Green Investment Bank makes beeline for PR guru

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THE UK government-backed Green Investment Bank, part-based in Edinburgh, operates on a big budget but with a small staff. And one thing’s for sure, it will never be short of public relations advice.

Not only does the £3 billion bank employ an in-house man, it also uses Buchanan Communications. On top of that, it gets some additional support from former BAA spinner Malcolm Robertson.

We now hear that Debbie Byers, who runs Beeline PR, is also doing work for the bank. It’s the latest blue-chip client for Byers, who last week picked up the Business Growth Fund account, another UK government-inspired initiative, this one funded by the big banks.

AGR takes North Sea dip

CONSULTANTS in the oil and gas industry might be expected to be familiar with the North Sea, but the team at Edinburgh-based recruitment firm AGR took things further recently after hitting a set of sales targets.

Operations director Stuart Hunter and company dog Rosie led the way into the surf at 8am on a workday morning as part of a charity fundraiser.

Hunter, who set up the firm two years ago with Cameron Taylor, said he had not expected the targets to be hit so soon, but despite short notice for donations, their dip has raised more than £500 for charities Dreamflight and Sick Kids.

Perhaps because the swim coincided with some of the best weather Scotland has enjoyed for years, the team at AGR say it has whetted their appetite for fundraising and they are already planning further charity challenges.

Walsh back down to Earth

THE meteoric rise of Diageo’s shares under Paul Walsh’s leadership made billions for investors in the spirits giant.

But Walsh’s recent dabbling in another company will have brought him back down to earth a little.

Last week, satellite operator Avanti Communications, where Walsh is a non-executive director, saw its market value plummet after it warned revenues would come in below market expectations.

The value of Walsh’s holding, which he has been steadily building up since his appointment in 2012, dropped in value by around £150,000 on the news.

Still, with a pension pot of more than £19 million from Diageo to look forward to, Walsh is unlikely to need to resort to a cheap blend to drown his sorrows.

Leith ‘millionaires factory’

ORGANISERS may have been pushing their luck last week at the official opening of the Creative Exchange business incubator centre in Leith by asking the 200-strong audience to stand through five speeches.

Yet the heat and the strange acoustics in the converted corn exchange didn’t dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm when one of the speakers suggested that the facility would become known locally as the “millionaires factory” – triggering the loudest cheer of the night from the gathered tech start-ups.