Leading Your Team Nigel Risner

Having started his own business in 1983 and becoming one of the youngest CEO’s at the age of 26, Nigel quickly realised that running organisations was not that complicated but working with people and getting the most out of them was the challenge.

He did an I P O and having venture capital in his business it occurred to him that understanding people’s personal needs and their communication styles was paramount to their success.

He started working with The Academy for Chief Executives in 1997 and quickly became a sought- after speaker working in many different industries but specialising in peak performance and human development.

In 2001 and 2010 he was awarded Speaker of the Year from The Academy for Chief Executives.

In 2005 he was awarded Vistage International Speaker of the Year.

In 2009/10 Footdown awarded him Speaker of the Year.

Thus making him the only speaker in Europe to have won all three awards.

Having spoken to more than 1.5 million people worldwide (40 Countries) he has recognised that most people fall into four categories in communication.

Whilst there have been many other models used his method of zoo keeping different animals is now used not only in Police Forces around the Country but also many National Health Trusts.

PR & Marketing Panel

How do you differentiate yourself in the marketplace and how do you get noticed? Expert speakers will take you through strategy for your PR and Marketing and how to make a splash in a cost effective way.

Allister Frost

Former Head of Digital Marketing, Microsoft

Allister Frost is the former Head of Digital Marketing for Microsoft. In his time at the company he was responsible for campaigns including Windows Vista, Windows 7, and the ‘I’m a PC’ campaign. Prior to the software giant Allister worked on consumer brands for Kimberly Clark.

Using examples from around business, including his own experience, Allister examines what the digital world means for business. He looks at how reputations are created in hours by the interaction of businesses and their consumers on social media, and how businesses can learn to be effective in this new world.

In his time at Microsoft, Allister worked on both B2C and B2B strategy with brands including Office, Windows and XBox. He looks at the huge successes, as well as the failures to understand where businesses get it right and wrong.

Now working with companies from Sony to mining company Anglo-American, Allister examines not just how the digital world operates now, but how it will operate in a few years time. In an age where Twitter and Facebook have become world-conquering businesses in just a few years, he seeks to explain how businesses can keep up, and avoid falling for the hype. He also examines how the move to incorporate digital as a means of communicating with and understand customers requires a fundamental culture shift throughout an organisation.


Client Comments

“He understood the brief perfectly and was a very impressive speaker.”
– Alliance of Chambers East Sussex

Petra Wetzel

Managing Director of Glasgow's WEST Beer & Brewery

Petra Wetzel founded WEST in 2006 for her then husband and left him and the business the same year. In 2008 she bought the business out of administration. She didn't let a lack of beer experience hold her back, and has quickly risen through the ranks of the industry, with WEST receiving awards for both the beer it produces and the service it delivers. The growth of WEST under her leadership is staggering, developing from a self-contained German-style beer hall and brewery on Glasgow Green into a successful distribution operation with over 3,000 venues in the UK and abroad now stocking WEST beers.

As WEST flourishes, Wetzel continues to take on new projects – all the while being a proud mother to her son Noah. In 2015, she received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Glasgow, and in 2016 launched the WEST Women investment fund to give both financial and personal support to budding female entrepreneurs.

Colin Borland

Head of Devolved Nations, FSB

Colin joined the FSB in 2008 to head up the Scottish public affairs team. He was promoted to Head of External Affairs in 2011, in which capacity he led the FSB's policy, public affairs and field staff teams across Scotland.

In 2015 he became Senior Head of External Affairs, adding responsibility for Wales and Northern Ireland to his remit, before joining the FSB UK senior management team as Head of Devolved Nations.

Allan Barr

Director, The BIG Partnership

Recognised as one of the country's leading authorities on digital and marketing communications, Allan advises clients from across the public and private sector on how they can use digital, marketing and design in the way they interact and communicate with their customers and stakeholders. Allan has been responsible for delivering successful communications strategies for some of the country's largest organisations, including NHS, Stagecoach, Clydesdale Bank, First Bus, Standard Life, ScotRail, Famous Grouse, KPMG, The Macallan, Glasgow 2014 and The Scottish Government. He joined Big following several years in senior PR and communications roles with PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG. As a keen road cyclist, Allan previously sat on the Board of Scottish Cycling, the governing body for cycle sport in Scotland, and continues to advise the organisation.

