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The Entrepreneurial Exchange

Biographies

Steve Cook 

Steve is currently Chief Executive of Empire HR Ltd, an Aberdeen based HR and Health & Safety Support services company.   The company was subject to a management buy out in September 2007, successfully led by Steve.   Empire HR currently employ 21 people full-time and part-time but this will rise to 26 full-time by the end of 2010. 

Steve is active within the Aberdeen community and is currently Chairman of Enterprise North East Trust (ENET), who deliver the Business Gateway contract into both the Grampian & Tayside regions and who also have a major property portfolio.  ENET, a “not for distribution of profit” organisation, employ around 70 staff and have a turnover just short of £4m.    

Steve is also a Patron and fundraiser for Cancer Link Aberdeen & North (CLAN) and is involved with the Aberdeen International Football Festival. 

Until the MBO in September 2007, Steve was a director & 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 held majority investments in a number of different investments including environmental recycling & compacting, onshore & offshore industrial services, container services and professional services with group turnover c £8m. Steve was previously employment law specialist and Managing Director of Empire Business Services Ltd having set up the company in 1996 and then becoming 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 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.  

Resident in Aberdeen and married to Pauline, Steve has 2 boys aged 14 & 17. 

Hobbies consist of; Golf – member at Meldrum House Golf Club; Football - unfortunately not playing any longer – instead watching Aberdeen FC although attained Highland League status at one time; Entertaining his wife and sons; Good wine, good food, travel, music, walking, meeting friends. 

Murray Strachan

Murray, who hails from the North East of Scotland, is Managing Director of Strachan & Partners, a specialist business advisory consultancy, and Chief Executive of Albyn Ventures, a business investment group. He also holds a number of non-executive chairman & director positions in a diverse range of companies throughout the UK, many of which he is a shareholder in, including art framing & gallery, outsourced payroll, employment law / hr consultancy, specialist landscape planning, property energy assessment, automotive latch systems, retail & oil/gas services.

Prior to February 2007, he 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 him. Prior to RGIT Montrose, he worked for divisions of Liberty Mutual and the AP Moller / Maersk Group in a number of senior management or strategic change management roles.

Murray is also a non executive director of &/or holds board positions with a number of charitable causes &/or organisations in Scotland and 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. In 2007, Murray was appointed Honorary Professor of the Robert Gordon University and joined the Board of the Entrepreneurial Exchange in Scotland.

 

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Venue information

Marcliffe Hotel North Deeside Road
Aberdeen
AB15 9YA

01224 861 000

Chairman

Mr Murray Strahcan, Strachan & Partners, www.murraystrachan.co.uk

Speakers

  • Mr Steve Cook, Empire HR, www.empirehr.com

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