Lord William Haughey is EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Scotland overall winner

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Lord William Haughey is EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Scotland overall winner

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Lord William Haughey OBE, Co-Founder and Chairman of Glasgow-based, global firm City Holdings Group, has claimed the title of ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Scotland overall winner’, after picking up his award at a ceremony held at Gleneagles last night.

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City Holdings is an international group providing facilities management services in several countries, using leading technology, combined with a multi-skilled workforce. Lord Haughey OBE, who started the business (then, City Refrigeration Holdings Ltd) with his wife Lady Susan Haughey in 1985, won the Sustained Excellence category earlier in the evening, before being crowned Scotland overall winner.

Lord Haughey OBE, began his career as an air-conditioning engineer before taking on the role of general manager at a facility in the Middle East. It was during that time he concluded that ensuring your people, operations and financial model all work well together was vital to success. Using their life savings Lord and Lady Haughey set up their own company, employing four people in Glasgow. 33 years later they now employ 12,000 people around the world in America, Australia, the Far East and Europe and generate an annual turnover in excess of £600 million.

Mike Timmins, EY Partner and leader of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme in Scotland, said: “Lord William Haughey OBE is a compelling leader who has built a world class business, which is widely regarded as the benchmark for excellence in his industry. The judges were impressed by the sustainable business model he has developed and his commitment to improving the lives of others; by investing in the training and careers of his workforce, supporting fledgling entrepreneurs launch their own ventures, or by sending engineers to Africa to install clean water supplies for tens of thousands of people. Lord Haughey OBE has made a huge contribution to Scotland, and working with Lady Haughey they have been a leading philanthropic team helping to change many lives for the better. Lord Haughey OBE is a true inspiration and a well-deserved winner of ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Scotland’.”

Lord Haughey OBE triumphed as overall winner ahead of the leaders of 20 of Scotland’s most promising, pioneering and accomplished businesses. He now goes forward to the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 UK final to be hosted in London in November, along with the other EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Scotland category winners [listed below]:

Building a Better Working World

  • Chris Stewart, CEO of Chris Stewart Group, based in Edinburgh – real estate development and investment company with a focus on regeneration and redevelopment, particularly of complex, listed buildings.
  • The judges commented, ‘Chris was presented with the Building a Better Working World award for his very strong sense of purpose and ethics. Chris stood out for the contribution he has made to Scotland, with his willingness to create better cities for residents, by transforming empty listed building into hotels, bars and accommodation. Not many other individuals are willing to take on such risky projects, but Chris has completed one after another.’


  • Dr David Venables, CEO of Synpromics, based in Edinburgh – enabling unprecedented control of gene expression through its ability to custom design synthetic cell-type, or condition, specific promoters.
  • The judges commented, ‘David won the disruptor category for his clever business model. He took on Synpromics in 2015 with less than two months’ worth of cash and only seven staff. With David’s vision and great strategy, the company has raised in excess of £9m since 2015, moved to new facilities to accommodate the growing number of staff, and opened operations in the U.S.’

Rising Star

  • John Reynolds OBE, CEO of Castle Water, based in Blairgowrie, Perthshire – the UK's largest independent water retailer.
  • The judges presented John with the Rising Star award for ‘identifying a significant gap in the market and capitalising on it, by becoming the first company to acquire business water customers in England in 2016. Under John’s leadership, Castle Water has made three major acquisitions which has seen his customer base increase from 30,000 – 330,000 within a 12 month period. With Castle Water main systems being cloud-based, the judges were impressed by John’s focus on automation to improve the efficiency and reliability of customer transactions.’


  • Dr Rabinder Buttar, Chairman, CEO and Founder of Clintec International, based in Glasgow – provides clinical research services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries.
  • The judges awarded Rabinder the Scale Up award for ‘her commitment to making a difference and becoming a global leader in her industry. Rabinder is driving a really strong strategy with diverse countries, clients, products and research and impressive 50% growth in revenue.’

Sustained Excellence and Scotland overall winner

  • Lord William Haughey OBE, Chairman of City Facilities Management Limited, based in Glasgow – Global group providing multi-site facilities management services using advanced technology and a multi-skilled workforce to deliver diversified services.

Transformational Leader

  • Charles Hammond, CEO of Forth Ports, based in Edinburgh – owns and operates eight commercial ports on the Firth of Forth, the Firth of Tay and the Thames.
  • The judges presented Charles with the Transformational Leader award because ‘he reinvented his company by gradually and sustainably transforming it. Charles’ contribution to the entrepreneurial landscape has had a significant impact on the UK economy with more than 50% of Scotland’s global trade going through his ports.’ 

Mike added: “This year’s winners showcase the exceptional entrepreneurial talent we have in Scotland. Great vision and strategy have been central to the success of these inspirational leaders, whether applied to their unique business model, the adoption of automation to improve efficiency, driving revenue growth or having a strong sense of purpose and ethics to shape their contribution to their businesses, local communities and the economy.”

By |2018-06-21T17:05:33+00:00June 22nd, 2018|Business News, National, Scottish Entrepreneur|Comments Off on Lord William Haughey is EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Scotland overall winner

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