is Magnus Swanson, the former chief executive of Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, who still have a stake in our company. We are small and we have to set our ambitions. There were 19 people when I joined in May 2010; now there are 27 of us. We have offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and London and we’re working with clients south of the Border, but I’m focused on where we are strong.


SPRING 12

ON THE RECORD

>> Applications invited Communication – and the ease of – is at the heart of Scotland’s digital groundswell, whether it’s in education, entertainment or industry The teaching potential of technology is one of those hot-button topics. Are we good parents if we give a child an iPad to play with, opening up all potential learning opportunities and preparing them for a technologicallyoriented future, or is it second only to dumping them in front of the telly while we get on with more interesting things? As with any new technology, touch-screen tablets have their doubters, but new applications coming out are showing that technology can do unique things in the learning environment, and certainly has its place in the tools available to teachers. Kate Ho set up Interface3 in 2009, planning to focus on touch-screen technology. She anticipated working as a consultant, bringing her own understanding of the format and her design expertise to other people’s projects. “And to kiosks,” she says. “Digital signage, point-of-sale systems, that sort of thing, and looking at how multi touch could influence design.” Then in 2010, Interface3 won a contest set up by SMART Technologies, a manufacturers of “smart tables” – touch-sensitive table tops that are “not far off a flat iPad”, says Ho. While these smart tables are not much seen in the UK, they are increasingly popular in the US. As SMART Technologies was very focused on the educational market, Interface3 began to work closely with teachers, and with others interested in learning and education. “We ended up shifting quite radically away from point-of-sale systems and digital signage and so on, firmly into education,” says Ho. Now employing four people full-time and two part-time, Interface3’s games developers and games artists are working on educational games with a strong collaborative element. “That’s where the multi-touch comes in,” she says. “We (aim for) really good games design married with an understanding of pedagogy, actual learning, not just playing games for games sake.”

Within a primary-age classroom, group activities and collaborative working are key, Ho says. “But there are so few applications and games that facilitate that sort of collaboration. We all have to work together and collaboration is much more a part of our skill set.” While multi-touch is especially well suited to group learning, their work has taken the team into other technology areas as well, including augmented reality and motion sensing technologies like Microsoft’s Kinect. The company recently made the news for its work with University of Edinburgh researchers on iPad apps for children with autism. Ho says: “They were looking at how – or whether – apps and games can help children with autism with social skills. They had a fairly rough app they handed to us, looking for someone to polish it up. So we’re now in negotiation with the university to license it. “We bring in the commercial expertise and marketing to drive the whole thing and to basically open up a market that is really quite underserved.” By the same collaborative token, developing these apps isn’t something the company could have tackled alone. “It’s very difficult to just go round developing apps for autistic children; you really need specialist knowledge,” Ho says, adding that she is incredibly glad to have started her business in Edinburgh where support for tech start-ups is very high. With offices in the University of Edinburgh’s Appleton Tower, the team is surrounded by start-ups at a similar stage of growth. Ho co-runs the Startup Café, a website encouraging start-ups with information on events, meet-ups, competitions and news on local companies. “It’s great to watch as other start-ups get going,” she says. “You just feel really pleased your mates are doing so well. And it spurs you on, too!”

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>> Digital Dozen: Tech start-ups to watch in Scotland 1. Mobile Acuity – Edinburgh Like Interface3, Mobile Acuity is based in Appleton Tower in the University of Edinburgh. Mobile Acuity’s Visual Interactivity platform lets consumers use camera phones to identify products by taking pictures of them. Take a picture of a tin of beans – or even a picture of a picture – and if you see an advertisement and like the look of it, send it to a retailer who will then send you more information on the product and potentially even let you buy it on the spot. Tesco is running trials of the Visual Interactivity platform, and already uses Mobile Acuity’s SDK barcode scanning technology. In January, Mobile Acuity won “a significant equity investment” to expand its operations into the US and Asia. The investment came from bieMEDIA, a US-based company, and a Scottish business angel network. www.mobileacuity.com 2. My1login – Glasgow My1login recently secured £250,000 in funding from Scottish Enterprise to develop its password storage system which lets users securely store and use all of their favourite sites with just one password. “Military grade” encryption assures security and the company itself has no access to users’ data. Users can store all of their passwords and even securely share them with friends and colleagues. A free version is available, with some advertising, but the company aims to upgrade customers to a paid version. www.my1login.com 3. FreeAgent – Edinburgh FreeAgent offers online, cloud-based accounting services for small businesses in the UK. More than 12,000 UK sole traders are using its service, FreeAgent says, and many accountants also direct their clients to record >>

BUSINESS QUARTER |SPRING 12


ON THE RECORD income and outgoings using the service. The company recently moved to new offices in the West End of Edinburgh and expects to grow staff numbers to almost 40 this year. Two funding rounds in the past two years have raised over £3m in capital from private and angel investors as well as IRIS business software and the SM Trust. A partnership with IRIS, the UK’s largest private software house, and one with Barclays Bank and BCSG, as part of their My Business Works software package, have also boosted FreeAgent’s growth. www.freeagent.com 4. Epistemy – Edinburgh Epistemy is a spin-out from the Uncertainty Project at the Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. The Uncertainty Project is looking at the best ways to produce accurate estimates of risk and uncertainty in predicting future oil production and reserves. Launched in 2009, Epistemy aims to create easy-to-use software to tackle complex engineering problems. Its first product, Raven, builds on the work of the Uncertainty Project, but longer-term the company aims to move into other markets. www.epistemy.com 5. oneDrum – Stirling oneDrum's peer-to-peer desktop application brings “Google Docs” functionality to Microsoft Office applications, letting users collaborate on Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Each user can work offline and any edits are added to the shared document when they next connect. Funded by Amadeus Capital Partners, the service was launched in November 2011 for Windows users, with a Mac beta version now available. Up to 100 users can collaborate, and work on files up to 5Mb in size. Initially the product is free to download, although oneDrum says it is working on a premium subscription model. Although the initial focus is on Microsoft Office, the underlying oneDrum sharing technology could be used for any files, and longer-term the company plans to release an application programming interface (API) and software development kit (SDK) to let users incorporate it into other products. http://onedrum.com

BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12

SPRING 12

6. Outplay Entertainment – Dundee The social and mobile games developer was set up in Dundee in 2010 by brothers, and games industry veterans, Richard and Douglas Hare. They previously created a studio in California, called The Collective, which developed high profile titles, including Star Wars: Episode III, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb. With Outplay Entertainment, the Hare brothers are focused on games for social and mobile platforms, including Facebook, iOS, Android and Google+. The Dundee studio opened in April 2011, backed by Pentech Ventures and the Scottish Co-investment Fund. www.outplayentertainment.com 7. Hydrafact – Edinburgh Another Heriot-Watt Institute of Petroleum Engineering spin out, Hydrafact was established in 2006 and now employs 12 people, five of them full-time. Its recentlyreleased software, HydraFLASH, focuses on flow assurance to ensure oil wells do not become blocked. Engineers can ensure oil production is maintained and problems anticipated. Hydrafact has been profitable since its first year, based on its consultancy services, training and sales of its HydraCHECK hydrate inhibition monitoring device. /www.hydrafact.com 8. Contemplate – Edinburgh Set up in 2009 by staff from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, Contemplate creates tools to improve software for financial institutions. Its ThreadSafe product helps identify bugs before they become costly mistakes. The company is currently working on trials with top-ten investment banks, and aims to make its first product available for general release this year. www.contemplateltd.com 9. Kotikan – Edinburgh Yet another Appleton Tower start-up, the mobile development company has been creating apps for mobile devices since 2007. Formerly known as Loc8 Solutions, it changed its name to broaden its reach from locationbased apps. Clients include fellow Scottish business SkyScanner, the Edinburgh Festival

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Fringe, London Film Festival and the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Apps are either built from scratch or created using Hedout, Kotikan’s own content delivery programme. The company won the heraldscotland. com-sponsored Best Use of Mobile Technology Award in last year’s Digital Business Awards, for its work with SkyScanner. http://kotikan.com 10. Technabling – Aberdeen This Aberdeen University spin-out is working on an application to translate sign language into text. Using the Portable Sign Language Translator, the speaker will sign into a camera on a computer or mobile phone, and their words will be reproduced as text on the screen. The team hopes to have the application available by 2013. The PSLT project has secured £150,000 in funding from the Small Business Research Initiative, sponsored by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Technology Strategy Board. www.technabling.co.uk 11. Kiltr – Glasgow The social networking site recently secured a third round of funding and plans a full launch this year. Established in 2007, and aimed at “everyone with a Scottish connection”, Kiltr aims to connect Scots living in Scotland, the “Scottish diaspora” and anyone who feels an affinity with the country. Investors include Par Equity, Scottish Investment Bank and Glasgow-based venture capital group Barwell. www.kiltr.com 12. VLC Ltd - Edinburgh VLC – or Visible Light Communications – has raised £180,000 through the Par Syndicate and other private investment, and supported by Scottish enterprise’s Proof of Concept. The initial funding has been earmarked to launch the first prototype “Li-Fi” technology application which will see LED light carry optical wireless communication streams. Research was carried out by Professor Harald Haas, Professor of Mobile Communications, School of Engineering/Institute of Digital Communications University of Edinburgh, who heads the D-Light project.  http://visiblelightcomm.com


Converge Challenge Creating Scottish Entrepreneurs

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Where have all the entrepreneurs gone? Key facts: Since launching in 2010, Converge Challenge has become a trailblazer in its field. We have had 80 applications. We have trained 50 company founders. 9 companies have been incorporated. 8 companies are in process of incorporation. And we have awarded over £90,000 in cash and business support.

We are a country of innovators. Converge Challenge is an opportunity for would be entrepreneurs from Scottish Universities and Research Institutes to transform their idea from business plan to fully incorporated company through business mentoring and hands on training.

WHy PaRtNeRING WItH cONVeRGe cHaLLeNGe Is aN OPPORtUNIty NOt tO MIsseD As Converge Challenge grows its profile, there is an opportunity for your businesses to meet its Corporate Social Responsibility goals, raise your company’s reputation, generate positive press opportunities and give back to the Scottish economy.

To find out how your business can benefit from partnering with Converge Challenge, please contact Dr Olga Kozlova, Enterprise Creation Manager at o.kozlova@hw.ac.uk or on 0131 451 3870 or visit www.hw.ac.uk/convergechallenge.

Distinctly ambitious www.hw.ac.uk/convergechallenge


NEWS

SPRING 12

First minister galvanised in Cumbernauld, Clansman sustains its future, Weir gets bigger revenues, the FSB points to the US and Germany, and Greene King colours the Edinburgh media scene Corporate and Santander UK plc. The renewal ensures STV has facilities that allows the company to focus on securing licence renewal and continued delivery of its growth strategy. George Watt, chief financial officer said: “We are very pleased to have successfully renewed our bank facilities in the current market conditions. These new facilities will provide the group with certainty in the medium to long-term and flexibility to continue to pursue our growth ambitions.”

>> Salmond shown true colours

First minister Alex Salmond has launched the £2.5m Colourgalv Centre created by Highland Galvanizers and Colour Coaters at Blairlinn Industrial Estate in Cumbernauld. He was welcomed by managing director Geoff Crowley, pictured left, and chairman Douglas Ashmead. The investment sees Highland cement its position as a leading galvanizing and colour powder coating firm. The company employs 59 staff at Cumbernauld and its new centre houses an exhibition centre featuring Colourglav, a hot-dip galvanizing and powder colour coating process which stays colourfast for up to 30 years and protects against corrosion for up to a century.

>> Clansman’s £11m robotic success Clansman Dynamics, a global leader in the design and manufacture of robotic handling equipment, announced turnover has soared by more than 60% – from £7m to £11m – in the two years since the company became employee-owned. Founded by Dick Philbrick and two colleagues in 1994 and based in East Kilbride, Clansman produces sophisticated material handling solutions for forges, foundries, aluminium smelters, waste processing and manufacturing. Clients include many vehicle manufacturers, such as Volvo, Fiat and Kamaz (Russia’s largest truck manufacturing business). Clansman exports over 90% of production – China accounts for 30% of sales – with Russia and India important markets. Clansman employs 38 staff – an increase of five since the employee buyout – and the company is recruiting for additional mechanical engineers.

BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12

The business became employee-owned in late December 2009, realising an ambition by Dick Philbrick to ensure the company had a sustainable future under employeeownership. Co-operative Development Scotland and Baxi Partnership helped create a funding package to buy the business.

>> STV renews bank support STV Group has renewed its £70m bank facility comprising a £37.5m term loan and £32.5m revolving credit and overdraft facility with December 31 2014 maturity dates. The new facility includes a provision for an extension, until March 2016, subject to lender approval and the extension or renewal of STV’s broadcast licences being confirmed prior to December 31 2013. The facility is secured and is provided by Bank of Scotland plc, Barclays

We are very pleased to have successfully renewed our bank facilities in the current market conditions >> Linn breaks the  sound barrier Linn was winner of the Product of the Year award for its new range of DSM Systems at the Scottish Business Awards ceremony at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre. DSM Systems were introduced in December 2011, building on Linn’s existing range of digital streaming players which make it easy to connect your music around the home.

For the latest news, analysis and insight on issues affecting Scotland’s business community visit: www.bq-magazine.co.uk/scotland

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SPRING 12

COMPANY PROFILE

The part-time Strathclyde MBA: all the benefits of an MBA without the career break

STRATHCLYDE BUSINESS SCHOOL: A WORLD-CLASS BUSINESS SCHOOL ON YOUR DOORSTEP

F

OUNDED in 1947, the University of Strathclyde Business School (SBS) is a pioneering, internationally renowned academic organisation that shapes and develop the business minds of tomorrow. Strathclyde offers the highest quality business education and management development for both inexperienced graduates and senior managers. With experience of offering an MBA for over 40 years, coupled with its triple-accredited status, Strathclyde Business School offers a quality, world-class, learning experience. Strathclyde is the only triple-accredited business school in Scotland and one of a small number world-wide. Accreditation is an independent and rigorous process that involves assessment of all aspects of the school and its programmes, carried out by teams of professional assessors assisted by senior management from other management schools. Strathclyde has successfully been assessed and gained accreditation from the three international accrediting bodies – AMBA (UK), EQUIS (Europe) and AACSB (USA). The business school also has a reputation for research excellence. Most recently, in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, Strathclyde was rated 7th in the UK for its ‘world leading and internationally excellent’ research, all of which feeds back into the MBA teaching process. The Strathclyde MBA can be studied full-time, part-time or via flexible learning - all routes of the MBA follow the same programme of study but students utilise different study methods to achieve the same outcome. Studying for an MBA part time is a perfect way of gaining this prestigious qualification without sacrificing career and finance stability. Part-time study is ideal for those who wish to progress in their chosen field or move into another area of business or want an understanding of all aspects of their business. While it may be hard

“I DECIDED TO DO MY MBA AT

STRATHCLYDE AS THE BUSINESS SCHOOL WAS NUMBER ONE IN SCOTLAND AND ONE OF THE TOP SCHOOLS IN THE UK.” MAZ ALKIRWI, SSE PLC, PART-TIME MBA 2009-11

work, doing an MBA at the same time as working full-time demonstrates discipline, motivation and skills such as time management and team work. Students on the part-time programme attend evening classes throughout three years of study – though it can be fast-tracked over two years - and there are also four weekend schools throughout that period. The classwork allows students to meet and work with other fellow professionals from different areas of business and many of those who have completed their studies via the part-time route point to the interaction with fellow students as one of the benefits of this means of study. Part-time study also allows the student to implement the skills and theories learned in the classroom direct into their work environment,

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benefitting both themselves and their employer. Students can also choose to do their final project on a subject or area of business which suits their employer. Traditionally, companies tend to sponsor employees who are embarking on part time study for the MBA, realising that by doing so they will not only be recognising and rewarding a valuable employee but they will benefit too from the knowledge the student is gaining by its immediate application in work projects. However, many individuals now fund themselves through a part time MBA and working throughout the period of study allows the student a continuous income flow which helps finance the degree. Strathclyde Business School recognises that selffunding can put a strain on finances and, for those in that category, Strathclyde has a number of scholarships on offer. This year there are three: Female Leader of the Future Scholarship Entrepreneurial Scholarship Visionary Scholarship Each scholarship is worth around 50% of the fee, and specific details can be found online: http://www.strath.ac.uk/mba/scholarships/

For general information on the Strathclyde MBA please contact us at: Marketing and Student Recruitment, University of Strathclyde Business School, 199 Cathedral Street, Glasgow, G4 0QU Telephone: 0141 553 6118/6119 Email: SBS.admissions@strath.ac.uk www.strath.ac.uk/business

BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12


NEWS

SPRING 12

>> Weir posts record results

Weir Group, the Glasgow-based global engineering solutions provider to the mining, oil and gas and power markets, reported record results for the year ending December 30 2011, with revenue up 40% and operating profits up 33%. Chief executive Keith Cochrane, above, said: “Weir achieved in 2011 its stated ambition of doubling 2009 profits by 2014. This excellent performance was due to the ability of the group to execute effectively our growth plans in positive conditions in our principal end markets. We also progressed our strategic agenda with new product introductions, two acquisitions which further increase our exposure to fast growing markets and revenue growth from organic initiatives.” The order input was £2,467m, up 30% from £1,896m, while revenues were £2,292m, operating profits were £413m and operating margin was 18%. Profit before tax was £396m – up from £295m. Net debt increased from £284m to £673m to fund the acquistions. The highlights included a record performance in the mineral, oil and gas divisions with upstream oil and gas revenues doubling. The full-year dividend was increased by 22% to 33p. Weir’s acquisition of Seaboard in December 2011 – a US manufacturer of wellhead solutions – has helped broaden the footprint in upstream oil and gas markets, while the acquisition of Novatech, completed in February, will enhance the hydraulic fracturing pump portfolio.

BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12

>>FSB points accusing finger at bank lending The Federation of Small Business (FSB) in Scotland points to Germany and the United States in highlighting the weaknesses in the UK banking model – where a few large financial institutions offer limited discretion to local decision-makers. An FSB report notes that between 2007 and 2010 there was a 24% fall in the number of successful loan applications for small businesses in the UK, compared to only a 9% decrease in Germany. Their report also points to the United States and notes that the US Government’s Small Business Administration’s government-backed loans for small businesses have been a key plank of its economic recovery plan. Andy Willox, the FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: “For years, the FSB in Scotland has warned that the dominance of two banks in the Scottish business banking market could harm effective competition – and as consequence – the country’s prospects. As a matter of urgency, we need to develop more alternatives that operate within Scotland to the high street banks so that growing small businesses can drive the recovery and create the jobs the country needs.” Meanwhile two thirds of small- to medium-size enterprises did not seek outside sources of finance last year and relied on the personal savings of business owners and entrepreneurs. “It is extremely difficult to gain adequate finance from the banks to meet growth targets,” said Gary David Smith, co-founder of Prism Total IT Solutions. which supplies IT support to over 1,000 SME’s nationwide. “Many SME’s are not growing as they should do because they do not have capacity on demand. “Using the personal savings of the business owner as working capital is always going to be an unsustainable strategy – except in very exceptional circumstances.” The report, by Bibby Financial Services, surveyed 450 business owners and the increase in companies saying they did not request external capital rose by 11% from the 2010 figure. Personal savings became the most likely source of working capital for these businesses in the final quarter of 2011 said Bibby’s report.

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The five main UK banks reported that they had missed their Project Merlin lending targets to SMEs by more than £1bn. The coalition government’s Project Merlin arrangement required the UK’s five largest banks – HSBC, Santander, RBS, Lloyds and Barclays – to make it easier for small businesses to access credit. The banks were also bound to an agreement to lend £76bn to small firms but only managed £74.9bn during the last 12 months. A bank spokesman blamed the shortfall on a lack of demand from small businesses and described the market for credit as “remaining weak”. “The truth of the situation is that small businesses cannot access funding at competitive rates from the banks and so are resorting to personal savings,” said Gary David Smith.

The truth of the situation is that small businesses cannot access funding at competitive rates from the banks >> Core score on mediation Core Solutions Group, Scotland’s leading mediator service, led by Dr John Sturrock, reported significant growth in 2011, its tenth anniversary year. Turnover expanded by nearly 15% and mediation days increased by just under 30% to nearly 100. Work with UK Sport in the run-up to the Olympics, with the London and Welsh Assemblies and with many other public and private sector organisations emphasised the strength of Core’s offerings. Research suggests that conflict costs UK business more than £30bn a year, takes up more than 20% of leadership time and results in the loss of 370 million working days.


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NEWS

SPRING 12

>> VIP open day for FNZ FNZ, the provider of integrated wealth management platforms, was joined by Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, to open its new headquarters at Tanfield, Edinburgh. FNZ has growing significantly since it moved to Scotland in 2005, with funds under management increase by 40% and revenues increase by 61%, over the year alone. FNZ is using this boom in business to create jobs for UK graduates at its Edinburgh headquarters. Over 20 graduates have been joining the company during the first quarter of 2012, in addition to the 213 new starts in Edinburgh since January 2010. Christian Dougal, FNZ Director said: “Despite reports of the worst economic slowdown in decades, at FNZ we’re seeing tremendous growth. Recruiting from the large pool of highly talented graduates in the UK means we can support our client base with some of the brightest young people around, while helping them gain the skills and experience for a successful career in financial services.”

>> Infiniti in drive for Scottish leather Bridge of Weir Leather Company has been chosen as the interior material supplier of choice to the acclaimed Infiniti Emerg-E concept car, revealed at the Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland. Bridge of Weir has supplied two grades of soft leather – in black and metallic champagne colours – to adorn the interior edges of the premium Japanese car. As a zero-emissions plug-in hybrid, the low-carbon ethos is shared by both Infiniti and Bridge of Weir.

>> Leading law firms merge Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, legal firm Fyfe Ireland has now merged with Tods Murray LLP to create one of the strongest private client teams based in Scotland. Fyfe Ireland partners, Greig Honeyman and Drew Taylor, along with eight solicitors and six support staff, joined Tods Murray in January. The combined firm is known as Tods Murray LLP.

BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12

>> Bank spends on 36 deals The Scottish Investment Bank invested £7.6m in 36 deals between September 30 and December 30 2011, leveraging £20m of additional investment from the private sector. This included support from SIB’s Scottish Venture Fund which invested in Edinburghbased life sciences company NuCana BioMed Ltd. The SVF investment was part of a £6.7m Series A funding round. The deal was led by Sofinnova Partners with Morningside Ventures and Alida Capital International investing alongside the SVF. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 jobs are to be created thanks to over £12m of Regional Selective Assistance funding. RSA grants were accepted by 20 businesses between October and December 2011. The funding will support planned investment of over £62.8m, creating and safeguarding 1,007 jobs. The biggest award of £5.2m was made to Michelin Tyres plc in Dundee, followed by a £2m award for Stirling-based Superglass Insulation Limited.

>> Gael force in Middle East East-Kilbride based software and technology experts Gael – chaired by former enterprise minister Jim Mather –  has expanded in the Middle East by signing a new partnership agreement with US supply chain solutions giants, Inventory Locator Service. The deal, worth £500,000 a year , will see Gael represent the ILS operation with clients across the Middle East region and will create new jobs in both the Middle East and in Scotland. Gael has an established operation in Dubai servicing the aviation marketplace and has a wide range of customers utilising the company’s Q-Pulse software application to manage aviation safety and quality management. Gael, established by Donald Maciver in East Kilbride in 1992, has grown turnover to more than £8m. The company announced a new Q-Pulse/iPad deal with the General Civil Aviation Authority in the United Arab Emirates at the Dubai Air Show.

