Sir Brian Souter

1954 -

Brian Souter
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Brian Souter

Entrepreneur. Born in Perth, Souter took a diploma in Commerce at Dundee College of Technology. In 1980, he established the Stagecoach bus company in Perth with his sister, Ann Gloag (b.1942), using their father's £25,000 redundancy payment. The company grew rapidly, encouraged by government deregulation of public transportation in Britain and Souter has become Scotland's richest man, with a fortune estimated at over £565 million (2000).

Sometimes criticised for his ruthless business methods, Souter has piloted Stagecoach to become the one of world's largest bus companies, with an annual turnover of some £1.34 billion (1998). With interests around the world, including Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa and Scandinavia, the company has diversified into railway transport and was at one stage the owner of Scotland's Prestwick Airport.

Souter is also an evangelical Christian and lay preacher. He became involved in political controversy in 2000, following his support for a campaign to prevent the frank discussion of sexual relationships in schools. He has given generously to support various projects engaged in the relief of human suffering through his charitable foundation and has given substantial donations to the Scottish National Party. Souter was knighted in 2011.

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