Chief Executive, William Grant Foundation


When did you join William Grant & Sons?

December 2014


What’s the best thing about working for William Grant & Sons?

A few things come to mind: Supportive, positive colleagues with an attitude that’s all about making things work; the sense of pride that’s evident across the workforce – pride in being part of a successful, pioneering enterprise that’s still rooted in the values it sprang from; knowing that we’re ultimately a family business with owners that take a long-term view and a genuine interest in the future of the business, its people and communities.


Tell us a little bit about your role at William Grant & Sons: what do you get involved with/how does your role support the business?

My role is unique and a very privileged one.  I work with the family shareholders to manage and facilitate the company’s charitable giving. Our shareholders have committed to donating at least 1% of pre-tax profits to good causes and the board has delegated responsibility for that to what we call the William Grant Foundation.

I spend a lot of time working with the family members who govern the Foundation to decide how we use these funds to make a difference within the four areas we donate to in Scotland: Scottish Culture & Heritage, Natural and Built Environment, Youth Opportunities, and Health and Social Causes.

Another aspect of the Foundation is supporting the charitable interests of our employees wherever they are in the world and I oversee initiatives like our Matched Giving scheme, where we match funds raised or donated to charity by employees, or make donations to charities our colleagues volunteer with.

I like to think my role supports the business by demonstrating our commitment to the values that make it unique; by strengthening the communities where it’s based; and by valuing our employees not just for what they give to the business but for what they give to the communities and causes that matter to them.


How would you describe your personality/character and what makes you a unique employee?

I’m a calm, flexible person and I tend to get on with a wide range of people, which helps when dealing with the many diverse stakeholders involved with the Foundation and in building networks to increase its reach.

But I’m not afraid to challenge and question things that aren’t right and I have a strong sense of ethics and values – I like decisions to be based on sound principles.


What’s your favourite of our brands and why?

The honey and spice notes in the Glenfiddich 15 year old are about as good as whisky gets, in my opinion, but my secret vice is a margarita cocktail – with Milagro, of course.