Jump to content

An Evening With...John Boyle, Obe

26 March 2009
Free to members
Members only

Members were privileged to hear how one of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs made his vision a reality.

John Boyle, Chairman of Hamilton Portfolio Ltd & Motherwell FC, is one of Scotland’s best known entrepreneurs, becoming Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997.

John was born in Hamilton in Lanarkshire and in 1972 started work in the travel industry with Vista jet. After three years, he decided to set up on his own as an aviation consultant. In 1975, he established Falcon Leisure Group which was at the forefront of providing cheap European leisure travel and grew rapidly, moving into holidays and other areas. Several other companies were acquired and, by 1982, the company was carrying 150,000 passengers. John sold Falcon Leisure in 1983 and became a main board director of Owner’s Abroad plc. As Chief Executive of the company, with £100m turnover and 1,000 employees, he was responsible for strategy and development and implemented a policy of organic growth and acquisition. In 1990, Owners Abroad operating companies were the third largest tour operating company in the UK having outpaced the entire industry in relative growth and output.

In 1990, John resigned from Owners Abroad plc before setting up Direct Holidays. Direct Holidays steadily expanded in the 90s and was ultimately sold to Airtours plc for a cash consideration of £82m.

In addition to continuing to pursue opportunities in the travel and leisure industry, in 1999 John established The Hamilton Portfolio, an investment management company with a particular interest in supporting technology companies, radio, media, travel, telecomms and printing. Among Hamilton’s investments are Axeon Ltd in Dundee,
Yellowfin Ltd in Southampton, NetIDme based in Lanarkshire, Gemini Press in Shoreham, Imagine Projects Ltd in Glasgow, GlobalExpense Ltd in London and SRT in Bristol. John is a director of many of these companies and is actively involved in assisting the management.

The evening will be chaired by Exchange Vice Chairman Dr Charan Gill, MBE.



Venue information

29 Private Members Club, Glasgow 29 Royal Exchange Square
G1 3AJ

0141 225 5615

Show venue on a map


Dr Charan Gill, MBE, Harlequin Leisure Investments


  • Mr John Boyle, OBE, The Hamilton Portfolio
Read the biographies


"What a refreshing outlook and great that John did not sit on the fence. On occasions we all look into the face of failure and its fantastic to listen to an established entrepreneur discussing the unfortunate collapse of Zoom Airlines. It happens to the best!".

"John has very strong views and he made a number of very valid points. Always worth listening to the guys that have been around the block".

"As a new member it was a great opportunity for me to meet like minded business people who are facing the same challanges as I am".

"A frank and motivational talk by John. Great networking opportunities".

"The event gave me a good insight into how to succeed in business and what it takes to be an entrepreneur".

"Very frank account of John's feelings on the state of the economy and account of his business successes and less successes".

"John was entertaining, honest, passionate and opinionated in a good way".

"John is a fantastically charasmatic, motivational person to listen to - he delivered his speech with great honesty and sincerety without holding back his frustrations at the current crisis in our financial system that has grave effect on all our busineses and futures".

"Relaxed atmosphere event, fantastic speaker, easy networking opportunity".

"If you know your people you know your business".

"The event was very topical and insightful as well as motivational".

"To hear of success and failure in one talk is not common. A very good insight to what can and often does happen".

"Always interesting to hear about the trials and tribulations of other entrepreneurs"

"Key tip - timing is crucial to any deal. Everything is time consuming! More than you expect".

"Key tip taken - don't lose heart in this difficult market support is available from fellow entrepreneurs and you need some luck".

"Use an external party to sell your business. Don't beat yourself up if you are caught up in unpredictable external events. John and his story of *two sells* will be a role model for the future".

"My key tip - to always stay positive and remind myself that I can only work as hard as I can in my business - but sometimes circumstances will be beyond my doing or control that will effect everything that I do and in essence there will be nothing I can do to change it".

"Relationship management with customers and staff is vital for success".

"Tip from John Boyle's speech: it always takes longer than you think it will, and you're too close to the business to notice...".

"Another humerous presentation and tales of fantastic events from Charan! Cant wait to see his "Evening with....".

"Charan was excellent".

"Charan was very funny, very down to earth, very engaging".

"Charan was entertaining and set the scene well for John".

"Charan is always good - funny and able to keep a nice feeling about the event".

"Charan gave a good intoduction with the right amount of humour".

"Charan was very competent as usual and entertaining".

"Charan is good fun and good at fulfilling his role".

"Was well chaired by Charan".

"Get John back again and get him to chat a bit about his new ventures!".

"I throughly enjoyed the talk and found John's openess and frankness really refreshing in these difficult times when it is a challenge to get a straight answer from most. I have ran my own travel business for 10 years and John has given me the inspiration to look at taking my business to the next level of expansion".

"John was controversial, opinionated, extremely open- just what I'd expect from a succesful entrepreneur!".

"John was very honest and open. Very passionate and spoke with honesty, intergity and humility".

"John was excellent - good mix of current affairs and personal info".

"John was brilliant".

"John - thank you for sharing your journeys and your passion for current events".

"John was passionate, entertaining, and gave some very insightful comments".

"John was a breath of fresh air with real passion and enthusiasm".

"John was very good full of passion and very open I really liked him".

"John was excellent and very open which is always beneficial".

"Brilliant evening!".

"Well organised event. I felt welcome and enjoyed networking with fellow business owners".

"Excellently run session and well worth attending. Very professionally organised and a very enjoyable experience".

"Very impressed by the organisation. As a first time visitor I was well looked after and made to feel welcome".

RSS Subscribe Upcoming events

Registered in Scotland. Company registration number SC483869.
Registered office: 13 Queen's Road, Aberdeen, AB15 4YL. Developed by Mercurytide