Brian Souter Receives UK Entrepreneur Award

Tuesday, 19 Oct 2010

Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Brian Souter has received a major UK entrepreneur award.

The co-founder of Stagecoach, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, was named UK Master Entrepreneur of the Year at an awards ceremony in London last night.

The honour was one of 12 presented at the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards, which celebrate those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses.

The awards, part of a global programme in 50 countries, recognise executives with the “E Factor”. Assessments cover factors such as innovation, leadership, financial performance and corporate social responsibility

In June, Brian Souter was named Ernst & Young Scotland Overall Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 and he also collected a major European award in Paris for a career of service to public transport.

Brian Souter (56) is one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs and transport innovators. He co-founded Stagecoach with his sister, Ann Gloag, in 1980 with just two buses and has developed the company into a leading international transport group in the UK and North America with 30,000 employees and an annual turnover of more than £2billion.

The former bus conductor and award-winning businessman has been the architect of the company’s strategy. He has been behind some major transport innovations over the past three decades, including the market-leading budget coach service and the UK’s first Biobuses.

Stagecoach undertook a private placing in 1988 and participated in a number of privatisations subsequently shaping industry consolidation. It was one of the first major transport groups to expand overseas, having run services in five continents across the globe over the past three decades. The company won the first UK rail franchise in the mid-1990s when it took over South West Trains, the UK's biggest commuter rail network. Last week, Stagecoach re-entered the London bus market, acquiring the third largest operator in the capital in a £53million deal.

Brian Souter is one of the UK’s best-known private entrepreneurs, with an eye for new business opportunities.  He is a committed angel investor, providing crucial seed capital for new business start-ups. Brian Souter has a wide portfolio of personal investments, including bus and ferry companies in New Zealand and a large stake in bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Ltd.

He is also a significant contributor to charitable causes and a committed supporter of health projects. Earlier this year, he launched the UK’s first Healthy Heart Bus, a voluntary heart health screening programme for employees in Stagecoach’s UK Bus division. Brian Souter has personally pledged £1million towards the £2m initiative.

Brian Souter is also a previous Insider Elite Businessman of the Year and winner of the Scottish Entrepreneur Award. In 2008, he received a special recognition award for services to the bus industry.

  • Ayman Asfari, Group Chief Executive of oil and gas company Petrofac Limited, was named Ernst & Young UK Overall Entrepreneur Of The Year at last night’s ceremony, hosted by BBC presenter Fiona Bruce.

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Souter Charitable Trust