Hay makes her way home as Saxton opens Edinburgh office

When employee-owned executive search firm Saxton Bampfylde decided to open an Edinburgh office after almost three decades of working with Scottish clients from afar, it was a perfect opportunity for partner Peta Hay, right, to return to the city she grew up in.
Lord Trimble photobombs Ignacio Galan and William HagueLord Trimble photobombs Ignacio Galan and William Hague
Lord Trimble photobombs Ignacio Galan and William Hague

However, Hay, who heads the Scottish operation, had already relocated further north after falling in love with the village of Falkland in Fife, where she also runs an art gallery.

“My house is next door to Falkland Palace and as I could never afford a palace, being able to see one every day was the next best thing,” she said.

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Saxton Bampfylde’s Scottish launch was celebrated with a drinks party at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery last week.

Glasgow steals a march

Glasgow start-up mLED, currently developing ultra-bright micro-LEDs for the fast-growing wearable tech sector, won the EIE London “pitch of the day” last week. The event, run by mentoring organisation Informatics Ventures, put 12 of Scotland’s brightest fledgling firms in front of more than 100 London-based investors. Interest in the sector is growing, with a poll of attendees showing more than 80 per cent believe Scotland has the most vibrant start-up scheme outside London.

Seonaidh MacDonald, chief executive of mLED, accepted his prize from Informatics Ventures director Colin Adams before the Scottish contingent piled back on the coach for the trip north.

While some of the banter on the journey remains undisclosed, one insider recounted a few friendly exchanges over the fact that a Glasgow start-up had got one over on Edinburgh, following recent research that showed the capital has twice the concentration of tech companies as anywhere else in Scotland.

Unconfirmed reports also suggest that one or two drams – from specially-branded Informatics miniatures – were consumed on the trip.

Capitalism at its best

Regular readers of these pages will know that the Business Desk tends not to cover awards stories, but we are prepared to break our own rules in exceptional circumstances.

Therefore, we can tell you that Ignacio Galan, boss of ScottishPower owner Iberdrola, was last week presented with the annual Responsible Capitalism Award by William Hague, leader of the House of Commons. Iberdrola is the only European electrical utility to have been included in all 15 editions of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

The event was made all the more memorable thanks to Lord Trimble, the former first minister of Northern Ireland, who “photobombed” the celebratory snaps.