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>> MMS steers Peacocks deal One of the biggest deals of the year so far involving a Scottish business – the acquisition of Peacocks by Edinburgh Woollen Mill – was advised by Maclay Murray & Spens LLP. The MMS corporate team steered the acquisition by the Langholm-based business – owned by entrepreneur Philip Day – of some 338 stores from Peacocks to a successful conclusion, following the collapse of the fashion retailer in January. Michael Hughes, a corporate partner and head of corporate recovery and insolvency, led the team which completed the transaction. The acquisition sees more than 6,000 jobs saved and includes 57 concessions and three distribution centres, as well as the firm’s head office. Cardiff-based Peacocks was unsuccessful in restructuring its debt in January, which led to the appointment of KPMG as joint administrator. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed, and EWM is working on plans to reopen more Peacock stores.

>> Beer cheer for North Star North Star Advertising, the Edinburghbased media agency, has won a £4m account handling Greene King beers and brands division. The agency, which already handles Belhaven Best, and will now add Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale to its roster. Dom South, Greene King marketing director said, “Given the plans for the coming year, we felt that North Star would provide the kind of all-round media delivery, thinking and single-mindedness that would best suit our needs.” Nick Stewart, managing director of North Star, said: “This is obviously a fantastic win for us. Greene King is a great client and has some great brands, with a great heritage. It’s recognition of the great work the guys have done on Belhaven.” Founded in 2008 by Stewart, Barry Fearn and Peter Donaldson, North Star’s clients include the National Galleries of Scotland, R&A, Genius Foods, Apex Hotels and Stevenson College.


SPRING 12

COMPANY PROFILE

The Royal Yacht Britannia hosted the recent BQ Live Debate with focus on ‘women in the boardroom’ (see pages 44-49). This former floating royal residence is now one of the UK’s most prestigious five-star corporate event venues in addition to an awardwinning visitor attraction by day. However, for many world leaders, ‘Britannia’ has always meant ‘business’…

THE ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA

A

S well as hosting royal banquets and receptions, Britannia was an ambassador for the UK, promoting trade and industry around the world. From New York to Sydney, The Queen’s guests were entertained as if they were at one of the royal palaces. The Royal Yacht was involved in numerous trade missions and an invitation on board for what became known as ‘Sea Days’ was very much sought after by the world’s business and political leaders. Today the tradition continues and Britannia offers a unique opportunity for corporate clients to host exclusive dinners and drinks receptions in the impressive State Apartments. And, as guests at the recent BQ Live Debate experienced for themselves, the meticulous attention to detail and highest royal standards for which Britannia was renowned are still rigorously adhered to today. From the artistic canapé creations and artisan breads, to delicate hand-made petits fours, all food is created on board by Executive Chef, Mark Alston, and served by Britannia’s immaculate butlers. Complete privacy and discretion are assured and every last detail is catered for by a dedicated Events Manager, allowing guests to concentrate on the business at hand. As the Commonwealth prepares to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, where else could be more fitting to host your event than The Queen’s former Royal Yacht Britannia.

For further information on hosting the event of a lifetime on board Britannia, please call the events team 0131 555 8800 or email events@tryb.co.uk The Royal Yacht Britannia Ocean Terminal, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk

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BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12


NEWS

SPRING 12

>> BQ people on the move Stuart Johnston has been appointed a partner of DM Hall. A graduate of Aberdeen University, he has worked in professional practice for many years, latterly at CBRE, before joining DM Hall in 2010 as a director overseeing the growth and expansion of the office in the North-east.

Spens LLP as a litigation partner, boosting its ten-strong construction and engineering team. The move is the firm’s sixth partner appointment in three months, with Scott moving from McGrigors, having spent ten years with Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong.

Julie Grieve has been appointed as

Genevieve Shore has joined the board of

managing director of Braemore Property Management, part of Lomond Capital. She was previously managing director of Abbey Business Centres.

STV Group as a non-executive director – replacing Matthew Peacock, who served since February 2007. Shore sits on the management board of Pearson plc, reporting to Marjorie Scardino, as chief information officer and director of digital strategy of Pearson.

Glen Gribbon has been appointed director of iconic brand The Famous Grouse at the Edrington group. He joins from Vets Now where he was managing director, having built his career with Whyte & Mackay, Colgate and Mars.

Iain Malloch, head of mortgages for Lloyds TSB Scotland, has been appointed chairman of the Council of Mortgage Lenders Scotland, succeeding Jim Dunn of the Scottish Building Society. He joined TSB in 1983 and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

Gordon Scott has joined Barclays Wealth in Glasgow as a new director, arriving from Kleinwort Benson. His appointment follows a period of growth for Barclays Wealth, headed by Craig Jamieson, which provides bespoke financial services to high net worth clients in Scotland. Scott served for three years as head of private wealth management at Kleinwort Benson where he was a senior figure in the Scotland team.

Lisa Murray is now heading up the Scottish Wendy Ferguson, a former Management Today Woman to Watch, has been appointed head of financial services for Grant Thornton Scotland, to head up the firm’s newly established Business Risk Services team, with another high-level appointee, Leigh McLuskey, who helped set up Grant Thornton’s Business Risk Service in London.

Brian Milne, a former Deloitte director, has been appointed a partner in mid-tier accountancy firm French Duncan’s business recovery practice. An insolvency practitioner, Milne has been a director at Deloitte since 2005, prior to which he was a senior manager at PwC.

David Scott has joined Maclay Murray and

branch of Ad Hoc Property Management, a Dutch company building a presence in Scotland. Murray, originally from Skye, joins after more than three years as sales and marketing manager for a self-build timber frame company. AWD Chase de Vere, the national firm of independent financial advisers, has appointed Paul Fox as private client advice manager for the north, which includes offices in Glasgow. He will report to chief executive Stephen Kavanagh. Fox has 32 years industry experience, most recently as a director at LEBC and head of corporate clients at Origen.

Simon Munro is the new Scottish director for the Business Growth Fund, the major new

£2.5bn equity investment capital fund backed by five of the largest banks in the UK. Munro built his career with RMD, JP Morgan, Simmons and Lime Rock where he was a partner and managing director.

Paul Hatton has joined Exova, the global testing business as sales director. He was previously with Flextronics Global Services as a Business Unit Director. Stuart Neill is also joining as global communications manager from the Scottish Government. David Birrell has become the new chief executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce. He joins from McCurrach Group where he was group strategy director, following a long and successful career with Unilever.

Alastair Young has joined Gordon & McPhail, the leading malt whisky specialist and owners of Benromach, as financial director. He spent the bulk of his career with BAT Industries in a number of roles around the world.

Lindsay Dixon is the new group financial controller of The Weir Group plc. She joined from Johnston Press plc. Senergy, the rapidly-expanding global oil service business has appointed Mike McEwan as VP Finance. He was previously European finance director of architects RMJM and finance director of Miller Construction. Scottish Salmon farming company Loch Duart has appointed Simon Maguire as financial director. He joins from Shanks Waste Management.

Fiona Whittaker has been appointed as head of learning and development for FirstGroup, the world’s largest surface transportation company. She was previously with RBS, GSK and BP.

If you’d like to include someone on the move, please email editor@bq-scotland.co.uk

BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12

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Business interests across Scotland, North East, and Yorkshire?

Subscribe to BQ! One business magazine - 3 regional editions Providing the inside track on what drives leading businesses and business people, BQ offers a unique and refreshing mix of business news, commentary and profiles of the most inspirational entrepreneurs across the North East, Yorkshire and Scotland. Published in three separate editions with content unique to each area, BQ aims to get to the heart and soul of business people to find out what drives, inspires and motivates them towards their ambitions. Each quarter BQ also brings its readership a wealth of regional business intelligence and information, whilst looking ahead to forthcoming events and reporting on recent developments that will have a significant impact on the business landscape.

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ISSUE SEVEN: SPRING 2012

SERIOUS TRUFFLE MAKER The Highland Chocolatier’s sweet Perthshire success A £12.5BN GAMES CHANGER Baroness Ford’s regeneration project aims for Olympic gold THE WINNING YEARS Mike Cantley on the what, the how and the why BQ LIVE DEBATE Women in the boardroom

QUAY OF LIFE www.bq-magazine.co.uk

www.bq-magazine.co.uk

ISSUEELEVEN:WINTER2011

access to finance

Charan Gill finds life after Ashoka and spiritual contentment in Rajasthan and... Musselburgh

ISSUESIXTEEN:WINTER2012

a force in the air

Banksaren’tlending.Yestheyare.ABQ2specialreport

BUSINESS NEWS: COMMERCE: FASHION: INTERVIEWS: MOTORS: EVENTS

TheaviationcompanyonthestandatDurhamTees Valleywithitsthrustonrunwaysworldwide

kitchen for more Simplisticmanufacturingandcontinualimprovement

going for it

worth an investment Downturn?Whatdownturn?Shopflooropinionsays

SirPeterVardyonsweepingfloors,strippinggearboxes andbuildingoneoftheregion’smostsuccessfulgroups

good for the long term

Themodern-dayStephensonwhoreachedNumber10 –andmadesurehisstaffsharedtheexperience

‘a good eye is my forte’

Yorkshirebusinessistoughbuthealthy–andready

ThecarehomesectorcoulddowithfriendslikePhilipBurgan

live debate

a clear view

Winningfinanceforgrowth–isitpresentation,blackart, orgood,old-fashionedbusinessopportunity?

the £3.92bn drive

MarkJNelsonhasdevelopedtheartofkeepingfocus–in morewaysthanone–andintendstomakeacleansweep

TourismintheNorthEastisourmostlucrativeinward investment,buthowdoweholdontothoseintheknow andseducethosewhoaren’t?Meetamanonthecase

BUSINESSNEWS:COMMERCE:FASHION:INTERVIEWS:MOTORS:EVENTS

BUSINESSNEWS:COMMERCE:FASHION:INTERVIEWS:MOTORS:EVENTS

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To place your order visit www.bq-magazine.co.uk/subscribe BQ is no ordinary business publication. With unique content and a style determinedly its own, its aim is to inspire, enlighten and empower, embracing and reporting business success wherever it is found. Order your copies today to ensure you don’t miss out.


AS I SEE IT

SPRING 12

Get your internal engine in right gear Edinburgh-based David Reynolds, the current president of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors in the UK, says business success over the long term depends on greater attention to the risks that are inherent in all kinds of organisations Every business faces some kind of risk to its future. Of course, there are risks that you simply can’t predict, such as the Japanese earthquake, the tsunami and its impact on the global nuclear energy industry, iPad production – and those that you can. And we can see plainly what happens when companies don’t pay proper heed to the risks that they can influence. The fallout from Scotland’s banking crisis has thrown up some perplexing questions about risk, proper procedures and vital questions that senior board figures failed to ask, while the sad saga of the events at Rangers (I’m a Partick Thistle fan, born in Glasgow, and now living in Edinburgh) show that some senior board-level people at the football club were not looking hard enough at all the levels of risk. Even today’s entrepreneurial businesses must constantly assess where things are likely to go pear-shaped. Ask yourself; does your business have a code of ethics that everyone has signed up to? Because, in most places today, this is becoming mandatory – and you need to spend time explaining why you have such a code over the use of IT, mobile phones, gender and

BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12

sexual discrimination, bullying, theft and bribery and corruption. Even in our public sector there are massive every-day risks. For example, Falkirk Council has taken a more determined look at its own internal business matters because it felt its procurement organisation risked being a target for organised criminal activity. Working with the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, Falkirk has updated it response to criminal activities. They are to be applauded for this course of action. Over the last few years, the critical roles of the internal auditor have come into much sharper focus in such areas. The valued internal auditor has a unique place in any company to test the controls that are in place and see if they are robust enough. It’s a highly rewarding career

for an inquiring and intelligent person willing to maintain high levels of independence and integrity. As a professional body, the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, which was granted a royal charter in October 2010, has been supporting internal auditors to raise  the bar in both private and public companies. One strategy for the institute is to attract new talent to the profession and chartered status with advanced diplomas in internal audit practice and management highlight our commitment to ongoing training and practical learning. With a longer-term perspective, the institute’s strategy is to raise the profile of the profession and increase influence and engagement with a range of stakeholders, but particularly policy

One of the biggest challenges of the financial crisis has been in the boardroom, which must be more robust when scrutinising business risks

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SPRING 12

AS I SEE IT

A good internal auditor has to be visible from top to bottom in an organisation makers, regulators and standards setters. The institute’s efforts to build closer relationships with heads of internal audit to understand their needs better is also a key in supporting the building the profession. One of the biggest challenges of the financial crisis has been in the boardroom, which must be more robust when scrutinising business risks. That means that non-executive director must have access to more information from deeper inside an enterprise. Our own recent survey* shows that in 63% of companies only the audit committee members have contacts with the internal audit team. As a consequence, other non-executive directors may be missing a chance to bring their knowledge and experience to bear on crucial risk issues. While 71% of non-executive directors see substantial scope for improving the understanding of risk across their organisation. With the help of internal audit, let’s make this happen. The internal auditor has a pivotal role to play in all kinds of companies. While we don’t seek the limelight as practitioners, a good internal auditor has to be visible from top to bottom in an organisation and courageous enough to ask the tough questions. Our ambition is to be the trusted adviser

within an organisation, and to do that we need to be informed and knowledgeable about our organisations and how the components knit together from an internal control and risk management perspective. The institute’s efforts in increasing engagement are helping to provide a stronger voice for internal auditors, which in turn will allow businesses to gain an incisive commercial edge. We know that more productive engagement with heads of audit and the external auditors and consultancies is vital for the growth and development of our institute. But it will also mean stronger companies across the UK where internally people feel more empowered to challenge poor – or even corrupt – decisions when they see them. The familiar equation in business is that the higher the risk, the greater the reward, but let’s ensure that only sensible and quantifiable risks are taken, not the reckless sort that has caused so much national pain and damage. n David Reynolds has been involved in internal auditing for 25 years. He was director of internal audit and regulatory compliance at BT. He is now a director of US-based consultancy MorganFranklin. * The survey can be downloaded free from http://www.iia.org.uk/

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BUSINESS QUARTER |SPRING 12


Advertorial

Insight – the currency of international trade By Ian Collins, Area Director for Bank of Scotland When businesses in Scotland begin to measure turnover in millions of pounds, it’s fair to say that running them can generate a whole new set of headaches. Protecting cash flow from unpredictable foreign exchange fluctuations is one concern which will trouble companies that import and export – particularly in these volatile markets. Little growth in the UK economy means revenue generated from fast growing overseas economies is increasingly the income stream needed to keep a growing business moving forward. Yet Bank of Scotland’s own research shows us that only 11 per cent of businesses in Scotland plan to protect these revenues, despite almost a fifth (19 per cent) being active in overseas markets. With so many other pressures facing the management team of growing businesses, it isn’t surprising that predicting the ebb and flow of foreign exchange rates falls down a list of company priorities.

Make revenue protection a priority

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Protecting your revenue streams and securing your costs when exporting or importing should make Foreign Exchange Risk Management a core part of your strategy.

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Businesses of all sizes in Scotland have found a sudden shift in exchange rates can turn a good contract bad. Reducing the risk of that can be addressed with a few simple options: • You may be able to negotiate terms with your supplier which allow for adjustments due to currency fluctuations. • Some suppliers may be willing to let you invoice in sterling so that your transaction is only linked to the value of the pound. • Try and negotiate terms on a fixed price. • If you have a fixed price contract then you need to consider implementing a Risk Management Strategy to protect your fixed price currency exposure. If exporting is something you plan to do more of, it is worth opening a foreign currency account so that transactions don’t have to be converted immediately. But there is no real substitute for regional and market knowledge. While predicting currency fluctuations might be complex, the process of deciding which option suits a company can be made a lot simpler with some research and insight.

Our recently launched Arena e-solution from Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets is designed to do just that. Arena combines foreign exchange and money markets deposit transacting with access to valuable market data and economic insight to help businesses determine the optimum time to trade. Arena lets users display only the information they need on their desktops, whether it’s charts of currency markets movements, currency analysis from the Bank’s economists or live market news. When they decide to transact they can do so easily and quickly on Arena. With finger-tip access to all the data, applications and economic research, Arena helps businesses to manage FX risk and trade effectively overseas. Don’t ignore the benefits of international trade due to a perception that the rewards are tempered by risk, seek insight to help you take the opportunity for expansion into new markets or strike up fresh supplier relationships overseas.

For help with this, contact your relationship manager or visit www.lloydsbankarena.com


We’re here to help Scottish business grow.

At Bank of Scotland we’re here for Scottish business, supporting opportunities for growth and encouraging enterprise. We are committed to developing long-term relationships with our customers to offer them the support and guidance needed to take their business forward. From growing your business in a recovering economy and beyond, you can be sure that we’ll be with you all the way. For more information visit bankofscotland.co.uk/business or your nearest branch.

As part of Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of Scotland is a Proud Partner for Scotland of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland no. SC327000. Registered office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ.

“At Bank of Scotland, we are committed to providing guidance and a range of foreign trade mechanisms to help both importers and exporters to take their organisations forward internationally.” Ian Collins, Area Director for Bank of Scotland

Bank of Scotland plc Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Registered in Scotland no. SC327000. Telephone: 0870 600 5000. Lloyds Bank Arena is a registered trademark of Lloyds TSB Bank Plc. Lloyds Bank, Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets and Lloyds TSB are trading names of Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Lloyds TSB Scotland plc. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority under number 169628.


ENTREPRENEUR

SPRING 12

in association with

The Quay of Life Charan Gill is one of Scotland’s highest profile and popular entrepreneurs. But he reveals that his pursuit of happiness has taken him on a spiritual journey which has helped him find contentment in Musselburgh. Kenny Kemp meets him at The Quay

Everyone in Scottish business circles knows Charan Gill. Or do they really now him? The gregarious, joke-telling Punjabi-born entrepreneur; the hilarious after-dinner speaker and author of Tikka Look At Me Now; the motivational ethnic business leader; the life and soul of so many Entrepreneurial Exchange spring gatherings at Gleneagles, has been searching for some kind of enlightenment in his life. In more than one way, he has found it, beguiled by some Eastern inspiration, and finding a sense of peace, harmony and happiness with a spiritual sojourn to his birthplace. The man who arrived in Glasgow, aged nine, and changed the face of eating out in Scotland with the Ashoka Indian restaurant in Argyle Street, bringing chicken tikka and lamb passanda to the Glaswegian masses, has fallen in love with Musselburgh, an east coast treasure. The dapper Gill, with the thick wave of silvery-grey hair, explains: “It was about a year after I sold the restaurants. I wasn’t particularly looking for anything but I had come off the

BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12

M8 at Charing Cross, near the Mitchell Library, passing the Koh-i-Noor, when I got a phone call from a property agent who said I should look at a place in Musselburgh.” It might well have been Mumbai because it was the other side of Scotland, and on the windy east coast. “I had never been to Musselburgh before and I had to ask where it was. Graeme Brown, from Sutherland Brown, told me to go and have a look when I got a chance – just go down and see the building. I asked him how to get there and he said, ‘You just take the M8 towards Edinburgh and when you get there, take the by-pass’.” It was nearly lunchtime, a beautiful day with the sun shining. He was heading up Woodlands Road and, as he was finishing the call on his car phone, he saw the M8 sign to Edinburgh right in front of him with the ramp down to the motorway. “I have always been a great believer in fate, kismet. I saw the sign and I just went there,” he said. It was a whim. The purpose-built Quay complex, which had cost £5-6m to build,

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was being sold by the Co-op and it was haemorrhaging money. Yet this was a cast-iron business opportunity in a great location for someone with the right skills. He believes it was written in the stars – because the road sign said: ‘Welcome to Musselburgh: the Honest Toun’. >>

I have always been a great believer in fate, kismet. I saw the sign and I just went there. It was a whim


ENTREPRENEUR

He jokes: “I said to myself, this sounds like a place where a man can make some easy money.” As he pulled up, Gill could see that the building’s fabric was in good shape, and it was in a picturesque setting beside the stone-built harbour of Fisherrow, where the herring boats on the Firth of Forth would once land their catches. He stepped inside The Quay and asked to be shown around, but the receptionist refused point blankly, saying he would need to make an appointment. He explained he had made the trip from Glasgow, coming through especially. But the girl on the reception was adamant: it didn’t matter a jot that he was one of Scotland’s most celebrated

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entrepreneurs, he was not going to get a look at the property. He came back an hour later and the manageress was still busy. And he never got a look around. But it was empty and he poked about. It was already a brilliant setting for weddings and civil partnership and he could sense the potential. “I thought if it was doing reasonable sales with that kind of attitude, then there is scope for expansion,” he says. “If they were doing everything right and there was no room for expansion, you would think, what can I add?” A few hours later, Graeme Brown rang back and Gill made a gut decision to buy the property. In 2006, before the credit crunch, gaining the finance – particularly with Gill’s track record – wasn’t too much of a problem.

