Brian Souter, is Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group plc, one of Britain's largest transport operators. Together with his sister, Ann Gloag, he built Stagecoach up from two buses in 1980 to become a major bus and rail operator employing more than 40,000 people worldwide.
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 megabus.com 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.
Brian is an outstanding, innovative entrepreneur, and has taken the company from local to national and now to a global position, and is constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to expand into new markets in new countries. 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. Mr Souter, a qualified chartered accountant, has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the Scottish Business Achievement Award in 1989 and the Scottish Entrepreneur Award in 1998. In 2008, he received a special recognition award for services to the bus industry. He was named Ernst & Young Scotland Overall Entrepreneur Of The Year 2010.
In 2010, he also received a major European award in Paris for a career of service to public transport. He is a previous Insider Elite Businessman of the Year winner.
He is also a significant contributor to charitable causes and a committed supporter of health projects. 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.
He received an honorary degree from Strathclyde University in 1997 and from Abertay University in 1999.
He still lives in Perth, where he was brought up, and is married with four children.