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Alan Duncan

After leaving school at 16, Alan served a joinery apprenticeship and then worked in a warehouse.  By chance he came across and applied for an inside sales opportunity with a manufacturer of drilling equipment control systems in 1992 and got the job, and was hooked.  Alan worked his way to Sales Manager and left in 1997 to join another company in the same sub-sector where he stayed until 2000.  

During the eight years with those two companies, he worked domestically and also in a range of very challenging international oilfield business environments, including Algeria, Iran and the former Soviet Union. 

In 2000 he joined a manufacturer of Subsea Production Systems, where he managed the Intervention Systems Group.  There, an entrepreneurial “itch” that had been developing over a few years began to take shape.  So in 2002, Alan and four colleagues left and formed impROV to design, build and service subsea tooling packages to support the installation, repair and maintenance of Subsea Production Systems.  The business went very well, reaching profitability early in its second trading year and winning double Scottish Offshore Achievement Awards in 2005 (Best Small Company) and 2006 (Export Achievement). 

In 2007, by which time employing thirty-two people in Aberdeen and three in Houston, they were acquired by Fugro N.V, a Euronext listed company focused on Oil & Gas service provision as well as the Mining and Infrastructure sectors. 

Alan continues to run the business (now Fugro-impROV) for the group, who are unusually decentralised and entrepreneurial for a “corporate”. With their backing they have continued the growth story.  In 2012 they have sixty-one people in Aberdeen and eleven in Houston and Alan has the responsibility for other pockets of Tooling expertise within the group, in Asia Pacific and South America. 

Alan lives in Aberdeenshire with his partner Jacqueline and their lovely daughter Eilidh. 

Stuart McLeod 

Delphian Ballistics was formed to further commercialise ballistics (perforating / mini frac) technology which enables a significantly greater recovery of hydrocarbons significantly mitigates fracking operations (40%) on competent, hard or tight formations (Shale and Tight Gas). 

Having now successfully undertaken trials and pilots of this patented perforating technology and fully evaluated independent customer feedback, Delphian has identified a significant demand for larger gun sizes that are now in development. 

Stuart’s entrepreneurial flair, vision and integrity saw him previously grow qedi into an international technology success story. 

Building a global-leading specialist commissioning and Technology Company that reported a 380% rise in turnover between 2006 and 2011. Since 2007, qedi has also enjoyed an annual rolling turnover of about 30% and increased profit margins by 100%." 

Both a former Scottish chairman and director (London) of the Energy Industry Council, Stuart became the key driver behind the company’s exceptional international growth. 

As qedi enters a vibrant new era, 2012 turnover will exceed £80million. 

Stuart was in his 20s when he first showed his high aptitude for spotting business opportunities. He established his first oil & gas services company during the economic downturn in the unknown Azerbaijan market. Stuart went on to build a successful company that he then sold to Aberdeen based qedi becoming a shareholder and main board director in late 2005. 

In 2011, Stuart further demonstrated his industrious spirit when he consolidated qedi’s position for future global growth by securing a major acquisition deal by AMEC worth £33m. 

Awards: •     BP Business Award for Outstanding International Achievement in the Oil and Gas Industry at the 2011 SCDI Scotland International Awards 

•     Overall Global Business award at Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce’s 2011 Northern Star awards 

•     Finalist in Entrepreneurial Scotland’s 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year 

Stuart’s passion for energy and ‘people’ technology is also reflected in his personal life hence his daily, early morning gym visits. Successfully raising over £5000 for SANDS, (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) completing Tough Guy, now a yearly event.

Judith Thorpe 

Judith founded Thorpe Molloy Recruitment with her business partner, Karen Molloy, in 1997 aged 24.  The business now employs 33 people, and last year recorded a turnover of £7.5 million. 

Since start up, this award winning company has extended its specialist services from Accountancy and Financial recruitment to include five other divisions, Executive, HR, Office Personnel, Legal & Banking, and Engineering. An ambassador for the Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust.

Judith is passionate about supporting young start up businesses, and investing in the local community through Thorpe Molloy Recruitment’s numerous CSR activities.  She has recently been appointed to the trading subsidiary of Cornerstone, Corners Turned Limited. 

Other Info:

Currently aged 38

Born and brought up in North Yorkshire

Graduated from Heriot Watt University with degree in Business Studies

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Venue information

Marcliffe Hotel, Aberdeen North Deeside Road
AB15 9YA

01224 861 000

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Judith Thorpe, Thorpe Molloy, www.thorpemolloy.com


  • Alan Duncan, Fugro-impROV, www.fugro-improv.com
  • Stuart McLeod, Delphian Ballistics
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