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I can’t remember a time when I’ve been more upbeat about life. As far as a business is concerned, it’s a means to an end now


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He bought it for just over £1m, and then spent another £1m on upgrading the fitness club and spa, with the latest Technogym equipment, improving the swimming pool and the changing areas, and upgrading the function suites and the bars and restaurants. The deal was done before the banks shut up shop to lending and he set up Seagull Leisure Ltd in April 2007,  describing The Quay as “a hotel without rooms”. Five years on, Charan Gill is delighted with his investment, which undertakes over 100 weddings year. “We’re happy; we’re making profits. We’ve turned it around. There were changes but they only happened because the older people didn’t want to hang about for whatever

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reason. One of my daughters came in and helped the wedding co-ordinators in the office; they’ve stayed on and they’ve taken on a new lease of life.” He says that staff can’t really do much if there is no investment. The Fitness Club, which is competitively priced, is now going well with zumba, spin cycle and body pump classes, all creating a buzz about the place. “If you can make people feel happy and proud of where they work, then it motivates them, because people like to say they work at The Quay,” he says. He’s a well-known face around the place these days and some of hard-core customers, who have stayed through the bleaker times, seem happier too. One recently approached Gill

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several months saying: “You’ve made the Quay smile again.”  “This was something important to me,” he admits. “The whole atmosphere of the place changed and the energy changed and, when it changes, it impacts on the staff and the customers. A lot of people who come here feel very comfortable. We want to make this the hub of the community in Fisherrow and Musselburgh. What we did was change the names of the two function suites we have upstairs.” When Charan’s team arrived there was the Musselburgh Town Festival in July and during that time they have elections for the Honest Lass and Honest Lad. Charan found out that the first “Honest Lad and Lass” in 1936 >>

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were Jimmy Arthur and Ina Vass. So the two suites have been renamed the Arthur and Vass suite, rather than the more pedestrian, Schooner and the Clipper. “We discovered they still have relatives in >> the town,” he says. “So they were invited to the openings. You try and work with the community and give them something back in a genuine way. We support the local football team and get invited in local charity events.” Charan Gill’s life has been as full and flavoursome as the spicy curries he once served. He began working in the Ashoka in 1974 with his friend, Gurmail Dhillon. He started by cleaning toilets, peeling onions and making poppadums, while still working at Yarrow’s shipyard where he was an apprentice turner and fitter. By 1980, he became the Ashoka’s manager, earning more than he did at Yarrow’s. It was long hours and hard work, but there was plenty of Billy Connolly-esque banter with Glasgow becoming the curry capital of Britain. So when he got a chance to get a share in the business, he went to

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the bank for some help. He needed £6,000, but the bank agreed to give him £3,000 if he could get the other half himself. He borrowed it from friends, and then went on to buy the others out. The Ashoka faced stiff local competition, so Charan Gill dreamed up some brilliant marketing stunts to raise the profile, including employing a certain Richard Shaw, so he could deliver takeaway by rickshaw. They bought some nearby restaurants, creating the Harlequin Leisure Group in 1995, which helped changed the face and the taste of Indian food in the UK. There was more sophistication and new styles of cooking that were transforming the Indian restaurant scene. In 1998, he was awarded the MBE for services to the food and catering industry and, in 2004, he was made Entrepreneur of the Year at the UK’s Asian Business awards. The following year, the Harlequin Restaurant Group, with 17 restaurants, reached a turnover of £12m. It was then that he decided to sell out and concentrate on his property

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portfolios. At this stage, Charan Gill said he wanted to do more than just be known as Glasgow’s Curry King. He has a host of awards and gongs and has been a Secret Millionaire on television, but now he is much more reflective about what success is all about –and his time at The Quay. “I really don’t see this as a business,” he says. “It’s something I enjoy doing and being with. In the summer there are a lot of tourists but it’s about our regulars – such as Mr Bishop who comes in every day and sits at his usual table and seat. If he’s not coming in, he actually phones to tell us. He has his seat.” While the Indian restaurant industry – like the Chinese and Italian – remains extremely popular, the costs associated with running restaurants have rocketed. “From when I remember it, the costs of running a restaurant were really low,” says Gill. “There was no VAT and no PAYE. The raw materials are far more expensive – even the price of lamb and seafood – and labour costs have risen. There were no such thing as water


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rates – and they are going up and up. Rates bills have been introduced that were never there in the past. But also the expectation of the customer in terms of fit-outs and a decoration is much higher today. They want to eat in a nice place. Some places are costing £500,000 and you need to get that back over ten years which is an extra £1,000 a week to be made on the cost of the meals.” Relatively speaking, a curry at an Indian is still good value for money, but running a business in Scotland today is much more complex, especially VAT, with 20% of everything in the till going to the taxman. While Charan Gill is still the same effusive individual, there is a different demeanour as he relishes the prospect of a trip to India.   “I can’t remember a time when I’ve been more upbeat about life. As far as business is concerned, it is a means to an end now. When sometimes, as business people, we make it our whole lives and we don’t see anything beyond it, well, I think that is where I was.” “We do things ultimately because we want to achieve happiness, whether it is through business or material goods, or for our families. Ultimately, the only reason we do this is to be happy. What I started to realise was that I was always chasing happiness.” So there was never enough time to enjoy the pleasure of his business success. “You weren’t actually realising that happiness was there all the time. It was always a destination, never a journey. And with successful business people it is always a destination, there is always the next target, the next acquisition, and then you will be happy. But somehow it’s always elusive.” He says that looking back on his life, he said he thought he would be happy when he left school, and then when he left school, he thought he would be happy when he served his time as an apprentice, and then married with kids. Then it’s a bigger house, and you want your children to do well. “You achieve all these things and you are wishing your life away,” he says. “Yet you still haven’t achieved happiness, and at some point in your life you realise this and there is anxiety, stress and pressure. It depletes your natural energy.” A deep conversation resulted in the question:

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what are you trying to achieve? His response: “I’m trying to achieve contentment”. Then the questioner said: “But what exactly is contentment, do you know what it is?” He said at this point he couldn’t really explain what contentment meant to him, so he began a spiritual journey looking for some basic answers. “Contentment was when you are happy to live and you are not dependent on any of your five senses,” he explains. “It’s not taste, to hear, what you see, smell or touch, it’s beyond that. So none of these matter, if your happiness depends on any of the senses, then it is temporary and superficial. To be content, you have to ask is there is more beyond our physical needs. It has to come from yourself, internally.” He asks rhetorically if he should really be stressing about Scottish independence or not? “Should I worry about things I can’t control? But it is very difficult to leave them alone.” Charan Gill has recently been at Mount Abu in Rajasthan to spend some time at the Rajyoga meditation of Brahma Kumaris, founded by Prjapita Brahma, listening to Rajyogi Dadi Janki Ji, Chief of Brahma Kumaris. The spiritual Brahma Kumaris movement has 8,500 centres in 130 countries. Suresh Oberoi, the famous Indian actor, asks “What is the meaning of happiness?” Sister BK Shivani answers: “If there is one thing that everyone is looking for now, we are looking for happiness.” The trip to India involves early-morning meditation and turning the day around by going to bed at 9pm. No more late-night shindigs. It’s a return to how Charan Gill was brought up in the Punjab as a child, going to bed when the sun went down. “We would wake up at 4.30am, that’s when the farmers and the animals are awake, and work begins before the heat of the day,” he says. “When I looked at what I was doing after 9pm, I don’t do anything constructive. “Happiness is a state of being, created while working towards the goal, not a feeling to be experienced after achieving the goal. If we believe that happiness is after achieving, then we create stress, anger and fear while achieving and thus do not experience happiness,” says BK Shivani.

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Charan Gill agrees: “Before I take the responsibility of those around me, I need to take responsibility of my own thinking and feelings. When I am happy and take care of others, then they will be happy too. “My spiritual search has always been a part of my life – but I think more recently I’ve taken a deeper interest in it. People don’t talk about people, they hold back.They’ll say, yeah the business is doing well – or may not so well. I think you’ve got to live your life among the people you love, your family and your friends.” It’s not often a business interview ends up looking for deeper meaning in the quest for life, but perhaps if a few more figures opened their souls, then Scotland might be a bit less strait-laced. Perhaps Charan Gill’s journey will prompt others to travel a similar path? n

Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards Ten of Scotland’s most promising new SMEs gathered for the Scottish final of the Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards which were held at Edinburgh University’s Pollock Halls Conference Centre in March. The Awards celebrate the successes of new businesses which have emerged from the student and graduate community with both start-ups and more established enterprises being recognised. The SMEs which reached the Scottish final came from a diverse range of sectors including food and drink, technology, manufacturing and sport. Following a morning of pitching to the panel of judges, Little Riot received the Best Start-Up Award and Brewdog, the Best Enterprise Award. Both winners received a cash prize as well as legal advice and business mentoring and go on to represent Scotland in the UK final of the Awards being held in Liverpool during the Festival of Entrepreneurship.

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The ÂŁ12.5 billion Games Changer Ayrshire-born Baroness Ford is one of the most influential Scots in the UK. She has forged her professional career running regeneration projects where business, government and local communities are melded together. Three years ago she was asked to chair the Olympic Park Legacy Company. She talks to Kenny Kemp about a personal pinnacle for this high-profile woman in business

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INTERVIEW

One day there are certain to be statues in the UK capital to Sebastian Coe and Boris Johnson, the Conservative mayor, for landing and delivering London 2012. If there is, then there should also be a monument to the Ayrshire woman who has ensured that the legacy of the Olympic Games will be properly realised. Margaret Ford – Baroness Ford of Cunninghame – will squirm at such an ostentatious suggestion, but she has been instrumental in setting east London on the right and proper path. Few Scots know much about her career, yet she is a major business figure – herself an entrepreneur in Scotland setting up two successful consultancies; a former senior adviser to the Royal Bank of Canada; chairman of utilities group, Norwich-based May Gurney plc (which bought Scottish infrastructure group Turriff last year); chairman of Barchester, a leading healthcare and nursing home group across the UK, and a non executive director of Newcastle-based Grainger plc, the residential homes group celebrating 100 years in business. She was asked to go to the House of Lords in 2006 by Tony Blair as an active Labour peer. But three years after leaving English Partnerships – which she chaired since >>

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2002 – she took on the job as chairman of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, whose principal reason for existing is the long-term development and management of the Olympic Park and its venues after the £12.5 billion London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Those currently working on the legacy for Glasgow 2014 will be interested in knowing why this Glasgow University graduate threw away London’s original legacy masterplan for London and set about creating a more sustainable community. For Margaret Ford, it is the culmination of her ideas, experience and a career in the field of industrial regeneration. “I’ve worked my whole life with big, dirty polluted sites,” she explains. “I started my working life in the Garnock Valley in North Ayrshire after the steelworks closed in the late 1970s, with the Scottish Development Agency. I’ve been dealing with sites like this all of my life – including the regeneration of the English coalfield communities – and the Olympic site is the one of the largest and most complex.” She was then working for Cunninghame District Council, in a career that took her to Price Waterhouse (“a great learning place and the only real meritocratic place I’ve every worked”), through to her role as chairman of English Partnerships, working with John Prescott, and where the feather in her cap was selling the Millennium Dome in Greenwich to become the 02 Arena. On a warm early spring morning – with the trees on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in an incipient state of blossom – she guides BQ on a tour in a people carrier. “This is an ever-changing landscape,” she says. “There is always something happening. It’s been incredible watching this all.” After the Paralympic Games, there is another year of construction work when the park will be closed off while the temporary arenas are taken down and new housing finished off. The new neighbourhoods – ultimately with 11,000 new homes – start to re-open in two phases in 2013, with the whole park re-opening in the summer of 2014. This is when it will become a dynamic and permanent part of London. The 500-acre site is a diamond shape, with the Olympic Stadium in the bottom quadrant, on an island, and the Velodrome at the north end. The big venues are all complete, finished by

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Benefit: Margaret Ford – Baroness Ford of Cunninghame – has made her mark in London

This is an ever-changing landscape. There is always something happening. It’s been incredible watching this all the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and now handed over to LOGOC, the Games organisers. The once-filthy river Lea, which flows through the site and then into the Thames, has been dredged and cleaned out, and the remedial work – where nasty metals and chemicals were removed – finished long ago. Small businesses, often in run-down premises, have been relocated, using compulsory purchases orders, and have been moved to better sites in east London. The tour, starting at the Pudding Mill Lane security centre, takes us past the helter-skelter criss-cross of steel that is the £114m ArcelorMittal’s Orbit, donated by Lakshmi Mittal after London mayor Boris Johnson

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cornered him at Davos (Boris wanted a vertical punctuation mark to rival the Eiffel Tower which will be used for the Olympic light shows), then through the park with Baroness Ford pointing out the landmarks – and the opportunities. “When Seb Coe went to Singapore to win the Games it was to bring a genuine legacy for the kids of London,” she says. “People were originally sceptical about that, but now virtually all of the promises that were made before the Games have been fulfilled. We’re really proud of what has been accomplished so far. “I knew this site before we won the Games. I’ve known it well since 2003 and English


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Partnerships owned a big chunk of it. Soon after we won the Games, we were working on the site – this is really year seven.” The OPLC was created in May 2009 with the three founders; the Mayor of London, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport. The company, split between the Mayor and the UK Government, acquired the Olympic Park at Stratford and the Three Mills Estate in September 2010 from the London Development Agency for £138m. Stratford, in the east London borough of Newham, is home to 250,000 people, with 73 languages spoken in the borough’s schools. It has London’s youngest population, with >> the biggest concentration of young people between 17 and 25. It is a bustling place and the international station, which bisects the site, is buzzing with nine mainline train tracks coming into it, plus the Docklands Light Railway. It is ten minutes from Canary Wharf and London City airport, and three miles to the City of London. “It is already busier now than Victoria railway station,” says Baroness Ford. “This is a new part of London. What we are creating here is a whole new piece of the city. We take our responsibilities very seriously. The construction of the site for the Olympic Games is chapter one – what I’m interested in is the bit after. This is the part that the UK government put huge store by. The Olympic Games was given to London on the understanding that the legacy would bring massive benefit to a run-down and broken part which was ‘a tear in the fabric of London’.”

It’s all gloriously bright and news as a buzz of activity continues for the UK swimming trials. “The ODA, who have done all the project management and the delivery, have done a great job in involving companies from all over the UK,” she adds. On tour, the orange containers of Scottish company Aggreko – the exclusive supplier of temporary energy services – are everywhere, while Barr Construction, from Paisley and working on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games aquatic centre, built the temporary 12,000-seater basketball arena. Scottish companies – such as Barr +Wray – have done very well here. It is mainly UK companies that have built everything on the site. The project management was CLM – CH2MHill, Laing O’Rourke and Mace, the team that did Terminal Five at Heathrow. The ODA used a lot of the learning from such an exemplary construction project. Sir Robert McAlpine built the athletics stadium; Carillion built the broadcast centre for the Olympic Broadcast Service; Balfour Beatty did the Aquatics Centre; and the Velodrome was designed by architects Hopkins, built by ISG, and affectionately known as “The Pringle”. Baroness Ford says: “Very few foreign companies bid for many of the contracts, which surprised us. But this site has been a godsend for the UK construction industry, through the whole credit crunch and the downturn. This has really been the best of British construction and project management here. And CrossRail has taken up that slack.” Baroness Ford says these big infrastructure projects have been hugely helpful to the UK’s economy. And she believes the quality of the

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INTERVIEW

build and the spec of the landscaping – 4,000 maturing trees, and 300,000 wetland plants,  and nectar-rich meadow plants sown to flower during the Games – will have done the country proud. “The Olympic Village has been presold – people said it couldn’t be done and that you’ll never sell 5000 units, but we’ve done it,” she says, gesturing to where athletes will relax in a few months’ time. “The East Village will be retro-fitted after the Games and the homes will be a mixture of affordable homes, owned by a housing association, and a large privately rented portfolio, owned by Delancey Quatari Diar. This is long-term, patient money committed to creating a great place and committed to doing it over the long term. And all that money has been paid back to the public purse.” Her own first development, Chobham Manor, is adjacent to the Olympic Village – family oriented, traditional housing that will come to the market after the Games. She says that for every £1 spent on the London games, 75p is staying as part of the legacy. “The local people have been incredibly patient; this has been dust and noise for seven years, and people have been marvellous about it because they realised there is a hugely important thing happening here.” She finds it fascinating that during last year’s London riots it was one of the few boroughs – which was the poorest in terms of deprivation – that had no trouble. “There was no trouble in Stratford,” she says. “I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I think >>

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In the 1960s and 1970s, so-called professionals ignored what commonsense people wanted. Everyone wants to live in a nice place

the people here really get that it is a massive investment in the area and they should be proud of that.” What has helped is involving the youth through a panel with all the schools. “I think people feel very proud of what’s happening in their area, and feel very proud of it. This is what the new East End of London looks like – not what you see on a television soap opera. Londoners love parks and the big parks are the lungs of the city. For example, people like to live around Regent’s Park and like to get out there and enjoy it, or those who work beside one of the squares. The Olympic Park is in the tradition of the great London neighbourhoods where it will have lots of great housing surrounding the parkland, but in addition it will have these fantastic sports venues.” The cleaned-up Lea is also an asset for the site. “I love the water features,” she says. “I was brought up at the seaside and I lived there. I love what water does to a place. This knits the whole park together. It will be one of the reasons why people want

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to come and live here.” Next door to the site is the £1.5bn Westfield shopping centre – Europe’s largest – anchored by John Lewis, Waitrose, and M&S, and with all the leading high street brands. Baroness Ford believes it is a game-changer for the area. “There wasn’t an M&S in Stratford before it opened,” she says. “The Westfield centre has never missed a beat through the whole credit crunch. The Australian investors, the Westfield Group, have shown incredible faith in the East End of London. It has surpassed all expectations in terms of trading since it opened. “Someone said me this has opened five years before it should have – I said no, it’s opened 50 years before it should have. Without the Olympic investment, it would not have happened. The Games changed everything. They change the feeling of what this part of London could be.” Adjoining the site, and across the canal, on the western edge beside the Broadcast Centre, is Hackney Wick, with its artistic and creative community, now among the most vibrant in

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the UK. The community there will become Sweetwater. There are several bids in for the Broadcast Centre, with its high-speed fibre connection. What did she bring in terms of her experience from English Partnership? “I had a lot of experience working with the Treasury and public finance, which was vital. When I came there were challenges; the project wasn’t well capitalised and financed, although the Games and construction has been funded, there was no budget for the legacy. There was a huge £600m debt attached to the park and I spent the first year negotiating with the Treasury and various parties to get the debt rescheduled – and some was even cancelled. Then I had to negotiate a strong capital settlement to finish the park, which was reviewed when the coalition Government came in. They never missed a beat.” She advised the Treasury that the creation of Milton Keynes, a new town and development corporation, was still remitting cash to the UK government 30 years after it was first built –


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and this slow-burn financing should be the model for the Olympic legacy. They agreed and they now have time to build the real value. When Margaret Ford arrived there was a small team working on the legacy in the Canary Wharf tower, and her first decision was to come out of the 23rd floor and move the offices into the community. (“We should be in the middle of the action.”) She inherited an embryo masterplan which she decided to throw out as she saw it as unsuitable – filling the park with high-rised two-bedroom flats, giving it all the subtly of Hong Kong or Singapore. “Nothing in it said, ‘This Is London’,” she says.”It was a pile ‘em high, sell it cheap model. Yet this was a once-in-a hundred year chance to create the best of London. So we took grid patterns from the best squares in the city to find the normal dimensions – it was about creating a human scale.” Her engagement involved pounding her own shoe-leather out in the parks and streets, shopping and community centres asking people what they really wanted, and doing her own “mystery shopping” where people were often extremely frank. “A lot of what went into the new masterplan came from these conversations with mums with buggies, who wanted good schools for their kids, and older people who said they want a nice place to go and eat,” she says. “Urban planning is not rocket science – people will tell you what they want. In the 1960s and 1970s, so-called professionals just ignored what common-sense people wanted – safe, well-lit, nice with green space. Everyone wants to live in a nice place. “It’s funny, because I’m Scottish and >> Andrew (Altman, the chief executive of OPLC) is American, we see things differently. We just adore London. The scale is right. Most of the people hated the original masterplan; everybody loves the new masterplan.” If it all works, it will be for these things that she deserves her own monument on the park.

Her other business duties keep her busy and alert to the obvious overlaps in housing, health and social healthcare. “Most of the things I do have a big property element around social infrastructure. This is my area of interest and my tendency has been to specialise in this.” On the debate on women on boards, she says: “Don’t expect to jump three hurdles in one go. I’ve had a 20-year apprenticeship on the boards of private companies, and a 10-year apprenticeship on a listed company. I’ve worked at it and didn’t expect things just to happen. Serve your time and then you’re of value – and try and specialise.” She appears calm and unflappable and agrees that while she is exceptionally busy, the real stress was 25 years ago working as a consultant with Price Waterhouse (where she met her husband David) and had to juggle her work with two children under five. They both left and set up Eglinton Management Centre, a leadership and development business, which still operates in Paisley, and then Goodpractice. net, a web-learning firm, based in Edinburgh and run by Peter Casebow since 2002. “The big secret of not getting stressed is managing your time and being superorganised,” she says. “But you also need a bit of luck too. London winning the Olympics has been great for the UK – and for Scotland too. Apart from Seb, Tessa Jowell had this dream to bring it to fruition, and they have stuck with the programme.” She says working alongside John Prescott, the former deputy prime minister, who was involved with massive regeneration projects across England, was an exceptional time. “What people perhaps don’t give John Prescott credit for is that he personally drove the sustainability agenda in the UK. He is deeply knowledgeable about the town planning system; it could be his Mastermind specialist subject.” A quietly-spoken Scot from the West of Scotland, now in her early fifties, she studied English and history at Glasgow, and later

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completed a masters in economics. Her mother, who passed away last year at 90, was a head teacher and education was important to the family. “She was taken with the idea that ‘her lassie’ was in the House of Lords,” she says. “I often get asked to speak to groups of young women who are thinking about their careers and I’m asked, ‘Did you have a plan’ and I say ‘no’.  Maybe some people have a plan, but I didn’t have one. I’ve said that what you should plan to do is enjoy everything you do. My two pieces of advice to people are, really enjoy your work, throw yourself in, and good opportunities will come along. And the other thing I say is, ‘Don’t work for lousy people. Go and work for someone else, life’s too short. “I don’t take myself too seriously, but I take my work seriously. I try to do a good job wherever I go and leave decent tracks.” After the London Olympics, Margaret Ford is stepping down from OPLC. “After the Games, it will become a development corporation and it becomes a London-focused project, rather than a national one,” she says. “So perhaps it’s time for a local London person to take the reins. We will have delivered everything the UK government asked for – and more.” Perhaps for Margaret Ford, a Scot who has witnessed the importance of regeneration in Scotland, the sweetest achievement will be the legacy she has created across England, especially in the East End of London. n

Thanks to East Coast, which operates 46 services in each weekday between Edinburgh and London King’s Cross. Customers travelling First Class can enjoy East Coast’s complimentary food and drinks offer plus unlimited Wi-Fi. Advanced return fares, booked online at www.eastcoast.co.uk: start from £33 Standard Class or £95 First Class. Times and fares can also be found via 08457 225225 or from any staffed stations.

Go online to find out what Margaret Ford believes the impact of the Olympic legacy will be on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. www.bq-magazine.co.uk/scotland

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Minding the generation gap

Edinburgh-based NGenTec is exactly the kind of energy business that our new Green Investment Bank must nurture and support. Kenny Kemp spoke to its chief executive Dr Makhlouf Benatmane Scotland has chosen its path as a “green” energy producer. The announcement by Vince Cable, the UK business secretary, that the £3bn Green Investment Bank will be based in Edinburgh is excellent news – welcomed by companies such as NGenTec, an Edinburgh University spin-out that has invented a novel wind turbine generator that is more environmentally efficient and easier to

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manufacture, assemble, operate and will contribute to the low cost of energy.  But there is another matter to deal with, whether Scotland becomes an independent nation or stays part of the United Kingdom. It remains at the core of our economic life – how can we grow indigenous businesses, spun out from our universities and build them into large companies of international scale? For Scotland

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has failed to create more than a handful of medium-size global firms, in spite of the astonishing lineage of our engineering heritage, which includes Henry Bell’s Comet – the first steam ship – on the Clyde exactly 200 years ago. If the Scottish Government is placing so much truck in the “renewables revolution” as the great green economic hope for Scotland, what kind of company


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should we be looking out for?  NGenTec – or Novel Generator Technology – appears to fit the bill. This is an exciting young firm which has already put in place many of the building blocks. BQ Scotland felt it was worth taking a closer look at NGenTec and seeing whether this company can stand the test of time. There are several ticks in the box required for building a scalable large company. Firstly, an idea and a technology that is game-changing and original. NGenTec ticks this (read more about the technology in the sidebar). Then you need staunch support from local enterprise and from seed funders, venture capitalists or angel investors. Again NGenTec fills this, attracting a board with a great pedigree in this regard. Then you need to have a management team with massive industrial experience to take this to the next level. This is in hand right now. And, finally, you need a global customer base clamouring for your products. This last bit is still to come for NGenTec. However, the arrival of Dr Makhlouf Benatmane as chief executive officer has been a significant step for this fledgling Edinburgh company in heading towards full commercial sales and production. Happy to be called “Ben”, this Berber-born, English-educated

engineer has an impressive array of initials on his card: BSc (Hons) PhD CEng FIET FIMarEst. But it’s not his initials that matter but his work on bringing massively complex projects, such as the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer built by BAE Systems on the Clyde. He led the electric power and propulsion system through from initial concept design stage, introduction to the market, project execution, sea-trials and then hand-over. Such electric propulsion contributing to low, through-life operating cost is also being used on the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier. He joined from Converteam, a successor to ALSTOM Power Conversion, GEC, Associated Electrical Industries in UK, and many other large companies in other countries worldwide, where his last role was global leader of the renewables business of the group – now purchased by GE – which employs 5,500 people around the globe.  The NGenTec story so far Ben's colleague is James Murray, who is NGenTec business development manager and an engineer with a business brain. He obtained a masters degree in product design engineering at Strathclyde University and then worked in civil aircraft division of BAE Systems

How it works A wind turbine generates electricity as it rotates, capturing the wind. The three rotor blades are on a tower connected to the hub. The spinning blades turn the hub while a gearbox increases the speed to a rotating generator attached to the back of the hub. This spins the generator’s magnets around stationary coils of copper, which induces electric currents into the coil. Conventional wind generators work with the use of opposing magnetics which have to be encased in heavy rigid, steel structures because of their force of attraction. They try to pull together, necessitating the turbines to be made of masses of steel. Normally a sixmetre diameter generator machine weighs in excess 100 tonnes, but NGenTec has a novel, much lighter and simplified assembly process – like large pieces of Lego which can be clicked in around the rotating generator. Each “Lego” module weighs much less than a tonne and can be put in the back of a Land Rover and winched into place. It has fewer moving parts and has much lower weight. The C-Gen machine takes its name for the core layout of a rotary generator. The core material is C-shaped with the magnets on the limbs of the C. Instead of masses of steel, it uses non-magnetic epoxy resins to make up the copper windings. With no attracting magnetic forces – there is no “cogging torque” – this also means less vibration in the whole wind turbine. While it would require engineering efforts with wind turbine makers to retro-fit in existing wind turbines, it is well placed for the next generation of onshore and offshore wind and for wave and tidal generation, according to Dr Benatmane. 

