Richard Bailey, Managing Director, Atesta (www.scientifics.com). Richard was “encouraged” to leave school at the age of 16 with 5 O-levels and started working in Sheffield as a trainee metallurgist. Three years of college day release and a further three years at Strathclyde University saw Richard complete his academic career with a BSc in metallurgy. Scotland was now home and employment after University was with the General Accident Group as company metallurgist in their engineering group. Ten years later, in 1980, he left and, with funding from Murray International Metals, started a materials testing laboratory in Livingston. This business supported offshore platform fabricators who were particularly active in Scotland at that time. With a mixture of acquisition and organic growth the business expanded throughout the UK and into Europe and was sold to Bodycote International plc in 1991 for £7.1m. Richard transferred with the business and he joined the main board of Bodycote, but left the business some 5 years later. During the ensuing period of “garden leave”, he brought together a funding package with 3i and Clydesdale Bank and with this war chest set off on the acquisition trail again. His first acquisition was in 1996 when he bought the UK’s regional rail laboratories from British Rail. The business now trades as Scientifics Ltd. Six further acquisitions, of varying sizes, were completed over the next three years. There then followed a period of consolidation and organic growth. The company now employs 320 staff at 12 UK sites and has annual sales of over £12m. The business provides a wide range of analytical, testing and consultancy services to a whole raft of clients.
Brian Williamson, Chief Executive, Bethany Group (www.bethanygroup.net) Brian is an entrepreneur who has 20 years experience in running companies at board level within several different industry sectors. In 1995 he volunteered to be a mentor for people starting high growth business having started a number of award winning high growth companies of his own. Within 3 years he had invested in the company who ran the programme and 2 years later successfully completed a management buy out of the £13M turnover service company. Today he is the CEO and has majority control of Bethany Holdings Ltd. he has spent the last year restructuring the group and drastically reducing the cost base
The evening will be chaired by Ann Rushforth, Chief Executive, ScotNursing Ltd.
(www.scotnursing.com). Ann is a professionally qualified nurse and midwife who set up ScotNursing in 1987. ScotNursing Ltd is a nursing and care agency which supplies hospitals, nursing homes, occupational health, research and first aid provision. ScotHomecare provides domiciliary care to many hundreds of people from young children who are ventilated at home to personal care. The Company has grown to have more than 6,000 nurses and carers who regularly work flexible hours and contracted hours, which suit their lifestyles. With this growth, turnover is currently at £14 million, with a projected £20 million next year. External investment obtained at the end of 2002 will facilitate significant, accelerated growth over the next twelve months. As Chief Executive, Ann believes the company’s growth is attributable to the provision of the highest standards of nursing and care as an imperative, and to the ability to respond to the ever-changing demands of diverse, healthcare-related markets. Ann’s vision is to grow the company throughout the UK using innovation within the health care sector, to deliver nursing and care services exceeding client’s expectations, whilst delivering best value. The Company has 18 branches throughout the U.K. ScotNursing Head Office and Care Call Centre in Old Kilpatrick gives a continued 24-hour service to clients and nurses across the country.