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The Entrepreneurial Exchange

Biographies

Steve is currently Business Development Director and shareholder of Linkfleet Ltd, an Aberdeen based independent investment company providing financial resources and management support services to a range of small to medium sized businesses.  Linkfleet currently hold majority investments in Braedon Ltd (Aberdeen based environmental recycling & compacting, t/o c£1.5m), MS Industrial Services Ltd (Invergordon & Aberdeen based on & offshore industrial services, t/o c£3m), Empire HR Ltd (Aberdeen based HR Support services, t/o c£0.5m) & Securastore Ltd (Aberdeen, Leith & Haddington based container services, t/o c£0.5m), with two acquisitions about to complete (Feb 06) which will increase group turnover to around £7m.

Previously employment law specialist and Managing Director of Empire Business Services Ltd since setting up the company in 1996 although he became Regional Director of Croner Consulting Scotland following Croners' acquisition of Empire in 2002.   Empire grew to become one of the biggest independent Personnel & Health & Safety consultancies in Scotland.  When combined with Empire, Croners in Scotland had approximately 50 employees and an annual turnover in excess of £4m.

Steve is active within the Aberdeen community and is currently Chairman of Enterprise North East Trust; a Board member of Leadership Excellence Ltd; a Council member of the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce and currently non-executive Director and minority shareholder of two small-but-growing Aberdeen based professional service companies; Tricker PR Ltd (PR Services) and Karen MacRae Resources Ltd (niche executive search), combined turnover c£1m.

Steve has held various senior positions over the last fifteen years and in total he has over twenty five years experience within the Energy Industry.

Originally a qualified Quantity Surveyor (RGIT Scott Sutherlands School of Architecture), in 1989 he set up Highland Recruitment Services based in Inverness, before being approached in 1992 to set up the Personnel Department of a new Offshore Services sub division of Brown & Root in Aberdeen.

From this time in 1992 he attended a number of Open University modules in pursuit of a Management Diploma in addition to attending the Brown & Root Management Development Schedule, which involved high intensity learning on a residential basis.  He gained Licentiate IPD status in 1994 and in 2001 completed the first year of a two year post graduate course in Employment Law at RGU in Aberdeen.

Resident just outside Aberdeen, Steve is married to Morven and has 2 young boys aged 11 & 13.

Hobbies consist of; Golf - member at Gleneagles & Meldrum House; Football - unfortunately not playing any longer - instead watching Aberdeen FC although he attained Highland League status at one time; Entertaining his two young sons; Travel, Music, Walking, Meeting friends.

 

Brian Williamson is an entrepreneur who possesses the knowledge and experience of both a fast-advancing managerial career in industry and of personal high growth business start up. With an acute commercial awareness and astuteness for determining optimal organisational needs, his focus is on maximising talent to achieve extraordinary success.

Brian (Dip Eng) was educated at Glasgow Caledonian University and embarked upon a successful management career with Weir Pumps. Over the next fifteen years he ran companies at board level within several different industry sectors including Electronics, Heavy Engineering, Construction, Petrochemical, and Oil and Gas. In each of these positions he had full P&L responsibility.

He launched his first company in 1995 in the automotive sector and within three years had reached a £5m turnover. Soon after he sold his interest to his fellow shareholders and started his own Oil and Gas company. This award-winning business was acknowledged for its rapid growth and for its exceptional export achievements. In 2004 Brian sold the enterprise to the management team and during this period he became an active investor spending in the region of £150k in a number of start up ventures.

Brian has just exited from The Learning Organisation Ltd.  This is a group specialising in training and business start up, the Group helped train in excess of 25,000 people annually and has assisted over 80,000 people start up in business. Brian's interest in this sector began eight years earlier as a volunteer business advisor to one of the Group companies and within one year he had bought into that Company. One year on, he formed a group holding company and was the architect of creating a Group shareholding structure. He took over as CEO in late 1999 and the following year led an MBO. In the last few years Brian has successfully restructured the Group from one with a mediocre performance to one heralded within its industry as a top performer. Brian led the initiative to sell the group companies to allow him to focus on helping businesses primarily based in Scotland build and grow to businesses of scale.

Brian was key in the Management Buy Out and formation of Brightwork limited, a recruitment company specialising in both temporary and permanent placements. Brightwork has sales of £9m in its first year of trading and employs 15 full time people and over 600 temporary staff. Brian is the Executive Chairman of the company http://www.brightworkltd.com/.

Brian is also Non Executive Chairman of Peoplematters who specialise in people and organisational development http://www.peoplematters.co.uk/.

Brian has also launched his own consultancy targeting companies and individuals who want help and support in a variety of ways http://www.tiger-eye.org/.

 

Murray is a specialist business advisory consultancy, and Chief Executive of Albyn Ventures, a private business angel investment group.  Murray is also a senior strategic advisor to Petrofac and holds a number of non-executive director positions in a diverse range of companies throughout the UK.  In addition, Murray is a minority shareholder in a diverse range of businesses including art framing & gallery, outsourced payroll, specialist landscape planning, retail & oilfield services.

Prior to February 2007, Murray was a Director and Chief of Staff of the Petrofac Operations Services Division, a major international oil services business.  Until May 2006, Murray was the Chief Executive of the Petrofac Training Group, the leading international oil and gas training & consultancy business.  Petrofac Training was established in February 2004, when Petrofac acquired the RGIT Montrose Group, which had been acquired in April 2003 by a MBO Team led by Murray.  Prior to RGIT Montrose, Murray worked for Liberty Mutual and the AP Moller/Maersk Group in a number of senior management or strategic change management roles.

Murray's key experience / expertise are in the areas of:-

  • Strategy -Identifying distant possibilities and making them happen
  • Corporate / Organisational Development - Development & delivery of acquisition, merger, joint venture and divestment strategies & dealings
  • Business Transformation - Designing & implementing holistic business re-engineering, focused on achieving fundamental and radical improvement in business performance
  • Internationalisation - Has undertaken &/or established businesses in over 30 countries
  • Management - Managing diverse and complex business operations and functions

 

Murray was a top 3 finalist for the Scottish Director of Year in 2004.  RGIT Montrose, under his leadership, was the winner of the Small / Mid-size Company Deal of the Year 2003/4 and was runner up of overall Deal of the Year 2003/4.  Murray was also appointed Honorary Professor of the Robert Gordon University in 2007.

Murray is a non executive director of &/or holds board positions with a number of charitable causes &/or organisations, including:

  • CLAN a leading NE cancer charity - Vice Chairman & Director
  • Robert Gordon University - Member of the International Advisory Board
  • Royal Scottish National Orchestra - Member of the Development Board

Murray is a qualified Quantity Surveyor and a member of the Institute of Directors. 

Murray lives between Aberdeen, Auchterarder & Mallorca with his partner Carol and their three children, 18, 16 and 13. 

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Venue information

Marcliffe Hotel North Deeside Road
Aberdeen
AB15 9YA

01224 861 000

Chairman

Mr Murray Strachan, Strachan & Partners

Speakers

  • Mr Steve Cook, Linkfleet
  • Mr Brian Williamson, Tiger eye

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Registered in Scotland. Company registration number SC160976.
Registered office: Barncluith Business Centre, Townhead Street, Hamilton, ML3 7DP. Developed by Mercurytide