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in Prestwick, starting as a design engineer. His career took him to Mott MacDonald, the civil engineering consultancy, and then to the United States. “There is a lot of innovation in Scotland,” says Murray. “There is a strong engineering base that is sometimes underappreciated. There are several people I worked with who had innovative engineering ideas beyond their own daily work. There were side projects in BAE Systems that were encouraged – for example there was a Bulldog plane project outwith our normal work – and this inspired me to think about early-stage companies.” This led Murray to take part in the prestigious Saltire Fellowship with The Saltire Foundation. The Saltire Fellowship is a world-class entrepreneurial leadership programme designed to create a global and entrepreneurial mindset in Scotland’s future business leaders. The Fellowship was created by GlobalScots, in part, to fill a commercial talent gap particularly in early stage businesses, like NGenTec. “Scotland has a pool of world-class technologies, which sometimes fail to take off or plateau out too early,” says Murray. “The Saltire Fellowship was really about developing the mindset and ambition to take these technologies on to a global scale.” James Murray went to work with Veoila Energy North America, the environmental French company with a Scottish chief executive, which was then expanding into the US. Here he picked up the experience of working for an international energy conglomerate but Scotland called him back. “Within a week of coming back from America I was introduced to NGenTec, so the timing was great for me,” he says. Murray met Dr Markus Mueller and Dr Alasdair McDonald, the engineering founders of NGenTec, who needed help in growing the company. They had invented the technology. The company’s roots were in 2004 when Markus Mueller had his “light-bulb moment” and came up with the patentable technology of the C-Generator. Mueller had just arrived to Edinburgh University as a lecturer and is now a reader at the Institute of Energy Systems in the School of Engineering. He was given a year off lectures to think about all the technology >>

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INTERVIEW

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This is important for Scotland. All the major machine components, the assemblies and testing can be done here and the sciences he had worked with. He bounced his ideas of peers and other engineering contacts, and they felt it would work. He was then able to go to Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI), the commercialisation arm of university, go through a patent disclosure and began building a research team within the university. From this, there was four years of development time. “From 2004 until 2010 you have the maturing of a technology and the proving of the physics,” explains James Murray. “Then, in the last year, we’ve grown from zero to a company of 15 people of mainly engineering pedigree and aiming for a megawatt-scale generator demonstrator. We are taking this to a market.” The timeline involved Proof of Concept funding from Scottish Enterprise which allowed two prototypes; one 15W and the other 20kW to be constructed and tested, with the former actually installed in a wind turbine and connected to the grid. This was all

being incubated inside Edinburgh University and shielded from the risks of the market. It was small-scale yet proved that Mueller and McDonald’s physics worked – now it had to be scalable for commercial turbines. The proof was that the technology could produce electricity.  NGenTec was fully formed in late 2009 when Murray and McDonald established the company's first offices in the ETTC, the university’s incubation centre, in the King’s Buildings. Now a larger scale prototype was needed which proved that the “multistage axial flux, air cored” system of mounting standard modules around the generator structure would prove all the advantages and unique selling points. Two well-known Scottish business figures joined the board – Dr Derek Douglas CBE, the chairman of Adam Smith Limited, and Dr Derek Shepherd, who ran the international division of Aggreko, and had become chairman and acting CEO in 2009. Dr Douglas has a track record of raising more

Visit our website to find out more about how Scotland’s economy will reap the rewards of the Green Investment Bank. www.bq-magazine.co.uk/scotland

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than £100m for technology companies, while Dr Shepherd brought experience of operating a major Scottish firm around the globe. Work, including design and testing, was progressing and NGenTec secured a grant of £800,000 from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change in December 2010, and also raised £2m of Series A funding for the company through David Brown Gear Systems (DBGS), which is part of the Jim McColl’s Clyde Blowers group, Chrysalix SET Management BV; a Dutch venture capitalist group, and Scottish Enterprise Co-Investment Fund. This took NGenTec to its present stage – with interest building – and it now owns all the intellectual property, including three patents, while Edinburgh University remains an arms-length shareholder through its new investment wing, Old College Capital, which invested £200,000 in February 2011. The arrival of Dr Makhlouf Benatmane The raising of a chunk of hefty capital allowed the prototype to be developed but also NGenTec to start recruiting industrial expertise and management that could take the company to the next level. Dr Makhlouf Benatmane’ arrival in April 2011 is an indication of the company’s serious intent.   Weeks after the David Brown Gear Systems agreement was signed, Dr Benatmane arrived in Edinburgh, taking the baton from Derek Shepherd, who remains as chairman. The partnership agreement with David Brown means that a great deal of attention is focused on the manufacturing and the testing of a 1MW generator in Huddersfield. “We are now trying to generate orders to complement and increase our portfolio.,” says Benatmane. “This is important for Scotland. All the major components of the machines, the assemblies and the testing can be done here. There is a lot of potential that this machine can create.” For Benatmane it is about perfecting the process on an industrial scale, so that every component operates in its harshest environment. “If you know the process and you have made it work well, then this is a very good starting point,” he says. “Our product is unique in that you can check every component progressively


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and more easily for quality and functionality. High reliability is essential – if something is not right, or part of the system does not work well – it is simple to isolate it or even take it out and replace it without major implications and high costs.” The NGenTec “Lego” parts – modules – are very easily arranged and bolted in around the generator, which will be better for offshore wind producers where the cost of maintenance is a significant cost factor. Bentamane says: “NGenTec generator technology is a significant improvement over conventional machines and is designed to be simple from the outset with high reliability, use of standardised components, built-in redundancy and flexibility, high efficiency across full operating range, with zero cogging torque and having reduced weight.” Wind strength has been a major topic of interest for the anti-wind power brigade, who have pointed to the low percentage of electricity produced so far. The UK, and in particular, Scotland, is blessed with much more favourable wind speeds than mainland Europe, where wind energy makes a much larger contribution. Scotland could well generate 45% of UK electricity from its own resource.

This is a strong selling point. The present generation of onshore wind farms aren’t producing energy efficiently enough. According to Prof David MacKay of UIT Cambridge, Europe’s largest wind farm – at Whitelee on Eaglesham Moor, outside Glasgow – owned by Scottish Power Renewables, has 140 turbines with a combined “peak” capacity of 322MW over an area of 55km2. That’s six watts per square metre. “The average power produced is smaller because the turbines don’t run at peak output all the time,” says Mackay. “The ratio of the average power to the peak power is called the ‘load factor’ or ‘capacity factor’ and it varies from site to site. A typical factor for a good site with modern turbines is 30%” Despite being an advocate of renewables energy, Prof MacKay reckons this will never meet our present energy demand. Bigger turbines aren’t the answer; but more efficient ones are. Makhlouf Benatmane says NGenTec has the solution; it has designed machine concepts with low to large generation capabilities, allowing the turbine to operate with two or three extra rings of modules. In a conventional

The arrival of Charles Gamble The team, in the serviced offices in North St David Street in Edinburgh, in rooms beneath the Romanian consulate, is now expanding rapidly. The latest recruit is a wind industry veteran. Dr Charles Gamble, formerly the chief technical officer and founding member of NordicWindpower, is the highly-rated operations and chief marketing officer. He has been in the wind industry since the mid 1980s. Gamble has a PhD in electrical engineering, specialising in electrical machines and control, so speaks with authority on the value of the NGenTec generator. He was head of wind turbine development at Nordic and ran drivetrain research and development at Kenetech in the United States – and was both director of wind turbine production and later director of operations at Wind Energy Group. He spent almost five years at the wind consultants Garrad Hassan and brings a wealth of renewables knowledge to NGenTec. “This really is an exciting place to be right now,” he says. “We’re all focused on making sure Scotland has the best chance for a sustainable future in renewables. We all want to be a big part of this at NGenTec.” Time will tell. NGenTec might well become a global giant of the renewable business based in Scotland. In reality – and like so many other Scottish white hopes – the chances are if it is successful it will be eaten up by another international engineering company anxious to get its hands on the technology. That would be a shame. But, like Dr Makhlouf Benatmane, let’s remain positive, for Scotland’s sake.

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turbine, it’s either working or it isn’t. Redundancy is a major factor, when conventional turbines are defective or being repaired. “This means that we can make power from all kinds of wind conditions,” he says. “If the wind isn’t strong and have only a light wind, then the operators, rather than operate all the turbines, can easily disable two or three stacks and get reduced wattage. There is less wear and tear on some parts and less vibration. This gives the ability to operate more efficiently at partial loads.” Bentamane says reducing the cost of renewable energy is paramount. There has been a widespread controversy over the use of rare Earth ores mined and processed in China to make green energy in the UK. Neodymium is such a material mined in Inner Mongolia for much of the magnetic power and strength. He says: “One of the benefits of our technology is that it can run at reasonably low temperatures, so you don’t need dysprosium. We are using relatively cheap permanent magnets.” NGenTec C-Generator uses a lighter combination of epoxy resins and copper for its windings rather than hefty laminations lumps of steel. “Try and take several tens of tonnes of steel out to sea, to an offshore wind turbine, it is very difficult indeed and requires heavy-lifting barges and expensive shipping time, assuming the weather is good too,” says Bentamane. James Murray says that ultimately, it was a solvable problem. “It’s not complex; it is reasonably easy for people to grasp the benefits. Even if you are not a highly trained electrical engineer, you can get the concept of it.“ Benatmane is convinced that the industry will start to understand the benefits of NGenTec and is grateful to Scotland’s local authorities and Scottish Development International for all their support. He also “welcomes the arrival of the Green Investment Bank to Edinburgh”. He says: “It does take time to change a mindset and introduce a new technology. Nothing will please me more than seeing a technology developed in Scotland, to be made in Scotland and be primarily used in Scotland.” n

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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

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Glasgow smiles on offices space while Aberdeen grins broadly, Samsung sees a Fife future, retail space continues to appeal, Campbeltown locks into a new quay and a map firm relocates >> University centre gets green light

>> Glasgow continues its prime offer ScottishPower’s hunt for a new flagship headquarters in Glasgow continues to attract attention among property professionals. Rumours persist of strong interest in the 1.4-acre former Elphinstone Place site. ScottishPower is considering purchasing the site for a 220,000 square foot scheme for its own occupation, with possible completion by 2014.  Morgan Stanley has confirmed it is increasing its workforce by 250 people in Glasgow with its Institutional Securities and Global Wealth Management support services group taking an additional 18,000 sq ft at the Sentinel building.  Overall, 2011 saw office net stock absorption record a modest fall for central Glasgow city offices. Despite a rise in take-up in the second half of 2011, a strong element of market churn has meant that occupation declined in the City Core, according to Colliers’ Central Glasgow Snapshot. The completion of the council’s HQ at Collegelands helped to lift interest outside the city centre. Absorption of offices in the City Core was negative throughout 2011 with overall occupation of office space for the 12 months to December 2011 falling by 36,376sq ft.  While availability of Grade A offices rose by 2% in the six months from June to December 2011, the majority of available second-hand space with no schemes is currently offering floor plates over 17,000sq ft.  The imminent completion of the 65,000 sq ft former Copenhagen Building – now known as Sixty7 – will deliver additional Grade A product onto the market. Further Grade A space is likely to be absorbed in H1 2012 as requirements such as RHL (30,00 sq ft), Harper Macleod (20,000sq ft) and Aon (20,000sq ft) finalise shortlists.  St Vincent Plaza has received permission for a 170,000sq ft scheme, due on site imminently. Meanwhile, 110 Queen Street has planning for 145,000sq ft, although with no start date as yet.  Landlords and developers are looking at potential refurbishment opportunities, with Hermes starting a £8m, 72,000sq ft refurb of 151 St Vincent Street. Prime rents stand at £27 per square foot having declined in 2011. Colliers does not foresee any significant uplift in City Core headline rents during 2012.

For the latest news and views from Scotland’s commercial property scene, read BQ Magazine online at: www.bq-magazine.co.uk/scotland

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A world-class research and technology centre at the University of Strathclyde has been given the go-ahead by Glasgow city planners for a landmark building in George Street. The Technology and Innovation Centre will bring together academics and partners from industry and business to develop solutions to the UK’s economic challenges. It is due to open in 2014. Professor Jim McDonald, principal of the University of Strathclyde, says the university is dedicated to sharing knowledge and finding solutions in the spheres of health, energy, engineering and manufacturing. The TIC partners include SSE, ScottishPower, Weir Group, Babcock, Rolls-Royce, EDF and Gamesa.

>> Samsung’s thumbs up Samsung Heavy Industries from Korea will base its first European offshore wind project in Fife. It is an inward venture that the Scottish Government reckon is worth up to £100m and is expected to create more than 500 jobs in Scotland.The announcement, at the Scottish Offshore Wind and Supply Chain Conference in Aberdeen, is a boost for the offshore wind technology at the Energy Park in Fife. SHI has signed a deal with East Kilbride-based David Brown Gear Systems (David Brown), to supply gearbox systems for its next generation offshore wind turbine. David Brown is owned by Clyde Blowers. SHI will work with Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council to develop the company’s project in Fife. Samsung’s announcement follows investments by Taqa, Avaloq, FMC Technologies, Aker, Ineos, PetroChina, Dell, Gamesa, BNY Mellon, State Street, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard and Mitsubishi Powers Systems.


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>> Aberdeen remains a UK leader The controversy over Aberdeen’s Union Terrace garden plan has not dented confidence in the city as high oil prices maintain the city’s prospects for the future. The local plebiscite, which divided the city over the £140m garden plan, supported by Wood Group chairman Sir Ian Wood, has made headlines because of the bitterness of the campaign, but it has won public approval. Demand for office property in Aberdeen reached a record high in 2011, according to a report from property consultant Knight Frank. The Aberdeen office market activity review for 2011 revealed that annual office take-up was among the highest in the UK at 773,175sq ft, doubling the city’s figures for 2010 and surpassing Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The report shows that Aberdeen commanded the highest prime headline office rent out of the UK’s 11 key regional markets outside the South East. A new record headline rent of £31.50 per sq ft was set following McGrigors’ lease of Queen’s House and this is expected to rise further in 2012. Katherine Monro, partner at Knight Frank’s Aberdeen office, attributes the increased demand in property to the current buoyancy in the North Sea oil and gas sector. She said: “This record performance in Aberdeen is inextricably linked with the current climate in the oil and gas industry. High oil prices have prompted investment and business expansion and are consequently, fuelling office demand. In addition, the news of £10bn investment in the Clair Ridge oil fields to the west of Shetland have boosted long term commercial property prospects for the region.” Almost 75% of 2011 take-up happened during the first half of the year, with several large deals exceeding 50,000sq ft. Notable transactions include Wood Group and Centrica’s 66,584sq ft and 58,339sq ft leases at iQ on Justice Mill Lane and AMEC’s sub-lease of 94,000sq ft from Shell UK Ltd at Seafield House, Hill of Rubislaw. “Occupier market conditions are expected to remain strong, due to a number of major enquiries from the energy sector that are outstanding. Evidence also suggests that prime headline rents will achieve another record high, reflecting the shortage of Grade A space in Aberdeen city centre,” added Munro.

>> Miller finds new funds The Miller Group has completed a £160m equity investment, as well as a refinancing of its existing debt with a new five-year facility. New investment has been pledged by GSO Partners, a subsidiary of Blackstone, along with Royal Bank of Scotland, Noble Grossart and senior executives of the company. Miller Group has agreed to give the financiers a 50% stake in the group. Miller Group puts the total value of its assets at £220m. The investment and debt deal will allow Miller Group to unlock its land bank and fund planned growth of its construction division.

Investment has been pledged BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12

>> Key investment starts in Campbeltown Work has started on the £4.6m New Quay in Campbeltown, with work carried out on behalf of Argyll and Bute Council. It is part of the Kintyre Renewables Hub project which will see Campbeltown and Machrihanish develop as a centre for the renewable energy industry.

>> New division for asset firm Edinburgh-based Cowiesburn Asset Management, launched in 2009, has announced a new property management division to take on the running of investors’ commercial property portfolios. Founding partner Donald Simpson aims to fill a gap in the market to source and manage properties for clients that required work to fulfil their potential.

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>> Still demand for retail space Retail warehousing and the industrial sector has been holding up well compared to other sectors in the final quarter of 2011, according to the Scottish Property Quarterly from CBRE. Q4 2011 saw total returns for all property in Scotland falling to 0.5% from 1.3% in Q3 2011 and 2% in Q4 2010; representing the lowest quarterly figure since Q2 2009 when total returns were negative. Falling capital and rental values contributed to this decline in total returns with Q4 2011 being the third consecutive quarter of falling capital values and the 13th of falling rental values.  Compared with other sectors, retail performed relatively well with total returns for Q4 2011 of 0.7%. Despite this, the quarter also saw a decline of 0.8% after two quarters of flat capital values, contributing to the annual fall of 0.2% for the sector. However, retail warehouses continued to produce stronger total returns compared with standard high street retail. The office market fared less well, reporting Q4 total returns of -0.2% – the only sector to see negative returns in this quarter. However, the report says sustained strength of the central London office market compared with the rest of the country is creating similar disparities in all UK regions.   Industrial was the best performing sector in Q4 2011 with total returns of 1.1%. It was also the only sector to see initial yields move in, from 7.2% to 7%. Relative to the UK, the Scottish Industrial sector saw the smallest performance gap in the year ending Q4 2011, reaffirming the solidity of the sector. Investors also showed continued confidence in the market, with £331.4m transacted in Q4 2011, taking the total for the year to £1.29bn. The Q4 result represented the second-highest quarterly total for 2011 although this is against an overall annual fall of 25% compared with the 2010 total. Retail was the most active


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sector for investment sales in 2011 totalling £596m, a marginal decrease on 2010, with retail warehousing taking the largest slice of action at £248m for the year.  Aileen Knox, senior director of CBRE, Scotland, said: “The lack of activity in the Scottish office sector generally, along with many of the other UK regional office centres, is of note. However, there are locations where the sector remains strong.  In Scotland, Aberdeen continues to see rental growth, investor demand and some development activity.  “An additional factor introduced into 2012’s property market outlook will be how UK and international real estate investors view the proposed referendum on Scottish independence. The effect of this remains to be seen and is being closely watched by the market.”

>> Geographers find right location Holyrood Park House in Edinburgh has been let to Esri UK, leading supplier of Geographic Information Systems, bringing the property to over 90% let. Consultant CBRE (Scotland), with joint agents Cushman & Wakefield, has secured the letting by Esri UK, on behalf of Henderson Global Investors, who have taken the lower ground floor suite at the property totalling over 7,000sq ft on a 10-year lease with a break in year five. Esri UK is relocating from Leith and joins existing tenants Citigroup, Intersystems and The Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Charles Kennelly, CTO for Esri UK, said: “The new location is strategically well positioned and we look forward to welcoming customers and colleagues from all over the UK to our new premises.”

The new location is strategically well positioned

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

>> Top hotel for Dundee Waterfront Malmaison will open its first new hotel since concluding a refinancing agreement last year and the appointment of Gary Davis as new chief executive. An agreement to lease has been concluded for a new 91-bedroom hotel in Dundee. The new Dundee Malmaison, the company owned by MWB Group Holdings, will be created on the site of the old Tay Hotel, a listed city centre landmark building and will be Malmaison’s 13th hotel. Redevelopment has started with completion expected in May 2013, creating 120 new jobs. Councillor Ken Guild, leader of Dundee City Council and chair of the Dundee Waterfront Board, said: “We are delighted to welcome Malmaison to Dundee as a key part of the £1bn Waterfront, particularly as the new hotel will result in the restoration of one of our finest historic buildings as a landmark destination right at the heart of the regeneration of the city.”

The Waterfront will provide a home for the V&A’s new £45m museum in Dundee, due to open in 2015.

>> Property pros express fears Property industry leaders have urged the Scottish Government to work with the industry to unlock the potential for economic growth, as data reveals new orders for commercial development and repair work have fallen by a third since 2007. More than 200 industry delegates gathered in Edinburgh for the Scottish Property Federation’s annual conference to hear how this drop in construction and related sector output alone accounted for an estimated £2bn of economic value (GVA) lost to the wider Scottish economy. With retail vacancy rates at 26% in some parts of Scotland, and an estimated 28,000 jobs lost in the commercial property sector – and research from Warwick University suggesting as many as one in four SMEs believing they will close by 2014.

>> Developer taps into industrial site A new legal agreement has been signed which will pave the way for Edinburgh’s first speculative industrial development in five years. Developer J Smart & Co has concluded an agreement with the City of Edinburgh Council for a ground lease to build on a 4.79-acre site at the city’s South Gyle Crescent area. The site, which was formerly home to a plumbing merchants, will also extend to part of the adjoining Pentad office development. A planning application has been submitted to develop an initial phase of industrial units comprising two terraces of units totalling 26,222sq ft, with a secure yard and an identical second phase. The first phase of the development is expected to be completed in 2013. Niall Burns, partner at Burns & Shaw LLP – which acted for J Smart & Co – said: “Demand for smaller industrial units in prime locations remains strong, with West Edinburgh a particular focus for occupiers. The fundamentals associated with this development will undoubtedly be attractive to both national and local occupiers”.

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in association with

TAKING THE BOARD CHALLENGE The issue: How can we encourage more women to take up positions within our boardrooms in Scotland to improve business performance? “How can we encourage more women to take up positions within our boardrooms in Scotland to improve business performance?” was the subject of the second BQ Scotland Live Debate, held in the elegant setting of The Royal Yacht Britannia, moored in Leith. It is a matter that has gained great attention and comment since Lord Davies’ review of “Women on Boards” in February 2011. And a recent progress report on boardroom diversity by Cranfield School of Management recognised that progress was being made, with more than 100 women appointed onto FTSE boards since the review. The latest report showed that the number of women on top boards of FTSE 100 companies has risen from 12.5% to 15.6%. From 190 appointments made, 47 of the new appointments were women. Lord Davies recommended that the proportion of women on FTSE boards should be a minimum 25% by 2015. He expressed his concern that it would take 70 years to achieve gender-balanced boardrooms in the UK, on the 2011 trajectory.

