Chair of the Judging Panel
A well-known specialist in entrepreneurship and growth in Scotland, John brings considerable experience of emerging and high growth companies to his role as Head of SME Engagement at Strathclyde Business School where he acts as Programme Director on the prestigious Growth Advantage Programme.
Formerly Chief Executive of The Entrepreneurial Exchange, John was a shareholding director of a young venture backed technology company engaged in the design, manufacture and distribution of laboratory equipment and co-founded a company that provided pre-hospital emergency care and healthcare industry training. As a CA in professional practice he worked with several of Scotland's most exciting growth companies including Atlantech Technologies and Award plc after returning to Scotland from Chicago in 1989.
An experienced non-executive chairman and director in growing businesses, John is a regular commentator on issues facing emerging and high growth companies and has worked extensively with the leaders of growth companies, sharing experiences of the realities of scaling up.
A founding GlobalScot, John is Chairman of the Gabriel Investments angel syndicate, a participant in REAP Scotland and sits on the Enterprise Research Centre advisory group.
Partner, Nevis Capital
Brian founded Nevis Capital with John and James Pirrie to bring something different to the deals market in Scotland. Nevis specialises in buying businesses and working closely with them as owners to deliver growth over the long term. Over the past 11 years Brian has grown Nevis to become one of the leading UK investors in sub £10m deals. Prior to this, Brian spent 14 years at PwC, where he was a Corporate Finance Director and has competed over 100 transactions during his 25 years in Corporate Finance.
Brian is a Trustee and Treasurer of the JMA Trust, a charity which helps people across Scotland facing adversity. When he is not doing a deal or working with the portfolio you are most likely to find him playing sport or enjoying time with his family.
Senior Partner, CMS
Graeme is a senior partner in the CMS Scotland Corporate Department and heads up the Glasgow Corporate team. He is consistently listed as of very few leading corporate lawyers in Scotland in both Chambers and Legal 500. He specializes in a range of corporate finance work including M&A, IPOs, secondary share issues, fundraisings and public company takeovers and reverse takeovers for a wide range of public and private companies, other institutions and public sector bodies.
He is a Trustee of Newlands Junior College, an innovative school which exists to help young people who are disengaged from education to make a success of their lives and contribute to society.
Partner & Head of Corporate Finance, Campbell Dallas
Graham Cunning, is a Partner and Head of Corporate Finance for Campbell Dallas in Scotland.
A well-respected figure in the Scottish business community, Graham, a Chartered Accountant, previously held senior roles at Clydesdale Bank Plc including UK National Director of Acquisition Finance and Regional Director of Corporate Banking, Scotland. Prior to that he worked in Corporate Finance, Corporate Recovery and Assurance with PwC in the UK and USA, and with KPMG.
Graham's expertise is in advising and funding private equity backed management buyouts, acquisitions, disposals, business expansion and strategy in deals typically in the £5-150m Enterprise Value range, working with Private Equity Houses, companies, management teams and individuals. He also has experience in Corporate Recovery and Project Finance/PFI. He has worked with businesses from £1m turnover to over £500m; and with SMEs to fully listed PLCs, across a range of sectors.
CEO, Lending Crowd
Co-founder and investor. Previously an equity analyst covering the technology sector; included leading and assisting in primary and secondary transactions predominantly on AIM. Founder investor and NED at Gentlemen’s Tonic.
Chairman, European Assets Trust NV
Jack Perry is a non-executive board member and adviser to a number of public and private companies. He previously served as Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise.
Prior to this, he was a managing partner and Regional Industry Leader for Ernst & Young. In addition, Jack was also Chairman of the Confederation of British Industry Scotland.
He is Chairman of European Assets Trust NV (listed in London and Amsterdam). Chairman of ICG- Longbow UK Senior Debt Investments Ltd (Listed in London) and a director of the Witan Investment Trust plc
He is also Chairman of Hospice Developments Limited the company charged with the delivery of new greenfield facilities for the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice.
Independent Director & Strategist
Non Exec Director, Internet For Business Ltd; Women's Enterprise Scotland Ambassador. Former Strategy Director, William Tracey Group
Jane is a CA with over 20 years' experience in industry, private equity investment and corporate finance roles. Jane has a proven track record of delivering enhanced shareholder value, profitable growth and sustainability through business leadership, investment in innovation, identification and delivery of strategic alliances, complex M&A and private equity transactions. Jane has specific expertise in waste recycling, cleantech and technology sectors.
Jane joined WTG as Group FD in 2005 and in 2012 moved into her current role as Director responsible for strategic development including leading the recycling and resource management group's innovation, technology investment, M&A and strategic alliances. Key achievements include: assisting WTG's 100% shareholder in achieving a partial exit via deal to bring in corporate shareholders in 2006; and delivering over 15 acquisitions, alliances and divestments across her 12 years at WTG all self-funded via cash flow and which substantially fuelled the growth in value of the business by 4x culminating in the successful sale of WTG to a private equity firm in May 2017.
Jane is currently NxD of connectivity and managed services company Internet For Business Ltd headquartered in Aberdeen. Formerly Investment Director at Baird Capital (mid market private equity) she held managerial role in corporate finance lead advisory at Ernst & Young and in venture capital at SDF (now Scottish Equity Partners) after qualifying with Grant Thornton.
Editor, Scottish Business Insider
Ken Symon has been Editor of Scotland's national business magazine, Scottish Business Insider since March 2016.
In his two years with Insider to date he has already introduced a range of changes to the magazine including introducing a Vital Statistics page giving key numbers on Scottish business and the economy; Insider Creative which looks at the latest on the creative industries sector and specially themed issues including an annual one on Women In Business.
In his time as a business journalist he has interviewed most of the key business leaders in Scotland and reported from a number of countries around the world.
Prior to joining Insider, Ken ran his own media business Symon Media. His earlier career in newspapers saw him work as Business Editor for The Scotsman, Sunday Herald and as Deputy Editor of The Sunday Times Scotland.
He has won the Local Government Journalist of the Year Award and a Scottish Press Award.
In his spare time Ken teaches Tai Chi Chuan and is a supporter of Motherwell Football Club, where he served on the Board of the Well Society, the fans' group that has taken control of the club.