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Sir Bill Gammell is Chief Executive of Cairn Energy PLC (Cairn) and Chairman of Cairn India Limited.  Cairn is an Edinburgh-based oil and gas exploration and production company and a member of the FTSE 100.

Bill founded Cairn in 1980 and under his direction the group has grown from a market capitalisation of $10 million in 1992 to over $10 billion today. The share price has increased over 100 fold during the same period.  Cairn has grown both organically and by acquisition and Bill has wide corporate experience.  Cairn has conducted Public Company Corporate Transactions in the UK, US, Australia, Holland and India and Bill has served on the boards in all of these jurisdictions. 
Alongside his leadership at Cairn PLC Bill holds/held the following directorships:

2008 –  Director Sportscotland
2007 -  Member of UK Indian Business Council
2007 -  Member of Government Asia Task Force
2006 -  Member of British Olympic Advisory Board
2006 -  Founder & Chairman The Scottish Institute of Sport Foundation (SISF)
2003 –  Director of Artemis VCT Trust
1999 –  2008  Director of The Scottish Institute of Sport

Numerous awards and honours include:

2007 -  Hon Doctorate of Engineering, Heriot Watt University
2006 -  Knighthood for services to industry in Scotland
           Entrepreneurial Exchange Hall of Fame
           IOD Scotland Director of the Year
           Hon Doctorate of University, Stirling University
2005 -  Hon Doctorate of Business Administration, Napier University
2004 -  Ernst and Young UK Entrepreneur of the Year
           Business Insider Elite Leader of the Year

Bill is passionate about developing people and instilling a positive winning attitude in both business and sport.  This developed from his own entrepreneurial career and his experience as a Scottish rugby internationalist (1977-1980).  In 2006 he founded Winning Scotland Foundation to mobilise efforts to raise aspirations and self-belief amongst young people and their coaches in Scotland.  The mantra of the Foundation is ‘winning isn’t everything but wanting to win is’ and over £3.5 million has been invested in key programmes to date.

Bill was educated at Fettes College and has a BA in Economics and Accounting from Stirling University. He was born on 29 December 1952. He is married with 3 sons and a stepson.  

Jim McColl left school at 16 to take up an engineering apprenticeship with Weir Pumps at Cathcart in Glasgow.  After six years having studied part time for City & Guilds Ordinary National and Higher National Certificates, he left work to take up full time study at Strathclyde University for a BSc Degree in Technology and Business Studies.  After graduating with an Honours Degree in 1978 he returned to Weir Pumps where he remained for three years while studying part-time for a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

In 1981 he moved to a senior management position with Diamond Power Speciality Limited, an engineering company supplying equipment to the power industry worldwide.  During this time he studied part-time for a Masters Degree in International Accounting and Finance.

In 1985 Jim was headhunted by Coopers & Lybrand as a senior consultant involved mainly in "corporate care" assignments.   This meant working in various companies who were in financial difficulties and in need of turnaround.  

In 1986 he left Coopers to become a self-employed "company doctor" and, after two successful turnarounds, in 1992 he bought 29.9% of a small Scottish engineering company, Clyde Blowers PLC, which had a full listing on the London Stock Exchange.   Turnover at that time was around £4 million, with a loss making core business subsidised by investment income.   The company was the smallest of eight companies doing what it did in the world market.  Over the following five years Jim acquired six of the remaining competitors, consolidating seven companies into one.  Clyde Blowers now has over 55% of the world market in its original product line, and has expanded into other growth engineering sectors.  

On Tuesday 8th May 2007, over 135 years after the Weir brothers founded their business, Jim McColl announced the acquisition of Weir Pumps (Glasgow) from The Weir Group plc.  As a result of this transaction, the diverse portfolio of technologies, process knowledge and expertise generated by Weir Pumps was incorporated into a newly created company, Clyde Pumps Ltd saving 600 jobs and an important part of Scotland’s engineering heritage.

In September 2008, Jim led the largest transaction in Clyde Blowers’ history by acquiring the entire Fluid & Power Division of Textron, an American Fortune 500 multi-industry company in a deal worth over $1 billion. Jim recognised that this particular division of Textron offered a range of complementary technologies to Clyde Blowers existing portfolio of companies, as well as the opportunity to expand its presence in the global pumps market. The acquisition, which was uniquely structured including a debt package from a club of four major banks, comprised of four separate businesses. These are Maag Pump Systems, David Brown Gear Systems, David Brown Hydraulics, which now operate as separate portfolio companies within the Clyde Blowers Group, taking the number of such organisations to seven, and Union Pumps, which is being integrated with Clyde Pumps, creating a powerful global provider of pumps to the oil & gas, water, conventional power and nuclear power markets.

Over the past 10 years Clyde Blowers has developed into a truly global portfolio of 83 Companies in 27 different countries, employing 5,000 people around the world, with an annual turnover in excess of £1.2 billion.

Chris Gorman OBE, DUniv FRSA.  A successful serial entrepreneur, Chris has headed several highly successful ventures in technology and retail businesses.  A founder shareholder in UK mobile phone retailer DX Communications, Chris then went on to create the internet services company, Reality Group.  Current business interests include a number of mobile and internet enterprises including Quintessentially, purplelounge.com, AWOMO,getfitwellness.com, MyMart.com, Lucid PR as well as being an Advisor to Bebo, the social media network.

Highly regarded, Chris has received many business awards for his entrepreneurialism over the years including Ernst & Young Scottish Entrepreneur of the Year, UK E-Business Entrepreneur, Young Business Leader of the Year, Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland in Business, and the laudable SBAAT Businessman of the Year Award. 

In June 2005 Chris was delighted to receive an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to business.

Chris is a regular speaker at business events and has featured in several business related TV shows. Chris lectures in schools and universities and is an honorary professor in business at the University of the West of Scotland, which also bestowed an honorary doctorate in business upon him.  As well as supporting many charities, he is Chairman of The Entrepreneurial Exchange and Governor of the Royal Scottish Academy for Music and Drama.

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Venue information

Howard Hotel 34 Great King Street

0131 557 3500


Chris Gorman OBE, Team Advisors Ltd


  • Sir Bill Gammell, Cairn Energy, www.cairn-energy.plc.uk
  • Jim McColl, OBE, Clyde Blowers, www.clydeblowers.co.uk

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