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Against this backdrop, our BQ Live Debate panel were able bring some fresh insights to the discussion. Lady Susan Rice, herself a board member of a FTSE 35 company, called the gathering an “eclectic group”, while several participants, including Susan Deacon, chairman of Scottish Power Renewables, and Margaret Lang, chief executive of Intelligent Office, said that it was vital to consider the wider position of women in society and the constraints that had prevented more able women from reaching the top in business. Lady Elaine Brailsford, a partner with Tods Murray, raised the question of why the professions, such as law, accountancy and the health service, had embraced diversity more easily than the corporate sector. It was argued during the debate that a profile of grey-haired “alpha” males running businesses had to be challenged, and that modern businesses could only thrive if they had better representations of women, although all were opposed to tokenism, and several felt that quotas, such as in Finland, were “counter-productive”. In the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year, the Royal Yacht’s state dining room was an appropriate place for this far-reaching debate – on a Royal Naval vessel where billions of pounds of UK international trade deals have been secured. Chairman Caroline Theobald set the scene but felt it was clear from the participants’ introductory comments that the scale of the

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Taking part Anne MacColl, chief executive, Scottish Development International Douglas Kinnaird, founder, MacDonald Kinnaird Lady Susan Rice CBE, managing director, Lloyds Banking Group Scotland, and non-executive director of Scottish & Southern Energy, and The Bank of England Lady Elaine Brailsford, partner, Tods Murray LLP Margaret Lang, chief executive, Intelligent Office Sarah Deas, chief executive, Co-operative Development Scotland Susan Deacon, chair, Scottish Power Renewable Energy Deborah Benson, managing director, Benson Portfolio Ltd Janice Anderson, finance director, Seafish Martin Mutch, chief executive, Rocela Paul Brewer, senior partner, PwC Scotland David Watt, director, Institute of Directors, Scotland Kenny Kemp, editor, BQ Scotland In the chair: Caroline Theobald, BQ Live Venue: The Royal Yacht Britannia, Ocean Terminal, Leith, Edinburgh BQ is highly regarded as a leading independent commentator on business issues, many of which have a bearing on the current and future success of Scotlands business economy. BQ Live is a series of informative debates designed to further contribute to the success and prosperity of our economy through the debate, discussion and feedback of a range of key business topics and issues.

topic needed parameters. Most felt that the question of women on boards was part of the much wider discussion of women in business, the role of families, and an urgent need for diversity on boards. All agreed it was genuinely the right thing to do to improve businesses performance, but there were a number of barriers. The debate was split into three sections; firstly to look at the wider societal issue, then the issue of women’s representation in business, and finally to narrowly focus on what could be done to encourage more women to apply for board positions and become involved. Caroline Theobald asked if everyone might pledge to take away something new to do from the evening. Sarah Deas: “There are sectors where women


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are succeeding, including in law and the public sector, but less so in manufacturing. So it is about understanding these sectoral differences and how we can make better progress in places where progress towards diversity has fallen behind.” Douglas Kinnaird: “For many, many years we’ve been aware how few women apply for jobs. We created the first Scottish conference on the ‘glass ceiling’ and started monitoring this 24 years ago and the average of women to any job advertised in the newspapers was, and still is, 3%. We did the headhunting for previous Scottish Enterprise chief executives. People, such as Lena Wilson (SE’s current chief executive) have demonstrated that women can do the job, so why when Robert Crawford (one of Wilson’s predecessor) came to the job were there only three female applicants, one of whom was internal, and when Jack Perry (Wilson’s immediate predecessor) did, only five were female, two of them internal? The average number of women we put forward is around 12%. Twenty years ago there was a desire from leading male businessmen to find women candidates to break through the ‘glass ceiling’, yet we still don’t seem to be getting anywhere.” Deborah Benson said that leadership was the key and that “under-representation is very significant and very concerning”. It was pointed out that companies with more women on boards were found to outperform their rivals with a 42% higher return in sales, 66% higher return on invested capital, and 53% higher return on equity. Without doubt, women on boards led to better business performance. Margaret Lang: “I would like to start by making a point about women in general. Here are a few facts: women do 66% of the world’s work; they produce 50% of the world’s food; but they only earn 10% of the world’s income and own 1% of the world’s wealth, including property. When you look at third world countries where the woman is in charge of the home’s finances, it’s a happier home, the children do better and, economically, the family do better with what they have rather than when the man is in charge of the finances. If you look at these stats, you’ll see that women globally are a huge resource that

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Under-representation is very significant and very concerning. Companies with more women on boards were found to outperform their rivals is being underutilised. When you bring that back to the UK and the boardroom, until we can start to capitalise on the attributes, skills and abilities at primary school level in terms of confidence and entrepreneurship then we will never make a huge difference.” Martin Mutch had been discussing with one of his managers why his company didn’t have any women on the board, despite having a 30-70 ratio female to male in his IT company, which services banks and financial institutions. “I was beginning to think that our composition was something Alpha Male, and in a start-up that’s not necessarily a bad position.” But in the last six years he feels that the company probably would have benefited from a more balanced perspective. “Whether that comes from a gender balance, I don’t actually know. I don’t know how to test that.” Lady Susan Rice: “Boards are boards but they come in various shapes and serve various types of business, from plcs and private companies,

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through to trusts and charities. For each board, there are a number of responsibilities that go with the territory. For example, I’m a non-executive and chair the audit and risk committee of the Bank of England, a major national responsibility in the public sector. And I chair the board of a major not-for-profit organisation. I’m also interested in social finance and was a founding non-executive director of Charity Bank and now a founding director of Big Society Capital plc, which is about to be launched and under the auspices of a charitable trust. I also sit on the board of a FTSE 35 company. There are lots of different models for boards. I’ve been involved with nomination committees looking for people to go onto boards. And, in many cases, I’ve been the only woman on these boards, so yards of experience. And then there are the women I mentor. The things that really dwell in my mind relate to our culture. I start with ‘aspiration’ – why it >>

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is that only 3% of women aspire, or are willing, to reach out and apply for these roles? Is there something about the aspiration that women have that is different? Why do they not see the value they can add? Is there something about the culture? I don’t have the answers but I’m really interested. I’m a huge believer that diversity is not about the numbers or the legal position. It’s simply good to have people around the table with diverse backgrounds who can ask off-thewall questions.” Lady Rice said she has been focused – post Davies report – on how to help capable women rise up through the executive ranks to be prepared for future board positions. She asked whether there was a tone at the top which might put people off. Elaine Brailsford, as a partner with Tods Murray, and member of the management board, says that she has a slightly different perspective because the legal profession in Scotland is “streets ahead” of the corporate sector in relation to the advancement of women. “I’m one of eight female partners in a partnership of 25, that’s a third, that’s where Norway is at, and that’s where the UK government wants us to be. In the next 20-30 years, many of our male partners will retire, so where will we find our new partners? Below our partners we have senior associates and associates and 60% of them are women; below them are solicitors and senior solicitors and 70% of women. Currently in Scotland there are twice the number of female to male trainees. I’m asking what is it about the profession, is this just law, accountancy and medicine? Why have the professions been able to attract women and to advance them, that the corporate sector seems unable to do?” Susan Deacon was concerned that the evening debate would end up in “silothinking”. “I think narrow discussions about why we aren’t getting women on boards is real ‘silo-thinking’. What would I like to see? There are two things that define us as human beings and a society; that’s work and family. I don’t see how you can talk about women in work without talking about women in the workplace, and I don’t think you can talk about that unless you talk about families and the way that we live.”

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Time, gentlemen: Strands of argument for further discussion emerged She said we have gone through enormous shifts in the way women have been economically active in the last 50-60 years, yet we haven’t seen a rebalancing of roles, responsibilities and practices in the home on the same scale, that should go alongside this shift. The issue of children was important in that women had disproportionate responsibility for child care and looking after elderly relatives. “There is a whole complex mix in there about the combination of things that we do – as men and women – that span across work and family. There is not enough joined-up thinking, in my view, and it’s taken us to quite a bad place in our society. Whether it is tonight, or beyond, I’d like us to connect up our thinking.” Paul Brewer said his position in PwC restricts him from holding board positions, but his personal experience of working on a school

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board, comprised of a majority of females, was that the diversity of people, gender and skill-set meant it gelled. He said that within PwC the key has been to make sure that the very best talent gets to the top. They see the same demographic trend as the legal profession, a 50-50 ratio, yet at the top two levels of director and partner, the proportion of women tails off quite dramatically. Nationally, 25% of partners and 15% of directors are women, although in Edinburgh, it’s nearer a third. The starting point is realising there is an issue and recognising it. He said strong women’s networks and mentoring was vital. Janice Anderson is the only female executive director at Seafish, a government body. She raised the issue of the difficulties of a woman with children trying to undertake an executive job. “I think women are much more maternal, than men are paternal … the issues about going out and doing a day-job and being a professional person. Any problems with the kids, the tugs are much stronger on a woman than on a guy.” She felt that support from a partner was important for a woman to succeed in business. “I think women bear the burden of raising children and looking after elderly parents much more than men do.” David Watt said that along with the Scottish referendum, women in the boardroom was a major topic for discussion among senior business figures, and the IoD was 100% committed to increasing diversity. “There is no doubt – and the research shows this – that the most successful boardrooms are the diverse ones. This is not just about gender, it is about balance, age, ethnicity. It’s a fact.” He cites M&S with a board of 14 people, which recently had very few women on the board, yet the majority of customers were women. (It now has five women on the board, two non-executives, and two executives and a company secretary.) He said that time was often a factor. “If you want an NXD in a boardroom you are not going to look for a 35-year-old, whether male or female, you are going to look for older people – and people who have the time and expertise are currently grey-haired men, but it will change. But it is not changing fast enough. Time and generation will help it.”


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He said men were good at superficially gliding over matters and that women could ask the “daft lassie” question, demanding a proper answer. He said that it is up to women to do something about the boardroom situation by “confronting” the men who are still holding the power. Anne MacColl, who leads the Scottish international development arm of Scottish Enterprise, has spent the last 10 years living and working outside Scotland. “Looking at Scotland and the UK from the outside in, at what we do well and less well, the debate about women in the boardroom is important not just from a Scottish perspective, but from an international perspective.” She is keen for more international benchmarking, particularly with Nordic countries, such as Finland, where the quota system has been imposed in boardrooms, and “the outcomes have not been spectacular at all, indeed they have been counter-productive in many ways. I’m not a believer in quotas.” There has been dearth of information about what has worked, and it is not about quotas. She sits on Scottish Enterprise’s executive leadership team that has a 50-50 ratio and “it is a really healthy mix. I know there are areas where this is not the same”. She said the mindset issue of maternal guilt or feelings, over caring for children and the nurture of families, shouldn’t be ignored, but “should this be a barrier to women being all they can be and giving all they can back to corporate life, social life and boardrooms?” She said it is important to talk to younger women who are now entering their careers, and how we define “work-life” balance. It is not about the time spent on boards but the quality of the inputs. Caroline Theobald: “Let’s start wide, Margaret, I was really taken by those facts that you introduced. You talked about the world and internationalism, which is interesting because a lot of our companies are global.” Margaret Lang: “The numbers came from a micro-finance charity that makes very small loans in 22 countries to improve education, employment and improve the economic position.” She explained that 90% of loans were to women, and 98% were paid back. It was important that young people began to

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It is important to talk to younger women and how we define ‘work-life’ balance. It is not about the time spent on boards but the quality of the inputs aspire. She cited Micro-Tyco, a charity in Scotland, encouraging entrepreneurship, becoming givers, rather than takers from society. It has to happen naturally and this will make a huge difference over time. Caroline Theobald: “So it is that A-word – ambition – and you have to start early. Susan, this is a report that you did for the Scottish Government on early years? Susan Deacon: “I did a particular piece of work on early years in Scotland. If you drill down to what makes a difference, so many roads lead to early childhood. We kind of know this. A lot of public money is in remedial action, there is a huge issue there. A game changer in Scotland is that we have to get better at raising our kids; this includes introducing enterprise at an early stage.  There is a need for this to be joined-up in a grounded and practical sense which gives a better balance of how you achieve all these things.”

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Deborah Benson: “It is about ambition, and getting girls focused on a career when they are young is important. I want to take the myth of the ‘alpha’ male and smash it with the biggest hammer on the planet. Most socially dwelling animals are led by a matriarch, if at all. If there is a group of socially dominant individuals, one goes off and others choose to follow, and girls grow up with this myth of the alpha male – and it is a fundamentally flawed concept. Girls see tough, aggressive people in business as horrible and say they don’t want to be part of that. This aggression-based dominance is wrong, and it’s not how it works in nature. I interviewed someone in the health services who said, ‘It’s bloody at the top’ – this just puts women off.” Douglas Kinnaird: “Picking up on Elaine’s point, is the law profession is so much better? 55% of qualified lawyers are women and there is not a single managing partner of any law practice in Scotland; 52% of >>

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accountants are female and there has never been a single managing partner of a CA practice of any size in Scotland. Why is it that we all meet fabulous kids who are wonderful, and do great degrees, and do international work, but why does it fizzle out?” Caroline Theobald: “So you are saying that the ambition and aspiration for many women in Scotland just seems to fizzle out? But then Deborah’s point about alpha males might be contributing to this?” Martin Mutch: “I think the alpha male thing starts at kindergarten and is bred into young males, with wrestling, fighting and guns and all that kind of stuff. But they are trying to knock this out because they don’t like competing and winners – but that’s wrong too because much of life is a battle, not just about strength but ambitions and being part of a team. Winning values should be the values of our future and what is going to make us successful, and future boardrooms should be composed of people who will make a difference, such as resilience, determination, empathy and teamwork. Winning is a good thing.” Susan Rice: “A lot of this is about ‘power’. If women don’t want ‘power’ and are told, ‘It’s bloody at the top’ and feel they have to face alpha males, then isn’t this all about perception, and the perception of what power is? In fact, women have lots of ‘power’ and, while they may display it differently, there is no reason why they can’t do this at the top. I think this is all about the view of power – about how you take it and what you do with it.” David Watt: “Perhaps women are a lot smarter! They have seen their male colleagues and the extra hours they have put in, and they don’t want to do that. Of course, it is obvious but having children has an impact, there is the time delay for a woman’s career, which needs to work itself out, and it does change life priorities.” Sarah Deas: “I have a very supportive husband and that’s been an enabling factor in everything I want to achieve, but I also think it is important for my children to see that I operate the way I am, and I try to be as natural as possible, but to instil the ambition

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and the ability for a mother to succeed.” Anne MacColl: “Is the reason it fizzles out is that there is a perception of what the boardroom looks and feels like? Is there a scariness that frightens women away and is there something we can do to demystify sitting on a board and contributing at that level? Is there more we can do to get talented women to aspire to that goal?” Susan Rice: “Ten years ago we were speaking about attracting the next generation of women and what we are going to do for them. I think we need to get all of us – here tonight – sitting in the boardroom now. That’s the big thing to do, to show people it works.” Paul Brewer: “We were talking about winning. But it is a personal thing; it comes down to individual’s goals and concept of work-life balance. It’s a very personal thing indeed. Picking up on Susan’s point: it’s our generation that shouldn’t worry about the next generation, but demonstrate that it is something we should strive to do. You have to help people understand how the opportunities relate to their personal goal. Let’s bust some of the myths and the fear factor.” Elaine Brailsford: “I think work-life balance is a very personal thing. I think the long hours, particularly in the professional life I’m in, are not particularly attractive to many women, and I don’t think they are wrong to think that. We have a real problem with part-time

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working and it can be difficult in a business to accommodate that. But I’m not sure how we tackle that, because unless we can be flexible, we’re not going to have the women coming through. It’s a conundrum.” Susan Rice: “I absolutely endorse what you say, because I also work long hours. There is something about the messages that women get in society. Women’s magazines paint a picture about what it is to be a mother, yet life changes for both parents once you have kids. It doesn’t mean you can’t have work and work is second, it is part of who you are. There are different ways to run families. We all get told there is one way and that’s wrong.” Susan Deacon: “I think it is about what we spend our time on and what we value. Women still think that merit alone is enough to get you to the top. But there is another strand of ‘presentee-ism’, the sense of having to be seen to be at work. You are not necessarily achieving anything or productive, but you are seen to be there. That militates against the work-life balance and some of the motivational issues that we’ve talked about. The flip side of this is what do boards spend their time on – and what should they be doing? Is it useful and meaningful? It’s about what boards are there to do and achieve and work back on the skills and attributes you need, you end up with more diverse boards. It’s not about


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window-dressing, it’s about achievement.” Anne MacColl: “I think it is an important point about working backwards to what you want to achieve, how we demystify boards and how we encourage more talented women to go for it, it is tremendously important.“ Douglas Kinnaird, talking about the recruitment requirements for boards, said: “It has changed dramatically in the last three or four years. Up until the credit crunch everything was booming and there was an enormous propensity to do the right thing and I cannot think of an employer who did not say, ‘Give me two equal people and I will take the female’, and they were actively looking for females. For every NXD appointment we do there is a marked and strong preference to recruit a female. But if you can’t find them, you can’t find them.” Caroline Theobald said the meat of this debate then is how do we get more women on boards now. Margaret Lang, Sarah Deas and Elaine Brailsford all explained their board structures and situations and their issues of finding the right mix of people, while David Watt talked about what the IoD in Scotland was doing to encourage and mentor more women. Douglas Kinnaird admitted there was still chauvinism in business; males not wanting to recruit females, and even females With so much focus on women on boards, we mustn’t forget that the role of women throughout organisations is just as important. What matters is having women thriving at all levels, especially being willing to reach for senior executive roles, happy to exercise power constructively. And it’s not just about women when we think of diversity. It’s about all people with different backgrounds and different experiences. While many are becoming comfortable with increased diversity, it’s not an overnight change. But change we must and change now.

not wanting to recruit females too. But the issue was that women simply didn’t apply. The issue of mentoring was raised and while it was felt inappropriate for older men to take younger women under their wing, more senior women should be helping other females coming through.   The participants agreed that the word gender should really be replaced by the idea of diversity because it was this that was likely to make boards perform better. Anne MacColl said, for example, Scottish businesses trading internationally had a mix of experiences through such trading which help them prosper. This was about diversity and the need to encourage it. Everyone had a different suitcase that they bring to the boardroom table, if they are all the same suitcases you’re going to get a carbon copy. David Watt, Paul Brewer, and Janice Anderson agreed that this issue of diversity was central to the debate, and a massive issue for all companies. On a call to action, Sarah Deas, Lady Susan Rice and Deborah Benson all felt that mentoring was the way ahead and that is helped talented individuals develop, although Susan Rice suggested “championing” by a

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senior person in the business was even more important. She explained that Lloyds Banking Group has recently launched a programme at work called “Mentoring Circles” with the highest ranking women and the level below in the business. This is a different approach with six or seven women around the table, rather than one-to-one. It was also looking at how to tackle “unconscious bias”. Paul Brewer said that sometimes businesses just did not bring the best talent through and the rate of erosion from females is high because they don’t set as their personal goal to reach the next level. In summing up, the participants all felt it was now a case of building the scale of women on all types of boards, and forcing the shift in culture in Scotland. It was about confidence for women, challenging conformity and chauvinism, and defying the “tall poppy syndrome” which deterred both males and females from trying to achieve in Scotland. However, the gathering concluded there was a clear case of “just going out and doing it”. It was clearly a case for the women present at the BQ Live Debate – as role models – “walking the talk” and “doing it” rather than talking about it! n

It is well researched that women are falling off the radar within organisations shortly after they progress beyond the junior ranks, possibly coinciding with the time they choose to have a family. In order to address this, it is vital for women to feel encouraged to aim for the top jobs, even if they have opted to have a family, and to be able to put in place a supportive infrastructure in their working and personal lives to enable them to achieve this. Women need to have the confidence that if they want it all - work and family they can have it. Focussing on strategies to progress their careers and to continue to sell themselves is not just the right thing for gender equality but the right thing for a more productive business generally." Women have been underrepresented in all fields including law but that has changed. As more women than men are graduating in law it is inevitable that the gender balance at partner level is going to improve - we may one day have a female majority! Attitudes change and when they do change happens quickly. But many women are not interested in participating at a high level in the business world for perfectly good reasons. Women have to make the choice that is right for them. Is the answer to make businesses more balanced in terms of work/life and thus attract more women to the boardroom or elsewhere? That I suspect may be a much harder balance to achieve. Lady Elaine Brailsford, partner, Tods Murray LLP

Lady Susan Rice CBE, managing director, Lloyds Banking Group Scotland, and non-executive director of Scottish & Southern Energy, and The Bank of England

ONLINE: Heather Jackson, founder of the Women’s Business Forum, on why she believes she has the answer to getting more women on Scottish boards www.bq-magazine.co.uk/scotland

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passion is the driver

Think of the world’s great golfing hotels and it’s not long before Turnberry comes to mind. Kenny Kemp meets its general manager Among Scotland’s surfeit of special places, Turnberry has its own allure – a place of sporting legend. The “Duel in the Sun”, during the Open Championship of 1977, between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus – two of the greatest golfers of modern times – ensured the Ailsa links course would become

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an immortal memory for golf buffs everywhere. There are so many superlatives you can shower on this unique part of Ayrshire’s craggy and sandy coast, with its views towards the Isle of Arran and the granite stump of Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde. First and foremost, >>


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Turnberry is about golf with its three courses; later this summer the Senior Open Championships takes place on the hallowed links from July 26-29, with perhaps the return of Messrs Watson and 1994 Turnberry Open winner Nick Price among the professional vets. Overlooking the Ailsa course and the sea is the multiple-chimneyed Turnberry Hotel, one of Scotland’s grand Edwardian railway hotels, like the North British (now The Balmoral) and the Caledonian in Edinburgh; the Central Station hotel in Glasgow; and Gleneagles in Perthshire, Turnberry once had its own railway halt built to bring in well-heeled holidaymakers.  In 1997 Turnberry became part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. It has recently undergone a £45m facelift and joined Starwood’s prestigious Luxury Collection brand to maintain its stature at the top of the luxury league. Many of the 150 rooms have been immaculately redesigned and are not over-stuffy, and the six restaurants are overseen by Australian head chef Justin Galea, including the signature 1906 which offers its “Escoffier”-style, French-based cuisine. Discussions are under way regarding the next phase of upgrade, which may well include updating its health spa and pool, with its iconic view of Ailsa Craig. Leisurecorp, a division of Dubai World Company Istithmar, bought the hotel from Starwood Hotels in October 2008, while Starwood, which operates more than 1,100 hotels around the globe and employs 154,000 people, now operates the management contract on a 30-year deal. With this backdrop, Starwood is so serious about its Scottish treasure, and its place in The Luxury Collection firmament of grand hotels, that they have posted one of their big hitters, Jordi Tarrida, to Ayrshire as Turnberry’s general manager. His arrival is already raising the bar – and there is much more to go. The debonair Tarrida, heading towards his first full season in charge, hosted a gathering of Scottish business journalists who willingly savoured the hospitality. As we nibbled winter rabbit salads, polished off mouth-watering, spinach-wrapped venison saddle with marinated beetroot and broad beans, washed down by a glass of Chateau des Anneraux,

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Tarrida explained his vision for this resort. “It is about constantly exceeding customers’ expectations and you can’t do that unless you are passionate and fully motivated and really enjoy what you are doing,” he purrs. He believes if his staff fully grasp what he is talking about and can have job opportunities for the rest of their working lives. Anyone with an ounce of interest in Scotland’s hospitality industry, and its continuing quest for world-class quality, will be examining what Tarrida is doing in Burns Country. While Turnberry has earned its place among the world’s best, Tarrida knows the resort has to fight to remain at the top, and this requires continuing hard work and attention to the requirements of his guests. Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which also operates Le Méridien Piccadilly, W London Leicester Square, and The Park Lane Hotel in London among others, is opening 25 new hotels in Europe over the next four years. Starwood’s 75-strong Luxury Collection portfolio includes the legendary Venetian properties, Hotel Danieli, and The Gritti Palace (which is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation this year), so Turnberry is in exalted company. Tarrida, in his early fifties, was born in Germany; his mother is German and his Catalan father – from Barcelona – was a sales agent in German pharmaceutical and chemical company, Hoechst AG. He spent his first 17 years in Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt, then when he was 18, his dad’s job took them to Venezuela. He finished his schooling there and his father told him, “It’s time to get serious, son”. There was no tradition of hotel work in the family DNA. “It’s fair to say there is no hospitality heritage in there,” he says. “I didn’t have a grandpa who had a little hotel; my career path was started by me.”

