Prince's Trust Council – Scotland
The Scotland Council is established by The Prince's Trust Council. Its function is to provide high-level support to the Scotland Director, to enable them to develop and deliver the business plan. The Scotland Council has no executive responsibility for the management, operations or administration of The Trust.
Margaret McPherson is founder and Director of Intelligent Office UK Ltd, the UK’s leading provider of outsourced administration services to the legal sector. After an MBO in May 2014 Margaret stepped down as Chair of Intelligent Office UK Ltd, but remains a minority shareholder and board member, principally focussed on the company's strategic direction and employee engagement. She also holds a number of non-executive director positions in entrepreneurial businesses.
Prior to establishing Intelligent Office in 2001, Margaret spent two years in New York as Vice President of Bowne Business Solutions, who specialised in document and information management outsourcing in the investment banking and legal sectors. Before being based in New York, Margaret worked for Williams Lea in London.
Margaret organised The Decadence Ball in aid of The Prince’s Trust in 2008 and 2012 and most recently joined the Clay Pigeon Shoot event committee in Scotland, helping to generate over £150,000 in 2015.
Alan Fergusson is Chief Executive Officer of Fergusson Group, a family owned business founded in Stirling in 1926. Alan joined the business at 15 years old carrying bags of coal. The company has grown to be one of the UK’s leading suppliers of coal to the domestic, industrial and generation markets.
Alan is a member of Young Presidents Organisation, a global peer network of business leaders with a mission to improve leadership through the sharing of knowledge, ideas and experience.
Alan is married to Yvonne and has 3 children Tom, Amy and Alan, and lives in Stirlingshire. In his spare time he enjoys sports and taking part in challenges.
Two recent achievements of note have been climbing Kilimanjaro, and taking part in a 24 hour outdoor challenge led by Sir Chris Bonington.
James Thomson OBE
James is Proprietor of Prestonfield House, The Witchery by the Castle and Tower Restaurant in Edinburgh. He currently employs over 250 people within his company. An active ambassador for the Scottish Tourism Industry, James was awarded a Silver Thistle from the First Minister in 2004 and received an OBE in the Queens Birthday Honours List 2005 for services to Hospitality and the Scottish Tourism Industry.
James is a founder member and past Chair of Edinburgh Restaurateurs Association and currently sits on a number of committees/boards including the Scottish Executive Committee of The British Hospitality Association and the Board of the National Restaurant Association. He is a Governor of George Heriot’s Trust and a Trustee of Prostate Scotland.
James is a Patron of The Prince’s Trust.
Alex Linkston CBE
Alex Linkston is Chair of NHS Forth Valley and Glasgow Clyde College. He is formerly the Chief Executive of West Lothian Council.
Having worked his way up from a trainee accountant, becoming the youngest student to qualify for membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accounting (CIPFA), Alex was appointed Chief Executive of West Lothian Council in 1995 and was instrumental in leading the council to UK Council of the Year in 2006.
A committed Prince’s Trust volunteer, Alex recently completed a sponsored cycle from West Lothian to the council's twin area in Meschede, Germany, raising over £13,000 for charity. Alex is Chair of Youth Link Scotland and brings a wealth of public sector experience to the council.
Prof. Gary McEwan
After leaving school at 16 Gary, with support from The Prince’s Trust, has gone on to start a number of businesses and is, by any definition, a serial entrepreneur.
Since 2008 Gary has been operating as CEO of Elevator, which has 19 offices with its HQ in Aberdeen.
Elevator delivers a wide range of support for start up and growing businesses, every year, assisting more than 2000 new business and existing businesses either start or grow.
Gary has invested in, operated and developed businesses in diverse fields such as transport training, financial services software, electronic manufacturing and business consultancy - in addition to managing an investment syndicate.
Gary is very clear about his passion for business. He is deeply involved in the promotion of entrepreneurship to young people as a credible career option. He regularly speaks to students of all ages, as well as young offenders and those with addiction problems. He believes in young people and supports their development as a key part of his professional life. Gary is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Dundee, a regular contributor to the media and is an energising and motivational public speaker.
Having done an Honours degree in History of Art at Edinburgh University, Fiona made the interesting, if unusual, move into tax after graduating, and started her career with the Inland Revenue. She qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser in 1989 and is now a specialist tax partner with Springfords Accountants, where she has led the firm's Private Client Tax team since 2005. She specialises in advising clients in relation to their income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax planning, with particular emphasis on advising families, new businesses, trusts, and the elderly.
Fiona has been a volunteer with The Prince’s Trust since 2011, as a member of the Lunch with an Old Bag Committee, and has chaired the event since 2013. LWOB raised almost £2 million for The Prince’s Trust over two years at the 2013 and 2014 lunches, and the Committee are committed to continuing this success.
As a member of the Council, Fiona looks forward to broadening her experience within The Prince’s Trust and to meeting more young people who have transformed their lives with the support of The Trust.
Lynne is the HR Director for Services, representing 35,000 employees in the UK, India and Poland. She partners with two Bank Executive Committee members, driving change and efficiency through the organisation.
She joined RBS in 1986, initially in the Branch network before moving into HR in 1991. Lynne is a qualified Chartered Banker and has been a member of the CIPD since 1991.
Lynne has significant experience of managing and leading business change with a proven track record in creating value by leading and delivering strategic people initiatives within challenging environments to achieve business objectives.
She is also a successful people leader with a strong, supportive, leadership style, an excellent ability to manage stakeholders and well developed influencing and coaching skills.
Lynne is married to Andrew and has two sons Kieran and Ross.
She enjoys spending her spare time outdoors either running or walking with her two dogs Lexi and Keya and also regularly practices yoga. She also has a keen interest in charity work and fundraising.
Omar Shaikh is a Chartered Accountant by profession and specialises in Islamic finance and private equity. He sits on the Board of the Islamic Finance Council UK focusing on government policy advisory. Omar was awarded the 2015 British Muslim Award for his work in Islamic finance.
He has supported in establishing the UK Government’s strategy for making the City a leading Western hub for Islamic finance through the UKTI, HM Treasury Committees and Mansion House trade delegations. He has lectured at various global conferences and universities and is involved in development initiatives relating to waqf, shariah governance and Islamic microfinance.
Omar’s background includes working with Ernst & Young where he was recognised as the UK firms Subject Matter Expert for Islamic finance and successfully led the build out of the Islamic finance offering within the UK office. At EY he also worked with the UK Private Equity team and the multi-award winning EY Islamic Financial Services Group in Bahrain.
Omar led the development of the Mosaic Regional Leadership Group in Scotland as Co-Chair and will develop The Trust’s connections with the Muslim community in Scotland in support of Mosaic programmes and wider integration of The Trust’s work.