Strathblair Associates launches with a simple ambition – “We want businesses to thrive”

Dylan Macdonaldblog

A new collective of senior and experienced business leaders has come together to share their expertise with businesses under the Strathblair Associates banner.

The Strathblair team will work together to provide advice and support to privately-owned companies across Scotland. Their focus will be on using their combined strategic experience and insight to help business owners and executives to take stock of their current market position and challenge and help them to plan for the future.

Strathblair has been established by Richard Oliver and Gary Deans, who have extensive experience in business and professional services at a senior level.  They have assembled a knowledgeable team, full of expertise, whose members have each operated at the highest levels in business.  Their combined focus is simple – to ensure that businesses and their owners can achieve their ambitions, which they believe is important to improve Scotland’s economic performance.

Strathblair will enable business owners to access top flight board-level experience and expertise to address key business issues such as: business and personal strategic planning; succession and exit planning; international expansion; talent management and retention; financing growth; sales and marketing strategy; brand and reputational management.

Gary Deans said: “We believe that, for businesses to thrive, their owners need access to affordable, best-in-class, strategic advice, co-ordinated across all the board room disciplines, something we think is missing in the current market.

“Strathblair Associates will play a key role in supporting business owners and managers to maximise the potential of their businesses and realise their personal ambitions. Our approach is different in that it opens up a network of incredibly gifted and experienced business owners and executives, all with different talents, who want to help other businesses. They have been hand-picked because of their amazing track records and their commitment to share their knowledge, experience and networks with other businesses. They all have a real desire to make a difference.

“Combining this ownership and board level strategic expertise means that the people we work with can access the right level of advice just when they need it.”

Says Richard Oliver:

“We know that, for many people, running a business can be a very lonely place, so it’s important that business owners can work with people who have been there before. That’s where we come in. We can be the ‘critical ally’ that every business leader needs – able to advise, challenge, and support, using our years of experience and collective knowledge.

“Everyone running a business faces challenges, whether it’s how to expand and grow, finding the right funding solution, up-skilling the management team or planning for an exit through a sale or by passing it on to the next generation of owners. We recognise that owners and management teams may not have either the bandwidth or expertise to deal with certain challenges, so we can also supplement their own team enabling them to address key issues more quickly and effectively.

“It’s a truly new approach that we know business owners need. I know it’s something I would have valued in my boardroom life.” 

The Strathblair collective has a team of specialist advisors with board level knowledge, each of whom can be called upon for their personal experience and expertise, and the insight gained from having been in similar roles and situations. The full list of Associates at launch is listed in notes to editors.

In addition to the core team, Strathblair has enlisted the support of leading businesswoman, Marie Macklin C.B.E., who was named last week as Institute of Directors Scotland’s Non-Executive Director of the Year.  Marie said:

“I believe that businesses need help to scale and fulfil their potential.  Strathblair has brought together talented and experienced business people who can work with owners and executives to make a real difference.  Growing, ambitious businesses benefit all of us, and I am delighted to be advising and supporting Strathblair.”

Strathblair has also successfully attracted as an ambassador Brian Williamson, Chairman of Brightworks, founder of Jumpstart and a highly successful businessman.

Gary Deans again:

“The initial reaction from everyone we have spoken with has been very positive.  What has been highlighted to us is the quality of people who are working with Strathblair and the ability to access years of experience on a flexible and affordable basis. With Strathblair they know that if they need specialist advice it’s there on tap for them.”

Richard Oliver:

“We have diverse, yet complementary, backgrounds and skills, drawn from a range of industries and sectors.  We also have hands-on experience of running businesses, and have faced the day-to-day challenges whilst thinking strategically about the longer term.  We believe this collective experience is invaluable to the business community.  It is our strength and we want to share this knowledge and insight with our clients.”