In 1980, he considered joining an airline, but there were no opportunities in Caracas, so he focused on the hotel industry. At 20, he started at the Macuto Sheraton in Caracas, on the sea-front and near the university. Fluent in Spanish, German and English, he was a great catch for the human resources department and they snapped him up. He began as a front-office clerk. “I was fortunate that from day one I felt happy and liked the job,” he says. “I liked giving service to guests – to other people. I enjoyed the interaction with interesting people from all over the world. The feedback I received was that I was contributing to a visitors’ enjoyment, by adding value to their lives and making them more comfortable. I enjoyed knowing that they were having a great experience. From my side, my expectations about working in the hotel industry were confirmed.” He is still as passionate about this service, remaining for 32 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which operates nine internationally renowned hotel brands including Sheraton, Westin, Le Méridien, The Luxury Collection and W Hotels. “It’s easy to say now but I think it has worked out well,” he says with a grin of approval. After a brief spell in Venezuela, the family went back to Germany, where Tarrida moved to the Sheraton in Frankfurt – then the largest hotel in Europe – with over 1,000 bedrooms and connected to the international airport. He started an apprenticeship programme, studying all aspects of international hotelkeeping from finance, operations, through to marketing and sales. He says: “I was able to put some foundations down about the hotel business in Germany. The dynamic of a modern airport hotel are very different and very special. You fill it at >>

It is about constantly exceeding customers’ expectations and you can’t do that unless you are passionate and fully motivated

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INTERVIEW

On the map: Now at Turnberry, Jordi Tarrida has managed luxury hotels all over the world

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night and it empties in the morning and you fill it again. It’s basically a one-night stop for guests. It was a good place to learn all the different departments. “ After his training, he chose sales and marketing in Frankfurt, staying until 1989, when he was offered a director’s post at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi, a resort with a solid corporate customer base. Jordi Tarrida was tasked with building its leisure tourism segment, almost from scratch. “It was about talking to customers and tour operators, putting Abu Dhabi on the map. I was there for two years and it was a great experience. It was working in a different cultural and business environment in the Middle East. It is one of the most extreme places that I could go to.” This was his bachelor years and he grabbed every opportunity. “In the beginning I had my friends who worked significantly fewer hours and made significantly more money and were always free at the weekends,” he says. “My friends, who installed telephones, finished on Friday at 3pm sharp. I was always the one missing a birthday party or working on a late or weekend shift. Yet your shift finished at 11pm and if an airline called and says its Boeing 747 is broken and there were 300 passengers coming in an hour, needing dinner and overnight, well, you just do it, when you know you wont be leaving work before 2am. There were moments when I was considering what this was all about, but it was only a fleeting thought. I never really considered moving out of this business.” He concluded that there would be a time in the future when it would start paying off – and it did. “If the dynamic is there and the career path is supported by the company, then this gives people a future. That’s been the position for me with Starwood – and this is something I tell our people today; whereas my friend is still installing telephones and finishing at 3pm sharp on a Friday!” Here there is something that should resonate with everyone who wants Scotland’s tourism industry to prosper and succeed. Long and often antisocial hours are unique to the hospitality business; there’s no way around it. “It is often said that you can start as a front

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clerk, a chambermaid or as a waiter and make your career in hospitality and there is truth in this,” says Tarrida. “I am always trying to get this across to our people, especially at Turnberry – this is a truly international industry and good people can work around the globe in exotic locations. “I’ve talked to all my team members about my vision for Turnberry and why it is a beautiful profession and what I have been fortunate to do. Then I tell them if they are not passionate and don’t enjoy what they are doing and only consider it a ‘job’ because they can’t find any another; then I suggest they strongly consider getting another job as soon as possible. Why? Because, ultimately, they won’t be happy.” The luxury hotel business makes Jordi Tarrida’s heart beat. He left Abu Dhabi and moved back to Frankfurt to run the hotel sales, with a massive conference centre and 600 staff. “It was a very successful hotel and I was there for two months before the Gulf War broke out,” he says. “From one day to the next, we had to revise our business strategies. We had taken our customer base a little bit for granted – and then suddenly it was not the case.” It was a vital lesson for Tarrida; you can never take your market for granted and that includes high-net worth American golf parties heading for Scotland who might be put off by various scares, such as volcanic ash or the Sars virus. He spent five more years at Frankfurt, where maintaining high levels of the occupancy was the target. Every year it was the most successful hotel in Germany, beating all in terms of revenue. Then Tarrida was given a fresh challenge. In 1995, the then ITT-Sheraton hotel business was bought by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and they then purchased Compagnia Italiana Grandi Alberghi (Ciga) Hotels, which had a range of renowned properties, including the 14th century Hotel

Danieli in Venice, The Excelsior and The Grand Hotel in Rome, and The Palace Hotel in Madrid. These were top-end historic hotels, and he was offered a job as sales and marketing director of Spain and Portugal with a mission to incorporate the Ciga hotels into Starwood, which had just launched its Luxury Collection portfolio. “The idea was to take all the good things from Ciga and its historic luxury and bring this into Starwood and create The Luxury Collection,” he says. For Tarrida, there was a fault line between the ideals of American-Northern European hospitality business and the old-world Mediterranean culture. He says: “There was a big difference in that the Ciga group  – despite its wonderful hotels – wasn’t making much money! It was privately run and many people didn’t want to become part of an American company. Summarising it, I would say they considered them the ‘founders’ of tourism and they felt the ITT Sheraton group wasn’t really a high-class hotel chain to match them. There was a little problem in that Ciga’s financial performance wasn’t in great shape, but this didn’t seem to matter to them.” Part of Tarrida’s task was re-launching the spectacular Palace Hotel in Madrid in 1997, after a 50 million euro renovation, and moulding the culture of The Luxury Collection “without using the sledge-hammer approach”. He says: “I was in Madrid for five years and it was a beautiful experience; then I had to ask – what is next? Would I continue in the sales and marketing path, or do I go back into operations, running a hotel? Well, that’s what I decided to do.” He became general manager of the Westin La Quinta Golf Resort in Marbella, which he opened and ran for five years, with its 170-room hotel and the Manuel Pinero-

This was an opportunity too good to miss. Was the weather going to be as nice as in Majorca? Not really. Is the challenge outstanding and interesting? Yes

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designed golf courses. Out in the Spanish sunshine, he rubbed shoulders with top golfer Sergio Garcia and befriended Habanapuffing Miguel Jimenez, a local character supporting “the cigar and red wine industry, as he still does”.  “This was my first exposure to a golf resort. After the first year of operations and having been constantly exposed to golf on these marvellous courses, I thought it was important to learn how to play. If you can’t beat them, join them, and I had to start.” By now married to Spanish wife Laura, whom he met in Madrid, he was expecting his first son, so any serious golfing aspirations had to be put on hold for a while. Then, when his second son was born, he found little spare time to improve his skills, although in 2006 he went on to Majorca where he became general manager of the St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort (in the home town of Rafael Nadal) and the Arabella Starwood Golf resorts, which included three stunning Mediterranean courses, Son Vida, Son Mutaner and Son Quint. “This was a step up because the golf courses were fully owned and operated and run by Starwood and my team,” says Tarrida. “It was a wonderful experience and I learned a great deal but Turnberry is on the next level up.” After five years in Majorca, Turnberry beckoned and, in terms of iconic golf resorts, this was an opportunity too good to miss.   “Was the weather going to be as nice as in Majorca? Not really. Is the challenge and everything else outstanding and interesting? Yes.” He felt it would be interesting too for his wife and family having this exposure to a different culture. “Many years ago I was here for a birthday celebration, so I knew the hotel. I felt an excitement for the place. Over the years and getting together at strategy meetings, I knew about the dynamics of Turnberry.” After meeting the hotel owners in April 2011, he was asked to come to Scotland, arriving last June, well aware of the expectations. He reckons his unique knowledge of the Spanish and German tourism market can help with the hotel’s promotion, although he feels that better air connections to Europe from Scotland

are an essential element for the future. “I would definitely say, with my different experiences in international hotels, when you start taking about developing new markets, and developing tourist resorts, you must analyse how visitors can get here, what flights are available. The biggest focus is on air. Then you go to Prestwick and Glasgow airport and see where flights are not coming from, you immediately know this doesn’t help. It is crucial they come from major airport hubs in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Scandinavia into the West of Scotland. And that is not the case today. “Golf is growing around the world, year on year. Turnberry is one of the ‘must-play’ courses in the world. However, more and more people are playing and more are interested in going to golf destinations and the name Scotland: The Home of Golf is one of the first places people will think about. We have to help them make the easy decision to come and enjoy Ayrshire and Turnberry. “Our biggest challenge today at Turnberry is

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INTERVIEW

finding volume. We need to find more market and more guests to come and stay. While golf is the reason and the main attraction, we need to ensure people make the trip to enjoy our cuisine and also to make it a family-friendly experience.” What does the luxury hotel sector mean for someone like Jordi Tarrida?   “There are a lot of restaurants where the food is OK,” he says. “If you order fish and chips in a carry-out, the fish is well cooked and the chips fresh, then this can be fine. What makes a place is the welcome experience; do they recognise you? Do they make you feel that they appreciate your business? Do they take the extra step when you come back?” When you crank this up several notches this, in essence, is at the heart of what Tarrida says a luxury hotel is all about. “As I say, it’s about exceeding guests’ expectations.” In any major Starwood resort, there is an executive committee, headed by the general manager and Tarrida’s Turnberry senior team includes Ralph Porciani, director of operations, and head chef Justin Galea, who are driving the business. “Turnberry already has a track record of excellence,” he says. “There is a genuine, heartfelt friendliness and willingness to be an outstanding host to our guests here. This doesn’t need fixing.” However, a golf resort, even with the outstanding Colin Montgomerie Links Academy and the Taylor Made Performance Laboratory, opened in April last year, has its seasonal limitation, especially during the slower, winter months. So without trampling on the golfing fraternity toes, Turnberry is subtly trying to make itself more familyoriented, with enchanted woodland walks, archery, fishing, and a falconry course. There’s also the outdoor activity centre with its trout fishing, and horseback treks along the beach. The Lands of Turnberry self-catering five-star apartments is a three-iron shot from the hotel. “Turnberry is unique in Europe,” says Jordi Tarrida. “I can say this as a Germanborn Spaniard who has fallen in love with the place.” And, with his children off to school, there’s the promise that, at last, he will be able to improve his own golf, without any handicaps. n

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BUSINESS LUNCH

BUSINESS QUARTER | SPRING 12

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BUSINESS LUNCH

sharp to the bottom of the glass It’s every man’s dream to concoct your own beer then travel the world persuading people to drink it – which isn’t that hard when it’s Innis & Gunn. Gillian Law gets a first-hand insight into branding a flavour When we meet for lunch, Dougal Sharp, managing director of independent brewing company Innis & Gunn, can’t drink alcohol because of a course of antibiotics. He apologises for not being able to join me in a beer – and then orders an Innis & Gunn Blonde anyway because – ever the salesman – he wants it to appear in the photos. Just back from a few weeks in the US and Canada, he shows no sign of being tired or jetlagged – if anything, it seems, going to North America is quite the tonic. Americans, he says, are an optimistic people, and that rubs off. “They’re wired up differently,” he says. “Since we set up the US business I’ve spent a fair amount of time there and – like a lot of Brits, I went out with preconceived ideas of what it was going to be like, and what people were going to be like and, actually, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I think the people are highly charming, very intelligent and I really like their company.” And it helps that they’re buying his beer. Innis & Gunn first started looking into the US and Canadian markets two years ago, and started

Craft beer is seen as premium and interesting and flavoursome

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shipping six months later – to a market where “craft” beers are really taking off. “It would be an understatement to say we’ve got a big opportunity,” he says. “There’s a big craft beer market, and it’s not a new thing, it’s been going on for 15, 20 years. It was founded by companies like Sierra Nevada and Sam Adams, and they’ve developed this huge chunk of the market – now we’re seeing the big national brewers losing share to craft.” Innis & Gunn fits into a very nice little niche of this market. “We’re both ‘craft’, he says, which is seen as premium and interesting and flavoursome, and ‘import’, which is also premium, interesting, flavoursome… it’s really unusual.” Sixteen East Coast states, and Nevada in the West, now sell Innis & Gunn products. Sharp has decided to focus on the East for now – the Nevada aberration was just down to one determined importer who really likes the beer. He says: “We’ve spent a sizeable amount of money setting the US (markets) up and our objective is to focus and deliver a return on that investment in the markets where we’re already selling. And to put that in context, >>

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BUSINESS LUNCH

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Sole food for two Ondine is perched on the corner of the Missoni hotel building on George IV Bridge in Edinburgh, and we had a dramatic view down the curve of Victoria Street towards the Grassmarket. But I was too busy studying the menu to pay attention. “The lemon sole is stunning,” recommends Dougal Sharp. I’d been swithering between the sole and the linguine vongole. As it’s his favourite restaurant and he apparently goes there as often as he can, I thought I’d better listen. We were reading the menu while nibbling on little gruyere gougeres – cheese puffs, very tasty ones. In the end he couldn’t resist his favourite starter, squid tempura – and having pinched a bit, I can report it was a great choice. Though I was happy with my own selection of three oysters on ice – one from Loch Fyne, one from Maldon, and the third from Dorset. And then yes, the sole arrived and was delicious. Served in brown butter, off the bone, with capers and roast potatoes, it vanished fast. He went for plain old fish and chips. “I always have this conundrum when I come here,” he says. “But I’ll just have haddock and chips – it’s a bit simple, but I’ve been travelling in the US and Canada for 10 years. I’ve eaten so much red meat…” He looks a bit pained. The monster slab of haddock arrived with chips and mushy peas and didn’t last long. And yes, I’m easily persuaded and we accompanied our meals with Innis & Gunn – Original for me, and Blonde for him (who then didn’t drink it, due to his antibiotics). A round of coffees and time to leave. But I’ll be back – and I can recommend the lemon sole. Ondine, 2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1AD. 0131 226 1888, enquiries@ondinerestaurant.co.uk

there’s something like 130 or 140 million people in the states where we’ve already launched.” West Coast drinkers will have to wait. Starting up a business in the US has been an eye opener, Sharp says. “Americans by nature are both very creative and very open people, and they’re also all business people – there’s a lurking entrepreneur inside every American. And I

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think that’s helped to spawn the huge interest in this type of beer, because people are prepared to take the risk.” There’s a very different mind set to US business, he says. “For someone like me who has started a company and been involved in the pressure and fear that that creates, the UK is not always an encouraging environment to do that.” In the US, on the other hand, “the reaction

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and the response to both the products and the concept have been so different to when we started here”. He stresses he is not criticising the UK business scene – “it’s just the way it is, just an observation”. And Innis & Gunn can certainly have no complaints about its reception in the UK, where there is a slower but still powerful drive towards more interesting beer options. “I think the way people are consuming alcohol is changing, and it’s a lot more about variety and choice and flavour,” he says. “There are significant numbers of customers who are interested in the story, what it tastes like, the whole background of the product – that makes it worthwhile being in business.” While beer is still predominantly a “male” drink in the UK, that’s slowly changing, Sharp believes, and is not the case in other markets that lack the UK’s “strange and unfortunate image problem” for beer. The notion that beer is fattening seems to particularly wind Sharp up. “It has fewer calories than orange juice,” he says. “And mil for mil, less than wine. I know a lot of fat wine drinkers.” As for the recession, there’s an interesting dynamic that sees the “middle ground” get squeezed during hard times. Sharp says people either choose very cheap drinks, or stay in and treat themselves to something good. “I’m not saying that we’re recession proof. But I think overall the alcohol industry is as robust an industry as you can get.” It’s certainly working well for Innis & Gunn, which reported turnover of £5.3m last year, a 64% growth on the previous year. Figures aren’t out yet for this year, he says, but sales are going well, with more than 800,000 cases shipped to date. Dougal Sharp puts that down in large part to a restructuring of the company that saw it exiting from a distributor and setting up its own UK sales force. “We’ve invested significant sums of money in the last two years, developing operational capability, getting better at understanding our customers, developing our distribution and routes to market,” he says. Another area of investment is in people – Innis & Gunn is on a major recruitment drive and has spent “seven figures” this year on hiring


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BUSINESS LUNCH

I’m acutely aware that the skills that got us to this point – the skills I bring to this business – might not necessarily be the right skills for the next 10 years new staff. By June, the company will have 26 members of staff, up from 12 in December, and Sharp expects that to reach almost 40 internationally. “It’s a big change, and of course we need to make sure we maintain the existing culture, which is one of entrepreneurship and commitment, hard work, passion and love for the brand,” he says. The changes involve changing the way Sharp himself works, too. Rather than being involved in the day-to-day nitty gritty, he is trying to move himself to a more strategic position and to focus on adding value to the company, through talking to customers and teams around the world. That involves a whole new skill set.

“I’m acutely aware that the skills that got us to this point – the skills I bring to the business – might not necessarily be the right skills for the next 10 years. So I’ve done a leadership development course; I’ve got a tutor, and I’m lucky in that we’ve got some very good people on the board who have been mentoring me. It’s a constant evolution when you’re leading a business like this, you can’t sit still and you’ve got to be open to change.” Sharp at least has a background that means he understands the brewing industry inside out. When he set up the oak-aged beer business in a joint venture with William Grant & Sons in 2003, he had already been working in Caledonian Brewers, his father Russell Sharp’s business, since he was a 15-year-old Saturday

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boy sweeping the floor. He had worked in every aspect of the business by the time he joined full-time after university. That knowledge meant Sharp had a solid understanding of both business and brewing. And when it came to the management buyout from William Grant in 2008, having watched his father do the same with Caledonian when he was 14 “normalised” the taking of such a brave step, he says, if it didn’t manage to make it any less nerve-wracking. His father has been supportive throughout – famously helping to find the brand name from Dougal and his brother’s middle names. Sharp clearly loves what he does, and says running this business has opened his eyes to “what it means to be an entrepreneur, and to take risks and work in that environment, and it’s an environment I really enjoy working in”. “I’m lucky I do have folk I can turn to and everyone’s been very supportive – and I’ve been able to turn that into a stronger business and a different way of doing things.” So what of future plans? More products are always being developed, including the latest limited edition release, Irish Whiskey Cask and a fruit beer, called Melville’s, which is undergoing a soft launch in UK Tesco stores. The US market is a major focus, and Sharp is looking at Europe and potential sales there –  but he says the company’s habit is to focus hard on the markets it is already in and get things right there. Innis & Gunn has to “get better in the markets where we’re already selling beer, because we don’t think we’ve scratched the surface of any market yet”. Its Scottish heritage is an important part of the brand, and a key marketing angle in lots of markets, particularly North America and Canada. The oak-ageing in barrels also makes it an easy sell to lovers of Scotch whisky. An entrepreneur, he says, needs two things – patience and a willingness to admit they’re wrong. The second was a lesson he had to learn right at the start, when they did consumer research on their product designs. “That’s an uncomfortable process” he admits. “You think you’ve got it cracked, and then you get told by lots of people that you don’t, and you just have to take it on the chin. For a young man, being told you’re wrong is hard. But fortunately common sense prevailed.” n

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MOTORING

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White knight on the road

Roger White, chief executive of AG Barr, makers of Irn-Bru,  Scotland’s national drink, reconnects with an old Bavarian  friend and finds him in great form My colleagues at Irn-Bru will be delighted to know that I’m not claiming to be a speed-king like Jorge Lorenzo. The brave and charismatic Jorge is the Spanish 2010 MotoGP world champion and our energy drink Rockstar is one of his key sponsors. Nevertheless, those who know me will know I enjoy a good set of wheels, although I prefer four on the Tarmac, rather than two. My first “decent” company car was a 3-Series BMW back when I was in my mid-twenties. It was a great car to look at and I still recall the thrill of steering it out of the garage and hitting the open road.

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Driving the 3-Series today still feels as fresh and fun to drive as it did all those years ago. Two decades ago, I felt it was a “driver’s car” but also a car that would be capable of allowing me to get through tens of thousands of miles per year in comfort and with bullet-proof reliability. The “new” 3-Series doesn’t really look too different, more a build on the classic shape and inside the cabin is as functional and driver-friendly as I remember. There aren’t too many dials and switches to worry about and I liked, in particular, the very clear central instrument consul.

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Over the years, I’ve spent long hours in the car on business, so I like seats which are supportive and extremely comfortable. The BMW seats fit this bill well always giving you a comfortable journey which means you can undertake long journeys to the main AG Barr locations such as visiting our plant in Tredegar in Wales, or one of our sales offices, and then get back in the car home again to Scotland, without feeling like you require a week’s leave. Everything feels in the right place, which is what I would expect from a BMW. The driving experience was enhanced, for me,


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by the fact it was a 328 petrol model. The ample power was delivered well through an ultra-smooth auto gearbox which held nicely for just long enough in each gear when it was put in sports mode on an empty stretch on the M80. The boot is very generous – plenty of room for a wide selection of our soft drinks – and the rear seats seemed comfortable after a 30-second test sit! I remember well from my old 3-Series that the handling was always crisp and sharp. I’m glad that hasn’t changed. Heading around a Cumbernauld roundabout (there are a few of them) at pace was no problem without any twitching from either end of the car and I really felt the smooth surge of the extra power as we cruised out of the exit. The last 3-Series I drove was an M3 and this demonstrator, while not quite as taut, composed or quick, certainly felt close to it, although for me I would have an M3 any day over the four-door comfortable saloon. I have always admired BMW as a business – great products and excellent foresight has always seen them ahead of competitors in many ways. Their continual commitment to be a greener company when it comes to driving and emissions is something I really admire and also something they share with AG Barr. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact in all we do and have signed up to the Courtauld 2 Commitment, the voluntary waste reduction agreement for major brand owners which is supported by Zero Waste Scotland. As for motoring journalism, I don’t think James May has anything to worry about, as far as I’m concerned. He can stick to presenting, and I’ll continue to run AG Barr, guarding the secret recipe for Scotland’s national soft drink. But I’m glad I’ve reconnected with an old Bavarian friend. n BMW 328i Saloon, OTR Price £39315 Car supplied by Douglas Park Glasgow BMW/MINI, 3-33 Kyle St, Glasgow G4 OHP 0141 333 0088, 0141 333 8245 www.douglasparkglasgowbmw.co.uk

MOTORING

Excellent foresight: Roger White admires the BMW commitment to great products

The ample power was delivered well through an ultra-smooth auto gearbox which held nicely for just long enough in each gear when put in sports mode

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GIBSON ON WINE

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The Italian Job

Contemporaries: Richard Gibson, left, and Dominico del Priore

When two guys with a shared passion for Italy meet, the conversation turns from Milanese football teams and shiny fast cars to a love of great food and wine. That’s what happened when Richard met Domenico I have a fondness for WB Yeats’ viewpoint: “There are no strangers, only friends you have not met yet”. As a Glasgow chartered accountant, one of the great pleasures is meeting people, hearing about their businesses and, hopefully, helping them to flourish and grow. Well, that’s what

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we try and do at Haines Watts, where I have recently become managing director. So there was a feeling of serendipity when BQ asked me to go and sample some wines at Cookie in Nithsdale Road. I know Glasgow’s South Side pretty well, yet Cookie was new to me. And it is wonderful wee gem in one of

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Greek Thomson’s famous corner sites. I met Cookie’s owner Dominico del Priore, an entrepreneurial architect who spends most of his time working in central Europe, and who trained at the Glasgow School of Art. We hit it off from the start. We found that we shared so much in common. I’m a Scottish with an


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Italian wife, Teresa; he’s an Italian with a Scottish wife, Melanie. And they are both doctors too. We both have homes about 100 miles apart in Italy – ours in Maranola, while he has family connections in Amelia. Cookie is a great neighbourhood kitchen eaterie (“we cook in the open” says its flier) and one of the Herald’s top local places to eat in Scotland. I can see why. Chef Robert laid down an appetising board of antipasti to share before we opened two bottles; a rosé and a red. The rosé was Fattoria Le Poggette, Rosato 2010, with a wonderful twilight colour and an exquisite caramel taste. Domenico brings in the wine exclusively to Glasgow and they are made by his friend Alessandro Paciaccioni who produces a modest 30,000 litres a year. Next was the red; labelled simply: “A Red Wine by Cookie from Sandonna Umbira 2010”. This was a table wine with Merlot and Sangiovese grapes. It was non filtered with the notes stating: “This reminds you of being on holiday, full of fruit and youth.