MacRoberts LLP

MacRoberts presents an innovative interactive deal workshop exploring some of the practical and legal issues arising for SMEs in achieving succession or exit.

With the help of technology, the session will be tailored to the needs of those in the room to ensure the day is engaging, entertaining and educational.

Technology speakers

Allister Frost


Allister Frost is the former Head of Digital Marketing for Microsoft. In his time at the company he was responsible for campaigns including Windows Vista, Windows 7, and the ‘I’m a PC’ campaign. Prior to the software giant Allister worked on consumer brands for Kimberly Clark.

Using examples from around business, including his own experience, Allister examines what the digital world means for business. He looks at how reputations are created in hours by the interaction of businesses and their consumers on social media, and how businesses can learn to be effective in this new world.

In his time at Microsoft, Allister worked on both B2C and B2B strategy with brands including Office, Windows and XBox. He looks at the huge successes, as well as the failures to understand where businesses get it right and wrong.

Now working with companies from Sony to mining company Anglo-American, Allister examines not just how the digital world operates now, but how it will operate in a few years time. In an age where Twitter and Facebook have become world-conquering businesses in just a few years, he seeks to explain how businesses can keep up, and avoid falling for the hype. He also examines how the move to incorporate digital as a means of communicating with and understand customers requires a fundamental culture shift throughout an organisation.


Client Comments

“He understood the brief perfectly and was a very impressive speaker.”
– Alliance of Chambers East Sussex

Stephen Whitelaw


In 1988 Stephen Whitelaw founded Buchanan International Inc in Silicon Valley and 10 years later spun out Actis Technology Ltd. He has a proven track record of managing and growing technology businesses through strong financial and personnel management skills and has often been described as a rebel without a pause!

His highly energetic nature and deep knowledge of the internet has enabled him to travel the world engaging with companies large and small offering consultancy and training on many of the web technologies affecting so many businesses today.


Finance Panel

Experts outlining the routes possible to access finance to grow your business.

The session will look at both traditional funding programmes such as loan funding but also at alternative funding means such as crowdfunding.

Tim Wright

Director and Co-Founder, twintangibles

Tim Wright is Director and co-founder of twintangibles a UK based management consultancy that helps organisations create value, innovate and solve problems through accessing the crowd economy. A leading thinker and practitioner on crowdfunding Tim provides expert insight to the OECD, European Commission and the Scottish Government and is author of The Scottish Crowdfunding Report.

Previously Tim has worked for Egon Zehnder International and McKinsey & Co and a number of other highly respected organisations. He is a member of the Scottish Internet Domain Policy Advisory Board, a Jury Member of the Future Ideas Student Innovation Challenge, Chair of the Dean's Board of ULSB, and an advisor on the Buckminster Fuller Challenge.

A sought after speaker Tim has keynoted conferences across Europe, USA, India and New Zealand. He is co author, with Daniela Castrataro, of “Crowdfunding - Come finanziarsi online.” and “Ideas to Reality” co authored with John Reid. His forthcoming book “Crowdfunding To Win” will be published in 2017.

Kerry Sharp

Director of the Scottish Investment Bank, Scottish Enterprise

Kerry Sharp is Director of the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scotland's main economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, working in partnership with Highland and Islands Enterprise.

SIB's role is to grow Scotland's private sector funding market, ensuring both early stage and established SME's with growth and exporting potential have adequate access to growth capital to reach their full potential.

Kerry leads a team responsible for SE's direct investment activities, fund investment, portfolio management, market intelligence and research and provision of financial readiness support to companies to help them access the most appropriate growth finance.

SIB directly manages three funds – the Scottish Co-Investment Fund, the Scottish Venture Fund and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund; has invested in two externally managed funds; Epidarex Capital's life sciences fund and the Scottish Loan Fund (now closed to new investments), which is privately managed by Maven Capital Partners and has developed a new funding mechanism in partnership with the European Investment Fund - the Scottish-European Growth Co-Investment Programme.

Strathclyde Business School Panel

A panel session where you will hear from small business leaders who have been on the Strathclyde Business School Growth Advantage programme on how they have reshaped their business strategies and how it has led to growth.