BGF Aberdeen hosts Chairman dinner

BGF Aberdeen hosts Chairman event

In March 2016, 30 experienced non-executives from the Aberdeen business community gathered in the Society of Advocates to discuss what an investor wants from a chairman, and conversely what a chairman wants from an investor. The evening was hosted by Stuart Cochrane from FWB Park Brown, who led a discussion with BGF’s CEO Stephen Welton and Bill McCall, Chairman of FWB Park Brown on the importance of a chairman to high growth companies.

The group discussed the need for mutual trust between the chairman, investor and management team; the value that a chairman can bring in both positive and more challenged scenarios; and some of the skills that make a good chairman in a smaller company environment. The group also discussed some of the current market challenges affecting companies in the oil and gas sector. This highlighted that while the market has contracted since 2015, many smaller companies are able to find opportunities, particularly overseas, and that oil and gas is a cyclical market.

Mike Sibson, who leads BGF’s Aberdeen office, highlighted that BGF is continuing to see investment opportunities and is hoping to complete two or three new investments in 2016.

“While the market backdrop is undoubtedly more challenging, many of the business owners we speak to are still seeing opportunities and are keen to make sure they are on the front foot for when the market does recover. BGF benefits form the ability to take a long term view, and we have significant flexibility to structure investments that reflect the balance of opportunities and risks in each individual company. We see the next 12-18 months as an opportunity for well-funded businesses. It is a core part of our model to find the right non-executive director, and in a period of market change we believe their impact can be even more important for the companies in which we invest.”

The dinner was held at the Society of Advocates in the centre of Aberdeen, and was jointly hosted by BGF and FWB Park Brown, a leading executive search firm in Scotland and in the global oil and gas industry.

The 30 guests hold between them more than 100 current non-executive positions across a range of owner managed, investor backed and public companies. A number of the guests commented that this is now established as the principal forum for non-executive directors in Aberdeen, and highlights the desire of both BGF and FWB Park Brown to work in partnership with the non-executive director community.