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Biographies

Bob Keiller     

Bob is from the Borders and has been in the oil and gas industry for nearly 25 years. He is CEO of Wood Group PSN – the brownfield division (and largest division) of John Wood Group plc. He is also a main board director of John Wood Group.

Bob created PSN by completing a $280m management buyout from Halliburton in 2006. PSN had a business plan to reach $75m annual EBITDA by 2014 but has achieved over $100m in 2010 with operations in over 20 countries and a team of nearly 9,000 people. PSN made the Sunday Times “Best Companies to Work For” list in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2011 PSN ranked third in the UK for employee engagement and involvement. PSN was also in the top 10 of UK companies for employee retention.

Bob has a Master of Engineering degree from Heriot-Watt University and is a chartered engineer. He has been Chairman of the Offshore Contracting Association (OCA) and the cross-industry trade body Oil and Gas UK. He also sat on “Pilot” – the industry-government steering group. He was a member of the UK cross-industry Step Change in Safety Leadership Team and he led the UK Helicopter Task Group formed in 2009 to accelerate safety improvements in air safety. He is currently Chairman of the Entrepreneurial Exchange. He is a former Chairman of the Aberdeen & District Round Table.

Bob was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 and 2008, Scottish Businessman of the Year in 2007 and Grampian Industrialist of the Year in 2008.  In 2009 he was recognised for his Outstanding Contribution to the oil & gas industry at the Scottish Offshore Achievement Awards and in 2010 was the first individual to receive global recognition in safety leadership in the shape of the International Regulators Forum’s “Carolita Kallaur Award” for his outstanding leadership of the Helicopter Task Group.

Wood Group PSN was created when Bob completed the $1bn sale of PSN to Wood Group. Bob is the CEO of the combined business which includes over 23,000 people in nearly 40 countries.

George Yule 

George is Executive Chairman of Romar International an Aberdeen based oilfield service specializing in magnetic separation technologies for the offshore drilling industry. ROMAR is on a course of global expansion and George’s main role is to plot and deliver a business growth strategy that will take the company to new heights – and into new markets - going forward.

This is very familiar territory for George who was formerly CEO of Dominion Gas between 2006 and 2010 prior to him stepping down [I needed to spend more time with my Family!] from a business where he led an MBO in 2007 followed this up with a further 2 acquisitions and proceeded to internationalize the business globally converting a £5.1m turnover in 2006 into a £24m global oilfield service company in 2010. During this period the business won several accolades from their industry peers and George himself was recognized as the Grampian Industrialist of the Year in 2009 for his business leadership, community involvement and entrepreneurial skills.

George is President of the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, Corporate Patron of Befriend a Child, an Aberdeen based charity for local disadvantaged children. He is also a keen sportsman who played soccer, rugby, golf and cricket - his non-business activities include Chairmanship of Aberdeen Sports Village, a role that really ‘ticks the box’ for obvious reasons.

George displays a blend of personal leadership qualities e.g. determination and focus, industry experience, enthusiasm and energy, courage, judgment, empathy and humility, safety consciousness, an ability to interact and communicate at all levels - all of which are coupled with a keen sense of humour.

Some background information/ interesting facts·        

  • Born and brought up in Aberdeen, eldest of 4 sons·       
  •  Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship·        
  • Spent 5years working offshore on various platforms and rigs incl. Piper Alpha·        
  • Directly involved in aftermath of CHINOOK helicopter disaster in 1988· 
  • Employed as Brent drilling support engineer by Shell UK for bulk of his career·        
  • Founded start-up company Clean Ocean in 1999 – AAM’s 1st oil & gas venture·        
  • Business Director for Oslo-based Polaris Rig Management·        
  • Married [to Alison], with 4 boys and 2 girls

Business / Personal Awards·        

  • Winner, KLM / Northsound Businessman of the Year, 1997·        
  • Finalist, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, 1999·        
  • Winner, MBO of the Year in Scotland, 2008·        
  •  Winner, Grampian Industrialist of the Year, 2009·        
  • Winner, AGCC Northern Star Awards for Internationalization, 2009·        
  • Winner, Subsea Company of the Year, 2010·        
  • Honorary Fellow of the University of Aberdeen, 2011

Gary McEwan

Since November 2008, Gary has been Chief Executive of Enterprise North East Trust.  Enterprise delivers Business Gateway in Aberdeen City & Shire as well as Tayside.  In addition, Enterprise operates a large portfolio of 18 business centres from Fraserburgh to Perth containing over 380 businesses.  Career highlights as follows.Awarded ‘The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion’ by HM The Queen in July 2006

  • UK Entrepreneur of the Year’ 1993
  • ‘Most Significant Growth’ Award 1994
  • First inductee into the Livewire ‘Hall of Fame’ 2006
  • Chairman, PSYBT Grampian
  • Hon. Vice President Young Enterprise Scotland
  • Regular lecturer (Entrepreneurship), University West of Scotland
  • Honorary Fellow, University of Dundee
  • Director, DHP Scotland Ltd.
Keen poker player, scuba diver, judo player, karaoke singer and golfer……but not all at the same time! 

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Venue information

Marcliffe Hotel North Deeside Road
Aberdeen
AB15 9YA

01224 861 000

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Chairman

Gary McEwan, Enterprise North East Trust, www.enetrust.com

Speakers

  • Bob Keiller, Wood Group PSN, www.woodgroup-psn.com
  • George Yule, Romar International, www.romarinternational.co.uk
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