GIBSON ON WINE

Three months in French oak barrels to smooth the edges.” This was a wonderfully full-bodied, yet smooth red wine, not watery, but booming with flavour. I was glad I’d left my car at home in Helensburgh, because it was just so easy to drink. Our company, Haines Watts, a mid-size chartered accountancy and advisory firm deals with lots of great businesses just like Cookie. So, I take my hat off to my new friend Domenico. I know something about the wine business and how hard it is to be an importer and make a proper margin. In August 2010, we helped the management team of Ewen Cameron, George Thomson, Ian Cumming and Alan Cramond at Forth Wines, the excellent Milnathort-based wines and spirits distributor, buy themselves

from wholesalers Matthew Clark. My lunchtime with Dominico was enjoyable. The rosé is a respectable £9 a bottle, and the red an unbelievable £8.50, perfect to enjoy with Cookie’s staunchly Italian food with its chunky bread baked fresh every day. I’ll be back to sample some more of Cookie’s wine selections, along with the Italian cheese, hams and salami and hear more about holidays and winemaking in Umbria. n Haines Watts recently announced plans to grow fee income in Scotland by more than 50% to over £7m by 2014, and is recruiting to support the expansion. Thanks to Cookie, 72 Nithsdale Road, Glasgow G41 2AN. 0141 423 1411. www.cookiescotland.com

ONLINE: Find out why it may be time you became a wine investor and read the inside story on the nation’s fastest growing wine-tasting business. www.bq-magazine.co.uk/scotland

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EQUIPMENT

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in association with

class design takes an upward movement Traditional watchmakers – like any other manufacturer of high-quality merchandise – need to stay ahead of the game, writes Josh Sims For watch fans, one new model from Patek Philippe this year has been news enough to start a queue. The Aquanaut, arguably Patek’s most famous model, certainly among its more contemporary designs, has been launched with its first complication – a dual time function. That may mean little to those for whom a watch is just a means of telling the time, secondary perhaps to their mobile phone. But to horolophiles, any new watch from Patek – one of the most revered of Swiss watch brands – is an event. The imminent Basel Watch Fair – where the world’s watch brands meet to show off their new wares – will no doubt spark similar interest. Certainly, Patek Philippe has seen one of the most adventurous periods in its recent history, perhaps aware that while it could coast on its illustrious reputation – the brand has almost come to define the watchmaker of watchmakers, challenged only perhaps by the likes of Vacheron Constatin, A Lange & Sohne and the more esoteric pieces from independent brands, the likes of MB&F – to do so would be to risk being overtaken in an ever-more dynamic market. Recent launches from the company have, for example, included an ultra-classic self-winding Calatrava with an officer-style case (the Spanish knights who defended the citidel of Calatrava from the Moors in 1158 have given Patek its logo), with the same in red gold with a distinctive date-pointer hand. Also included is the first world-time model for women – although the fact that the bezel is diamond-

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studded may be more for sales appeal than the ability to find out the time in Caracas – and the Art Deco-inspired rounded square case of the Gondolo, also for women. There have been several grand complications too, of course, notably an annual calendar regulator, using a new ultra-thin movement and the brand’s first regulator dial wristwatch. Indeed, the ultra-thin movement is just the latest example of the brand’s reminder that its pedigree should not yet trump innovation. Its Oscillomax, for example, also launched last year, is a case in point. It is a perpetual calendar model from the company’s limited edition Advanced Research collection. The watch employs the company’s silicon-based Silinvar technology, using the material to make several components, including its patented Spiromax spring balance, Pulsomax escapement and GyromaxSi spring balance. They add up not only to a clear indication of someone having fun in the patent-naming department, but, for those who understand the technicalities of improved functionality, accuracy and wear, Patek’s determination to be a brand as much looking to tomorrow as one that, with all its refined classicism in style terms, harks back to yesteryear. Certainly Patek has a convincing record as a pioneer. Founded in 1839 by two Polish immigrants, Antoine Norbery de Patek, a salesman, and Francois Czapek, a watchmaker (the company was renamed Patek Philippe in 1851 when Czapek left and French watchmaker Adrien Philippe joined), the brand

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has a number of firsts to its name. Not least is the creation in 1868 of the first Swiss wristwatch, made for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary. The 1880s saw patents for a precision regulator and a perpetual calendar; 1922 the first split-seconds chronograph; 1925 the first wristwatch with that perpetual calendar; 1956 the first all-electronic clock, and so on, with several “world’s most complicated complication” records along the way too. In addition, the decades of the last halfcentury have seen the launch of a number of watch collections that are still with us, underpinning their iconic status among collectors, such as the Ellipse, Nautilus and the aforementioned Gondolo. Small wonder that the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, which recently celebrated its tenth birthday, offers something of a roller-coaster ride through watch history – via some 2,000 watches >>

Safe hands: Patek Philippe president, Thierry Stern


and 8,000 books, not to mention housing the Caliber 89. Whisper that name with some reverence if you are in watch circles – it is recognised the most complicated timepiece made to date. It has, in case you are wondering, very good security. Arguably, such developments would not have been possible with shareholders leaning over one’s shoulder looking at the bottom line. But with Patek Philippe the last remaining independent, family-owned Swiss watchmaker, that has allowed a degree of experiment only usually afforded to much smaller artisan companies. The company has been in the hands of the Stern family since 1932, with Philippe Stern having driven much of the company’s growth and the next Stern in line, Thierry, having become president in 2009. Family ownership has allowed it to maintain quality control too – Patek is one of the few companies to design, make and even distribute its watches entirely in-house, each carrying the Geneva Seal hallmark, signifying the meeting of the various criteria for fine watchmaking laid down by the Republic of Geneva in 1886. Such aspects of the company also means its production is relatively small, from as little as five to, at most, a few hundred of each model. But that rarity, naturally enough, is part of the appeal of owning a Patek Philippe. Those who have seen Patek Philippe’s advertising over recent years will know, however, that it plays on the idea of temporary ownership – that each watch is merely being safeguarded by its wearer until it is time to pass it on to some lucky recipient of this mechanical maestro heirloom. It is a nice idea. But who are they kidding? What fool wouldn’t keep hold of their Patek unto the grave? The kids can earn their own. n www.patek.com

Patek is one of the few companies to design, make and even distribute its watches in-house

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queen of the ritzy

The name Vivienne Westwood will always create a reaction – but ultimately one of awe, writes Josh Sims

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“One of the best things about my work is that I have the most incredible clothes to wear,” Vivienne Westwood once said, with characteristic immodesty – the one thing about her that isn’t terribly English. “Just don’t let me near a washing machine. I hate washing.” The idea that Westwood should put any of her fantastic and often fantastical creations on anything as mundane as a spin cycle may seem anathema both to the perceived glamour of fashion, and of her reputation as something of an eccentric. But then Westwood cycles to work each morning, cooks each evening for her husband, and sometimes they go to the Festival Hall together for a concert. It paints a picture of unexpected domesticity for the fashion designer who went knickerless to receive her OBE from the Queen and, in her floaty skirt, did a twirl for the paparazzi outside – revealing more than her pride. She has recently put her stamp on another award, having redesigned the Brit statuette. Yet the unexpected is what Westwood has always been about. To call her an eccentric – as she often is – is somehow to belittle her talent. No doubt about it, if she was Italian or French (like her fashion hero Yves Saint Laurent) she would be hailed as a national


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institution. Instead, while her fans are both legion and dedicated, her designs are too often dismissed by the middle brow as shocking or unwearable. Her business figures sing a different tune – off the back of her many shops from Paris and Milan to Moscow and Seoul, diffusion brands, fragrances, sunglasses and cosmetics, homewares for Wedgwood, wallpaper for Sanderson, a diamond jewellery collection and an atypically profitable couture line – has seen her sales top £60m. What is more, all of that is Westwood’s. She has never had any backers. It’s not bad for someone who never trained in fashion – she started to, but dropped out of Harrow College after a few weeks, convinced that London’s middle-class arts scene would find no place for her. Crucially, this independence has given Westwood the freedom to pursue her own design agenda, one that is founded more in ideas and concepts than controversy. Westwood, an ex teacher, is an extreme bibliophile and museum groupie – and one who has never sought to slot neatly into seasonal trends. Indeed, Westwood has repeatedly set the broad sweeping trends that define an era: punk, new romanticism, underwear-as-outerwear, asymmetrical layering, conical bras, tube skirts, bondage trousers, vertiginous shoes (an exhibition dedicated to them is now touring the world)... Westwood was there with them all. Not that Westwood’s designs are as outré as many perceive them to be. A cursory summary of her most influential collections might not support this statement: Pirates (1979), for instance, gave us the frills and Regency splendour; Buffalo Girls (1982) saw petticoats aplenty, worn with bowler hats and bras over blouses – dressing-up box looks that actually transcended the catwalk and influenced mainstream fashion in a way that, with the exception of a tiny clutch of designers, modern fashion, with its monolithic bland brands, seems unwilling to do. But for all that, Westwood subverts the very forms she references – she is actually an arch traditionalist, with precision pattern cutting at the heart of it all and a belief that to do something new is not to dispense with the techniques or conventions of the past. She >>

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looks forward only by looking back and reinterpreting. Westwood, as she puts it, “composes on the body” (she rarely sketches) and her designs very much relate to the body they swathe. “Eventually,” the designer has noted, “people buy clothes in order to wear them. That’s why, in spite of designers’ efforts or revolutions, the traditions of fashion should be taken into account. One can’t neglect customs.” Ardent feminists may not approve of the overtly sexy, almost restrictive femininity of her designs – many of which make an eyepopping highlight of bust and bum, set upon the pedestal of high-rise clumpy shoes – but it is by reinventing historical dress that she takes fashion forward. Bustles, frills, corsets, petticoats, voluminous skirts, bubble skirts, mini-crinolines and kilts, tweed remodelled as medieval armour, 18th century costume reconsidered for the 21st century, have all become signatures of her collections. “I certainly think that people wouldn’t look the way they look or think about clothes in the same way if I had never lived,” she has said. It is a statement of some grandeur, but no less true for that. She has not been alone in recognising her talent. Women’s Wear Daily, the US industry bible, claimed that she was one of the six most important designers of the 20th century, alongside those of more established reputations as giants, Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani. The V&A had started collecting her work as long ago as 1983. It must all seem a long way from her native Glossop, in Derbyshire, where Vivienne Isabel Swire was born in 1941 – her mother a sausage factory worker, her father a greengrocer – a long way from selling her own design jewellery on London’s Portobello Road market, as her first foray into fashion would be, and a long way from Let It Rock. This was the shop opened on London’s Kings Road in 1971 by one Malcolm McLaren – and he needed Westwood’s then rocker style clothing to fill it. She gave up ideas of going to university to make clothes – record-making consecutive British Designer of the Year awards followed. Both the shop, and what was on the rails, would go through many permutations over the coming years: renamed

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FASHION

Her clothes shape fashion, but also defy it – they remain as current now as when they were designed

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Too Fast To Live, Too Young to Die; Sex; and then Seditionaries in 1976, it was to be the birthplace of punk. Although from 1981, with her Pirates collection, McLaren’s professional and personal influence ceased, even today she works closely with her husband Andreas Kronthaler whom she met when he was a fashion student. He effectively designs her menswear collections on her behalf, shunning, with old fashioned values, any opportunity to take the credit for it. He is 25 years her junior, and maybe that is what keeps Westwood’s energy at a peak – certainly Westwood has said that she has no issues with ageing. She even revels in gently mocking her industry’s obsession with it. But, unless Kronthaler takes over some day – Westwood has spoken of retirement in order to write (indeed, her recently launched Get A Life website is packed with essays on everthing from the environment to culture) it is Westwood’s name that will be part of fashion history. Her own history is already in demand. One only has to attend fashion auctions at the likes of Sotheby’s – where pieces from her best collections go for as much as £2,500 each, many times their original price – to get a final measure of Westwood’s enduring influence. Her clothes shape fashion, but also defy it – they remain as current now as they did when they were designed, as they would have had they been designed three centuries ago. “You have a much better life if you wear better clothes,” Westwood once said. “And the last thing I’m interested in is keeping up with the times. If you keep up with the times you’re always just missing something.“ Clearly that is a sentiment that her many dedicated followers agree with. n

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INTERVIEW

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Brave start for The Winning Years Scotland has a unique opportunity to capitalise on ‘The Winning Years’ of tourism. But it has to happen now, says Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland. Kenny Kemp visited him at his home in Callander

Scotland’s Cheerleader-in-Chief is in remarkably fine spirits. Mike Cantlay, the chairman of VisitScotland, dressed in dark blue business suit with a Ryder Cup 2014 badge on his lapel, and not a hint of tartan, is in the dining room of his comfortable family villa in Callander, reflecting on the previous day’s tourism symposium in the Concert Hall in Perth. Just under 400 people from Scotland’s biggest industry had spent the day at the rally where an evangelical Cantlay urged our tourism disciples to grab what has been branded “The Winning Years” of 2012 until 2014 with both arms. The line-up of eight major events – from this year’s Year of Creative Scotland, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and

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the Olympics in London through to the Ryder Cup, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Homecoming in 2014 – is an opportunity for Scotland to capitalise on a unique sequence that will put our nation on the map. For Cantlay and his VisitScotland team, the most immediate excitement is the forthcoming animated film Brave, a Disney-Pixar film, which will be given a red carpet premiere at the revamped Edinburgh International Film Festival. The conference delegates were shown a “sizzle’ reel” by Disney representatives, which has whet the appetite ,and tourism businesses up and down the country are being encouraged to use Brave to dream up tourism packages. Brave is set in a mythical Scotland (they don’t say if it is independent or not!).


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It is the most high-profile film ever set in Scotland and comes from the Disney-Pixar stable that made family blockbusters such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Up. “When I came into the post a couple of years ago I was concerned about the ‘what’, the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of taking tourism forward and capitalising on the potential of the next couple of years,” says Cantlay. “The ‘what’ is the enormity in terms of the sustainability scale and resilience of Scottish tourism.” He cites the fact that 200 years ago Sir Walter Scott created the romantic backdrop of Scotland as a land of stirring legend, Highland glens and misty mountains, and this – along with golf and whisky – remains a large part of the attraction for visitors. What is the “why” for Cantlay? It is all about an industry which, according to Deloitte, involves more than 20,000 businesses in Scotland, employs 270,000 people and contributes £11bn a year to Scotland’s economy. “Scotland prospers in tourism because we have our USPs he says,” flipping open his iPad. “We have so many unique selling points, that’s why we have been in business for so long. It has been the mainstay of our economy and, I believe, it will be the mainstay in 200 years. We have so many things we don’t fully exploit. “This time around – going into Homecoming in 2014 with The Winning Years – we have an opportunity the likes of which I don’t think we’ll see again.” VisitScotland, with a £60m budget and employing 900 people, is not simply a “marketing” organisation promoting our tourism – for Cantlay, it is a dynamo of economic development. “I spent years chairing Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley and was chairman of a local enterprise board, and then sat on Scottish Enteprise’s board from 2001,” he says. “One of the problems that VisitScotland was enduring was the fact that it had lost touch in a sense with its industry. Critics would say, ‘It’s a marketing agency’ where the private sector can’t do it for itself in promoting Scotland on the wide scale. People will look at my businesses and say, ‘You’re a traditional tourism guy doing the kilts and whisky’. That’s fine, but I view myself as an economic development guy.”

This is an important distinction for Cantlay, otherwise VisitScotland ends up competing with the private sector and replicating things that private enterprise should be doing. “The irony of where we are today is that we’ve gone back – in a full circle almost. I don’t remember seeing a lot of my dad because he was chairman of the Trossachs Tourist Association, which was a wonderful organisation that promoted the local area. In 1982, these all became subsumed into ‘area tourist boards’, run by the Scottish Tourist Board, to make things more ‘professional’. Then in the mid-1990s, through being too many of them, they were whittled down to half, and, in 2005, it was said this isn’t working. They were all put it all into VisitScotland. Then people fell out, breaking off and doing their own thing, with people asking are you a DMO (destination marketing organisation) or a DMO (destination management organisation)? Now peace is breaking out. I’m saying to the industry, it is fine for you to take control of the local industry with local destination organisations – we need to respond to that by giving you national and international support.” Cantlay has been a high-impact chairman, perhaps the most publicly active and recognisable since the old days of moustachioed Alan Devereux, head of the Scottish Tourist Board, who wasn’t averse to the odd (often very odd) publicity stunt. So what is the “How”? In his dining room, he finger-flicks his iPad to show a picture postcard of his father’s business, William Glen & Son, established as a tailor in Kirkcaldy in the 1860s, before moving to the Trossachs village, which was opened up for visitors by the arrival of the railways. Cantlay’s father, Alan, an accountant from Aberdeen, had been working for Lochcarron woollen mills in Galashiels, where Mike was born, but was keen to run his own business. The opportunity of buying the shops of William Glen & Son came up and he moved his family to Callander in 1967. When his father took ill, a young Mike Cantlay was pitchforked into helping Dad when was still at school. This was the fifth generation between two families. This was the “How” of Scottish tourism that represented the step-change of the industry.

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Cantlay says: “Mr Glen came to Callander from Kirkcaldy in 1869 because of the railway’s arrival to set up a business that served the developing tourism industry – in this case a retail business. The railway was a step-change for Scottish tourism.” The Perthshire tourism gathering heard this personal analogy to refer to the step-changes that Scotland needs to make to really make the most of The Winning Years. Cantlay’s immediate predecessor Peter Lederer was a more reserved person, while Philip Riddle, the chief executive, was much maligned, trying to sort out an organisation that had lost confidence and support with many tourist businesses. Their slogan was that: “Tourism is everyone’s business.” The corollary was that everyone had an opinion – and there was a lot of disagreement about what VisitScotland should actually be doing. Cantlay is still running with the theme that it’s everyone’s business, but he and new chief executive Malcolm Roughead have been more muscular about using their professional branding and marketing backgrounds to quell the critics. The collaboration with Disney is fortuitous, potentially delivering £150m of additional revenue to Scotland. The magic of Disney is set to make Merida, King Fergus and Queen Elinor popular figures with hundreds of millions of children around the world. After its general release in August (and the DVDs in the Christmas stockings) it is likely to reflect well on Scotland – enticing people to come and visit. Callander is the heart of Scotland’s tourist trail, and probably a wonderful place to live in and grow up in. Cantlay and his parents lived above the shop before moving to the outskirts of the village and he left McLaren High School in 1982. He was starting a business degree at Strathclyde University when his father had a heart attack and he was needed in the shops. He managed to juggle his university course with running the shops, and even went on to take an MBA – one of the youngest-ever graduates. He used his father’s business as collateral and bought a Glasgow business called Robin Hood Gift House, in St Vincent Crescent. “I thought it would be a nice adjunct for >>

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INTERVIEW

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one of the stores in Callander, which was a china shop. Then I bought a development site, a petrol station on Loch Lomond. And then the big opportunity came when I bought The Whisky Shop Ltd, in Waverley Market in Edinburgh, out of receivership in 1992.” He paid £15,000 for the shop and the stock, but was furious to find that the value of the whisky was only £10,000. “I got the whisky shop going and started to build that. The lease in Princes Square in Glasgow had been sequestrated, so I got that back. I boldly took a unit at the Buchanan Galleries as the mainstay unit of The Whisky Shop. While this was going on, I bought into Hector Russell, the tartan specialist and manufacturer of Highland dress, becoming the major shareholder and managing director.” In 1993, Hector Russell Ltd was based in Inverness and had a disparate range of “Kiltmaker” shops around Scotland. With his background in branding, Cantlay saw the importance of building a cohesive Hector Russell name, which reached more than 30 stores across Scotland.   “I needed to get more scale and this was building under the brand,” he says. “I pulled the whole thing together – buying out the other shareholders.” With an eye on the Caledonian diaspora, he then took the business to Canada and the US. When his children arrived in 2004, he decided to take time out and “shuffled it around and packaged it off”, selling the kiltmaking operations in Inverness. He sold The Whisky Shop chain to Ian Bankier, managing director of Burn Stewart Whisky Distillers – and now the chairman of Celtic – and sold the major part of Hector Russell to Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill in 2005. “What I have done in my business life is build brands,” he says. “The Whisky Shop being an example – with Ian taking that on and making it substantially bigger. I bought it for £15,000 and when I sold it, it was turning over £3m. So we made some progress. “Hector Russell is now a well-known brand across Scotland. Even although there were 17 stores in 1993, there were no Hector Russellbranded stores, they were simply ‘Kiltmaker’, which you couldn’t copyright or do anything with. We pulled it together to become

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very well established. Today my business is substantially smaller, which is why you could say I’m having something of a career break, working with VisitScotland and able to spend time with my wife Linda and children.” Cantlay’s primary business interests are as a retailer and manufacture of Highland dress in Toronto (the largest kilt hire business in Canada) and William Glen & Son, off Union Square in San Francisco (the only branded William Glen outlet in the world) with the businesses which EWM did not buy. He has had a brief foray into Seattle, but Washington State licensing laws made it too difficult to sell Scotch. So his remaining Stateside stores give him some specialist insights into the Northern American tourist market and what they love about Scotland. “One of the features of The Winning Years is to tackle opportunities that we have not previously captured,” he says. “In the United States, a million people will attend a Highland Games or be out at the combined Burns Night and St Andrew’s Day suppers. Scotland has never really captured that enthusiasm and turned it into trips to Scotland.” Mike Cantlay witnessed some warning signals as the market for Scottish produce has been hit by the recession. He says: “In San Francisco, there were six businesses that sold Scottish stuff to some extent when we arrived. They’ve all gone. The number of businesses selling Scottish goods has been decimated over the last few years through the recession. It’s been a tough trading environment and because of the age profile of those who see their connection with Scotland.” The older generation of Canadians and American Scots are dying out, so their grandchildren need to be fired up with that same kind of passion. This is where the DisneyPixar cartoon is the exact tonic for Scotland. “We have an opportunity – and some might see it as the last opportunity with this generation – to capture their imagination and help take it onto the next generation. There remains a huge interest in piping, Highland dancing, whisky and golf.” The company also owns the Callandrade Estate, a 68-acre farm with an enchanting woodland which might well have been an

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inspiration for the Disney artists, where the Cantlays have their family home and enjoy remarkable views across the River Teith, towards Ben Ledi and Ben Vorlich. Cantlay keeps himself trim by jogging up the nearby Callander Crags and cutting up the fallen trees that were blown over in last year’s major gales. Running alongside his business affairs has been what Cantlay calls “occupation-related” activities, which has included his involvement with the Trossachs Tourist Association since the 1990s. This took in Loch Lomond and Stirling, evolving into the National Park. He was chairman of Forth Valley Enterprise from 1995 until 2001, responsible for the property and economic development, which led to another “Step-Change” initiative. Forth Valley’s deputy chief executive was Lena Wilson, now Scottish Enterprise’s chief executive. He says: “In the mid-1990s, Clackmannanshire had a lot of dying industries. Falkirk was difficult, Stirling needed the top of the town renovated. Forth Valley’s economy was underperforming in terms of the Scottish and UK average GDP, so we hatched a plan to look for the big things that would drive the Forth Valley economy. We chose six millennium infrastructure projects, which included national park status for Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.” This also helped secure the Millennium Canal, and the tourist magnet of the Falkirk Wheel; a £1bn petrochemical development at Grangemouth; the new Kincardine Bridge; the Stirling to Alloa rail link; sorting out Stirling’s history centre up to the castle, and the creation of the National Park Authority, where Cantlay became convener. “This was traditional economic development. It was us that led everyone together but it involved lots of support from the local authorities, and all these projects were completed well after my time. The Forth Valley is well back on track.” In 2002, he was an inaugural board member of Scotland’s first National Park, becoming convener in 2006 until 2011, and directing the publication of the park’s first plans including its bio-diversity strategy, creating new by-laws for the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond. Meantime, he was deputy chairman of VisitScotland from 2001.


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This is a ‘purple patch’ for our country and for international investors. There is still a lot of money in tourism and leisure flashing round the world “The difference between the Forth Valley work and The Winning Years is that the Falkirk Wheel has a life cycle of 120-years, and the infrastructure of bridges and railway is in place,” he says. “Getting them done was the trick. The contrast with The Winning Years – the eight events – is that they are amazing one-off events.” Surprisingly, Cantlay reveals that if he had his time again, and circumstances were different, he wouldn’t have gone into retail but would have been involved with transport. He has a passion for aviation and would like to have been a commercial airline pilot – one of his five non-executives positions is on the board of Highland & Islands Airports, which included

the Inverness, Dundee, Shetland, Kirkwall and the western islands. “I’m fascinated by transport in all its forms – anything with wings or wheels. I love my involvement with Highland & Islands Airports.” He has concerns about the international access to Scotland with the further redevelopment of Heathrow, and worries about two of Scotland’s major airports – Prestwick and Edinburgh – being up for sale. But he hopes the arrival of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will mean better point-to-point services into Scotland, rather than the hub-and-spoke of the massive global alliance operators. “The point with Forth Valley was, get these things done and you’re there, but it is not the

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case with The Winning Years,” he says. “It is the combined effect of The Winning Years that will make a difference for Scotland. This is a ‘purple patch’ for our country and for international investors putting their money where they are comfortable. There is still a lot of money in tourism and leisure flashing round the world.” He wants investors to come to Scotland instead of Spain or Ireland, pointing out that there is £2bn of capital investment rolling out, with projects such as the Dundee Victoria and Albert Museum. (“And it’s not just central belt but in Shetland and John o’Groats, and the £40m Portavadie marina on Loch Fyne.”) “It is the combined eight that makes the difference,” he says. “I was in Hong Kong and going into the city by taxi and was I chatting with the driver as we passed Disneyland. I asked him about the films he knew. He knew Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, and Cars. We were in Asia and yet he knew his Disney-Pixar movies. This time next year I’ll be able to say to the taxi driver ‘Brave’ and he’ll reply ‘Scotland’. What an opportunity to reach a younger market where we haven’t been before.” For Cantlay, capturing the mood of Scotland’s top 200 tourism operators – such as airlines, car hire, conference centres and hotel chains – is a special focus, with about 50% of the turnover. Some share VisitScotland’s ambition for The Winning Years, but there needs to be a deeper involvement. “The top 200 are all big players but they have limited presence in Scotland, we might get the local manager, but we need the chief executives to understand that Scotland is the place to go. Working as Team Scotland with SE/SDI and HIE we want the next £2bn invested here. We need to seek opportunities with their senior people. Scotland has never done that before. We need to play on the world stage.” The Winning Years is about “Now” in Scotland; it’s cash in the till, driving the Scottish economy and positioning Scotland on the world stage. As the red-headed Merida says in Brave: “If you have the chance to change your fate, would you?” Cantlay’s answer is unequivocal, “Yes, we must. This could all pass us by. We have to be bold.” n

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ENTREPRENEUR

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A serious truffle maker Iain Burnett is the Highland Chocolatier. He has taken his chef’s  passion and turned it into a thriving gourmet business which is  helping to put the Perthshire village of Grandtully on the tourist  map. Karen Peattie went to meet the man and feast her tastebuds  on some chocolate delights No tartan, no shortbread and no trill of bagpipes in the background? Legends of Grandtully certainly differs from some of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions in that respect but then chocolatier Iain Burnett, the man behind the Scottish Chocolate Centre – part of an ambitious tourism and artisan chocolate-making venture in the village of Grandtully, near Aberfeldy – is not one to conform. It’s a cold but crisp day in early March and the shoots of spring are very much in evidence in beautiful Highland Perthshire. At almost four o’clock in the afternoon, the small but vibrant chocolate and coffee house at Legends of Grandtully is surprisingly busy. A delightful young lady – a trained barista – serves coffee and the most exquisite hot chocolate to visitors from nearby Perth who have brought friends from the north of England to experience Scotland’s very own shrine to fine chocolate. “There’s nothing like this in our neck of the woods,” says one of the English visitors. “What a gem of a place. Who’d have thought Scotland would have a chocolate centre? We’ve had a great time looking at the exhibition and learning all about chocolate and its origins. And the best bit? It hasn’t cost us anything. We’ll definitely come back.” These visitors could easily have carried further up the A9 to the House of Bruar, for example, or visited one of the many distilleries in the area. Tourism is a competitive industry and it is always about customer satisfaction at the end of the day. Legends of Grandtully can certainly tick that particular box today. As the satisfied foursome polishes off

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some deeply rich chocolate torte and other home-baked delights then heads for the gift showrooms where the ladies, most certainly, are lured by the eclectic range of vintagestyle goods, homewares, fashion accessories and gifts galore, Iain Burnett – running late and “chasing my tail as usual” – bounds into the coffee house like an excited schoolboy, explaining that he’s been spending time with a new employee. Quickly exchanging pleasantries with the visitors, he is then free to talk about his favourite subject – chocolate. First, however, he launches into a dialogue on the “unnecessary bureaucracy” and frustrations that go hand in hand with dealing with local planners. His plans to quadruple the size of the chocolate production area – due to increasing demand from leading chefs and top-end retailers for his superb gourmet chocolates – and create new office space are, at last, progressing well. But Burnett had hoped to be much further down the line at this stage. Remember, this is the first visitor centre in Scotland dedicated to chocolate, an enterprising business that has revitalised an otherwise sleepy conservation village on the Tay. Since opening two years ago, the Scottish Chocolate Centre has won a Four Star Visitor Attraction grading from VisitScotland and features in the 11th edition of Pete Irvine’s “tourism bible”, Scotland the Best. It also won the 2011 Scotland Food & Drink Food Tourism Award. So why would the planning authority not welcome with open arms expansion plans by a business that is already boosting

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the local economy? Looking at the wider importance to tourism of food and drink, figures show that £1 in every £5 spent by a visitor in Scotland is on food and drinkrelated activity, equating to more than £500m for UK visitors alone. “There’s been no deliberate attempt to thwart our plans but everything happens so slowly,” Burnett explains. “We invited everyone in the village to come and listen to our proposals and not a single person was against them. On the contrary, what we’re doing here has rejuvenated the village and brought some life back to it yet the planning system seems to get bogged down with minute details that can grind your entire business to a halt. “We’re so excited about what we’re doing here and there’s nothing controversial about the plans. So it’s frustrating when all the red tape takes so long to cut through. Why? I wish I knew the answer. It’s the process that’s the problem, not the people. I think Scotland’s planners do accept that the system is crying out for change, otherwise businesses like ours will simply not bother – it’s too much hassle for a lot of people and, in our case, the delays have cost us a lot of money.” It’s all systems go now, however, with workmen – all locally based – at long last renovating old garage premises that will boast a stunning glass frontage to allow visitors to watch Burnett and his team of skilled chocolatiers at work in the purpose-built chocolate kitchens.  Discussing the plans in more detail, he brims with enthusiasm as he explains how he drew his inspiration for the future of Legends of >>


ENTREPRENEUR

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When it’s your business and you love it, you think that you can take on the world. That’s what I thought when we started back in 2005

Grandtully from other visitor attractions. “When you are making a product that hopefully people will want to buy and take away with them at the end of their visit, I think it’s really important to give them an insight into how it all happens,” says Burnett. “With chocolate, you have a product that is steeped in history and mystery – people want to find out more about where it comes from. “We also want to share with our visitors the things you can do with chocolate, and show them how we combine different ingredients and marry them together in the way that only a skilled and experienced master chocolatier can. It’s designed to educate but we also want it to be thought-provoking because I don’t think many people have any idea of just how much skill and dedication goes into the production of gourmet chocolates.” The Scottish Chocolate Centre features a slick multi-media presentation telling the chocolate story, display areas and a showcase of elegant chocolate wedding cakes, breathtaking chocolate sculptures and delicate wedding favours, all made by Burnett and his chocolatier team. Visitors can also pre-book a tasting tour.

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“It really is a unique concept for Scotland, and gives us an unrivalled position as an exciting tourist attraction as well as cementing our position as a leader in the gourmet chocolate marketplace,” suggests Burnett. Burnett prefers not to divulge the financials involved in the Legends of Grandtully journey so far but it is obvious even to the casual observer that the investment has been substantial. With just 15 staff, it’s also a tight team and while Burnett has tended to take an “all hands on deck” approach to running the business, he has accepted that this is not the best way forward for an ambitious, growing company. “I now realise that I can’t do everything,” he admits. “When it’s your business and you love it, you think you can take on the world. That’s what I thought we started it back in 2005. But as you grow, everyone wants a little piece of you and you find yourself running around trying to organise this and that – you don’t use your time productively when you do that. “We’ve grown on average 45% for each of the last three years and turnover is now £500,000 – in this economic climate I think that’s pretty impressive. So why am I in the office checking paperwork when I have

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hugely capable and committed people who can do that? I need to be in the kitchen with the team, exploring new product ideas and working with chefs to ensure we can provide them with the chocolates they want, when they want them. “As far as The Highland Chocolatier is concerned, the quality of our product is absolutely crucial and we cannot afford to let that slip for a second.” So while Burnett concentrates on the chocolate side as production director and head chocolatier, Janice Kennedy, former head of UK sales at Honda, has joined the business as managing director. It’s a bold appointment by Burnett and one that represents a real step change for the business. “We’re very lucky to have Janice,” he says. “She comes from a completely different industry so that in itself brings with it wider business experience and whole new mindset and has an incredibly sharp mind that will be of enormous benefit to us. I think the time is absolutely right for us to ramp up our sales and marketing strategy. “Yes, times are tough but it’s the same for every business and you have to take a measured approach to risk. With Janice


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on board and Julie Collier, our business development manager, who is already doing some sterling work for us, there’s a real air of confidence about the business – that’s a great feeling because the optimism rubs off on everyone; visitors feel it too.” As a member of (industry organisation) Scotland Food & Drink, the company was able to tap into the organisation’s free “Manager for Hire” service which saw an experienced consultant spend time with Burnett and Collier, discussing and advising on various aspects of the business – and helping them focus on key areas.  “There’s so much help and advice available for small businesses if you take the time to seek it out,” Burnett points out. In recent months, for example, the brand Iain Burnett – The Highland Chocolatier has gone global. The business has expanded into Japan where a major department store chain is importing the chocolates, and also into Oman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Germany. China and the US are also in the sights of The Highland Chocolatier. Says Burnett: “Despite the economic picture, the quality of what we produce is not affected because consumers still like to treat themselves

ENTREPRENEUR

to high-quality produce – particularly chocolate. We’re also getting a lot of help from Scotland Food & Drink, plus we’ve got development funding from Scottish Enterprise. “We’re account-managed by SE and that’s a real help for any growing business, I think, because you get access to a lot of valuable support mechanisms.” Key customers at home include Michelinstarred chefs Martin Wishart and Gordon Ramsay, and five-star establishments such as Claridges, The Lanesborough and, of course, Gleneagles. Meanwhile, the legendary chef Albert Roux is a recent convert and one of a growing band of renowned chefs and connoisseurs who recognise Burnett as a true chocolate artisan. Retail outlets include Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh and The Food Hall at McEwen’s of Perth, as well as online.  “Our website is an important selling tool but needs a lot of work,” says Burnett. “It’s an area Janice will be looking at but just now it’s like a shop up a back alley – it’s there if you take the time to find it.” While the Perth visitors and their friends have pledged to return and will next time see the fruits of Burnett’s current labours, they remain blissfully unaware of The Highland Chocolatier’s own personal journey. A qualified product design engineer, Burnett moved into teaching after deciding he wanted to “work with people, not machines”. He taught refugees and asylum seekers in Newcastle before moving to northern Japan with his wife Rachel, an oil painter. It was in Japan that his passion for chocolate began, fuelled by a chance meeting with a maitre chocolatier who had created a truffle using only natural and fresh ingredients. Burnett was intrigued and wanted to learn more. He took the plunge and embarked on his new career in earnest, training initially in Japan then under master chocolatiers in the Belgian, Swiss and French schools before creating his own award-winning Cocoa Dusted Velvet Truffles, taking three years before he was satisfied with the recipe for what has become The Highland Chocolatier’s most popular product.

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In the process, he unearthed what it means to be a genuine artisan chocolatier – techniques and processes that require a great deal of time, skill and experience. But his attention to detail and passion for fresh, local produce goes back to his childhood in Mull where his father, David, an accomplished cook, taught him basic kitchen skills and how to combine the best Scottish ingredients with exotic spices to create new flavours and textures. Most of Burnett’s hand-crafted chocolates are made with fresh Scottish cream sourced from D and D Dairies in Crieff while local fruit, fresh herbs and honey are also key ingredients, along with more intriguing ones such as Assam tea, Madagascan vanilla and Chinese root ginger. He also uses a uniquely flavoured, single-origin chocolate from the island of São Tomé in the South Atlantic. The idea for the business itself took root when Burnett’s mother Hilarie, who previously ran a large tourist accommodation business in Tobermory and her husband, Peter Hounam, an investigative journalist formerly with The Sunday Times, bought the Grandtully premises. Burnett laughs: “We’re still learning – I don’t think there will ever come a time when we’re not learning.” n

BUSINESS QUARTER |SPRING 12


BIT OF A CHAT

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that prosthetic technology group Touch Bionic – backed by Archangels – is being used in a “Great Britain” campaign to promote UK innovation and is featured in posters at Heathrow airport. Does Alex Salmond know?

with Jock Yuler >> Ron’s a man of vision If there’s a ‘nicer’ entrepreneur in Scotland than Ron Hamilton of Daysoft.com then I’ve not yet met him or her. Ron, who received a CBE in the New Year Honours, has been a man of, ahem, vision, having transformed the market for soft throwaway contact lenses – giving the customers unbelievable value. At 70, he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, although he admits he hopes someone will want to take over the business he has nurtured. For those of us who wasted years with re-usable contact lenses and eye-stinging solutions, disposable lens were a godsend. Ron sold his Livingston-based business, then started again with Daysoft.com, using brilliant innovation in pre-packed engineering in Blantyre, and internet ordering with a month’s supply for £4.99. That’s 16p a day compared to £1 a day in 1991. Thank you, Ron.

>> Bionic business Over to Edinburgh Business School for an evening session with Archangels investors, chairman Gavin Gemmill and Amadeus Capital Partners’s Alex van Someren, both pioneer backers of Scotland’s listed business, Optos. Gemmill was talking about the success of the investment syndicate in helping Scottish businesses. The group has around 100 individuals and invests about £10m a year in early-stage firms. An unexpected feather in the cap is

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oil. Thankfully, shale mining ended in Scotland in 1962. The remaining pink slag heaps are testament to the damage done during this industrial era. Now the United States, Canada and Argentina are going full pace into shale oil – and Scotland is looking at it once again. One Scottish Sunday paper reports about its mess and the destructive force of “fracking” – banned in France – while another Scottish Sunday says shale energy could kickstart the recovery. Perhaps we need to heed the lessons of the hazards and environmental scars that still remain on these West Lothian communities a half-century after its closure.

>> A real draw for  Jose Mourinho

>> Ice reason for stag party Congratulations to Beverely Tricker and her PR people for a rather “deer” stunt that landed them a gong. Tricker PR scooped gold for creating the world’s first venison ice cream for “stag” parties to promote the Royal Deeside and Cairngorms Venison Festival. The story went worldwide, as far as India and Dubai. That’s a nice trophy for the wall.

It must be fine if you are the “Chosen One”. Fine too, for corporate lawyers who can end up with some strange work. Andrew Williamson of Glasgow firm McClure Naismith has been working on the listing of a company making a children’s cartoon of Jose Mourinho, the Real Madrid football coach. Sports Stars Media plc is making “Mourinho and the Special Ones”, in which Mourinho helps children develop both as football players and as human beings. The placing and offer for the sports personality animation business raised £1.6m, with an initial market capitalisation of £3.6m. Williamson and his team acted for Cairn Financial Advisers and brokers Dowgate Capital Stockbrokers on the placing, the offer and AIM admission. But what happens if Jose returns to Chelsea, Andrew?

>> Shale oil or not?

>> And a parting shot on… the referendum

Surely Pumpherston is the capital of the shale oil industry. It was in this unlikely West Lothian village that James “Paraffin’ Young set up the fledgling shale oil industry with mines in Broxburn, Oakbank and West Calder in the 1860s – before the discovery of

Rupert Soames, boss of Aggreko, says he can’t understand how any business can hold an opinion either way on the Scottish constitutional question “given the lack of detailed analysis of the implications”. A rather good point, I feel.

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EVENTS

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BQ’s business events diary gives you lots of time to forward plan. If you wish to add your event to the list send it to editor@bq-scotland.co.uk and please put ‘BQ events page’ in the subject heading

April

18 Highland Business Dinner 2012 with guest speaker Ann Widdecombe. Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, 7pm. Contact: paula@inverness-chamber.co.uk

5 Power Lunch Club with Sir Andrew Cubie CBE FRSE, Leadership Foundation. HSBC Corporate, Hobart House, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EL. 12 noon-2pm. Contact: info@powerlunchclub.co.uk

23-24 All-Energy Exhibition and Conference, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Aberdeen. Contact: mark.lewis@reedexpo.co.uk

16-20 North-East Business Week 2012, various locations in Aberdeen. Contact: events@agcc.co.uk 18 Scotland PLC Awards 2012, Hilton Hotel, Glasgow. 6.30pm for 7.00pm. Contact: l.lynas@insider.co.uk.

June 1 Greenock Chamber of Commerce Bee’s Knees Awards 2012. Greenock Town Hall. Contact: hugh@greenockchamber.co.uk.

18 An Audience with Dr Maitland Mackie, The Park Hotel, Kilmarnock. 5.30-7pm. Contact: events@ayrshire-chamber.org

7 Power Lunch Club, with George Yule, executive chairman of Romar International. HSBC Corporate, Hobart House, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EL, 12-2pm. Contact: info@powerlunchclub.co.uk

19 Power Lunch Club, with George Black, chief executive of Glasgow City Council. Brechin Tindal Oatts, 48 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5HS. 12 noon-2pm. Contact: info@powerlunchclub.co.uk

11 Premier Series dinner with guest speaker Mike Putnam, president and CEO Skanska UK. The George Hotel, George Street, Edinburgh, 5.30-9pm.Contact Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce: 0131 221 2999

19 Glasgow talks... with Robert Peston, BBC business editor. Hilton Glasgow Hotel, 1 William Street, Glasgow, G3 8HT, 8am. Contact: chamber@glasgowchamber.org

12 Scottish Technology Showcase, SECC, Glasgow, 8.30am-4.30pm. Contact: info@scottishtechnologyshowcase.com

24 Celtic Networking Dinner 2012, Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5ED, 8pm. Contact: Iod.scotland@iod.com 25-26 VisitScotland Expo 2012, Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh. Contact: anne.sykes@visitscotland.com 26 B2B Scotland Connecting Business Exhibition, SECC, Glasgow. Contact: www.b2bscotland.co.uk/register.php

May 3 Power Lunch Club with Richard Marsham, managing partner of The Leith Agency. HSBC Corporate, Hobart House, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EL, 12-2pm. Contact: info@powerlunchclub.co.uk 9 City Connections business networking event, Carmelite Hotel, Aberdeenl. 11.45am-2pm. Contact: Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce 9 Scottish Business in the Community Awards, Edinburgh, Venue TBC. Contact: kellydrew@sbcscot.com 9 Scottish Renewables Hydro Conference and Exhibition. Perth Concert Hall, Perth. Contact: olivia@scottishrenewables.com 16 CBI Annual Dinner. Park Lane, London. 7-11pm Contact: gemma.fisher@cbi.org.uk

19 Scottish Awards for Business Excellence lunch, Radisson BLU, Glasgow. For more information, contact Ann Pike on 0131 556 2333 21 Power Lunch Club. Brechin Tindal Oatts, 48 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5HS. 12noon-2pm. Contact: info@powerlunchclub.co.uk 28 First Women Business Awards. The Grand Connaught Rooms, Great Queen Street, London. Contact: alexis.carlson@caspianmedia.com

July 5 Power Lunch Club. HSBC Corporate, Hobart House, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EL, 12-2pm. Contact: info@powerlunchclub.co.uk 19 Power Lunch Club. Brechin Tindal Oatts, 48 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5HS, 12noon-2pm. Contact: info@powerlunchclub.co.uk 24 Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce ‘Working Lunch – The Hunt’. Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, Edinburgh, 12noon. Contact Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce: 0131 221 2999. Please check with the contacts beforehand that arrangements have not changed. Events organisers are also asked to notify us at the above e-mail address of any changes or cancellations as soon as they know of them.

17 Scottish Engineering Annual Dinner with guest speaker The Rt Hon Michael Moore MP. Marriot Hotel, Glasgow, 7pm. Contact: consult@scottishengineering.org.uk 17 Power Lunch Club. Brechin Tindal Oatts, 48 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5HS, 12noon-2pm. Contact: info@powerlunchclub.co.uk

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14 Business Scotland 2012, Royal Concert Halls, Glasgow, 10am-4pm. Contact: organising@jobserveevents.com

The diary is updated daily online at www.bq-magazine.co.uk

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