Top 500 Business Breakfast

10th January 2020 - Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh

Scottish Business Insider's Top500 is the most authoritative listing of the country's biggest and most successful companies. To qualify for a listing, each company must be headquartered in Scotland or be a substantial subsidiary of a foreign owned company with its financial results published separately and have a turnover of £20m+. Each company is ranked firstly by turnover, then profit before the rankings are combined, divided by two and weighted by turnover.

The Top500 is read by a wide range of people from Chief Executives to Sales Directors.

As well as the listings in the magazine we also produce a Top 500 database that provides invaluable information. This is sold separately throughout the year and is generally utilized as a research tool. The database contains everything you need to know about the listed companies, from the names of the board of directors to the last two years financial results.

Together the listings and application form the most comprehensive and valued information on Scotland's leading companies and is exclusively available from Insider.

This event will provide business leaders with a unique insight into building your business in the aftermath of Brexit. Delivering business growth amid the key challenges of Brexit, the battle to attract and retain talent and the wave of new technologies and how they will affect business.

The key threats and opportunities for Scottish businesses in 2020 plus an insight into the post-Brexit second deal environment.


Top 500 Business Breakfast 2020


Rona Dougall

Journalist / TV presenter
Rona Dougall - Host

Rona Dougall is an accomplished journalist and experienced television presenter based in Edinburgh. She began her career in the Radio Forth newsroom, before becoming Scotland Correspondent for Sky News. During her 16 years there she covered many headline stories, including the Dunblane massacre, the trial of the Lockerbie bomber at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, the death of Princess Diana from Balmoral, the opening of the Scottish parliament and several Scottish elections.

Rona was also part of the British BAFTA award winning team which covered the terrorist attack at Glasgow airport. She has been the presenter of Scottish Television’s flagship politics and current affairs programme “Scotland Tonight” since it began in 2011. Rona chairs discussions with guests in the studio, as well as interviewing big names from the worlds of politics and showbusiness – from Donald Trump to Ricky Gervais.

She is also a guest presenter on BBC Radio Scotland

Keynote Speaker

Lord Robert Smith of Kelvin

Chair, Scottish Enterprise
Lord Robert Smith of Kelvin - Keynote Speaker

Lord Robert Smith is one of the UK’s most experienced chairs, Lord Smith has led organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

He was Chair of The Weir Group plc until 2013, SSE plc until 2015 and The UK Green Investment Bank until 2017. In 2014 he chaired the Organising Committee for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Smith Commission on further powers for the Scottish Parliament.

A chartered accountant by profession and former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, Lord Smith was knighted in 1999, appointed to the House of Lords as an independent cross-bench peer in 2008, appointed Knight of the Thistle in 2013, and awarded the Companion of Honour in 2016.

He is currently Chair of Scottish Enterprise, British Business Bank, IMI plc, and Forth Ports Ltd and Chancellor, University of Strathclyde.

Panel Members

Jeremy Lawson

Head of ASIRI (Aberdeen Standard Investments Research Institute)
Jeremy Lawson - Panel Member

Jeremy has been a professional macroeconomist for seventeen years and has held a range of senior positions in both the public and private sectors. He began his career at the Reserve Bank of Australia, where rose to the position of Senior Research Economist. He then joined the OECD in Paris, where he worked extensively on European public policy issues and was the Head of the Hungary/Slovenia desk. In 2010 Jeremy joined the Institute of International Economics as the Deputy Director of Global Macroeconomics before moving on to BNP Paribas as a Senior US economist, specialising in Fed policy, as well as fiscal issues and inflation. Jeremy was the Chief Economist of Standard Life Investments for five years before becoming the head of the newly formed ASI Research Institute. The Institute was founded to oversee and promote sophisticated conjunctural and scenario analysis, as well as fundamental research at the intersection of economics, politics, policy and markets. Jeremy holds an MSc in Public Financial Policy from the London School of Economics and took a sabbatical in 2007 to advise the then Australian Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd on economic and environmental policy.

Christine O'Neill

Chairman of Brodies LLP
Christine O'Neill - Panel Member

Christine O'Neill is Chairman of Brodies LLP and a recognised expert in public and constitutional law. She is, uniquely in Scotland, rated by Chambers UK as a Star Individual in administrative and public law and is also ranked in Band 1 for parliamentary and public affairs. Christine advises clients on legislation and statutory interpretation, the powers and duties of public bodies including the Scottish Parliament, and freedom of information laws and data protection. She acts for a range of Scottish and UK clients including BBC Scotland, the Gambling Commission, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, the Scottish Qualifications Authority and Edinburgh University.

Since 2009 Christine has been a member of the Scottish Government's panel of Standing Junior counsel and has represented the Government in the Supreme Court, Court of Session and Sheriff Court in cases involving public procurement, children's hearings, legal aid and human rights. She was appointed First Standing Junior Counsel to the Scottish Government in 2016.

Christine led Brodies' Government, Regulation and Competition team until 2013, when she was elected Chairman of the firm. She was re-elected for a third term as Chairman commencing 1 May 2019.

Tracy Black

Director, CBI Scotland
Tracy Black - Panel Member

Tracy Black was appointed Scotland Director on 1 January 2018, having first joined the CBI as Deputy Regional Director for Scotland in April 2017.

Alongside a varied and distinguished career in the financial services sector, where she worked with top tier global financial institutions like Goldman Sachs International and UBS AG, Tracy has experience of working with a range of SMEs and entrepreneurial start-ups, particularly spin-outs from the higher education sector.

Tracy has also provided advisory services to a range of start-ups and financial services companies and is currently co-owner of Carter Vintners Limited, a company producing high quality Australian wines. 

In addition to professional roles, Tracy has been actively involved in leadership and mentoring programmes, in particular working with school children, prisoners and ex-offenders. She also sits on the Board of Skills Development Scotland.

Ally Scott

Ally Scott, Managing Partner and Head of Transactions Advisory Services for EY Scotland
Ally Scott - Panel Member

Ally became Managing Partner for EY Scotland in 2019, after joining the firm as Head of Transactions Advisory Services in September 2016.

EY Scotland’s transactions business has grown 15% and 21% respectively under Ally’s leadership and was named Deal Team of the Year at the Scottish Business Insider’s Deals and Dealmakers Dinner in 2019. As Managing Partner, Ally introduced EY’s Private Mid-Market team in Scotland to enhance the firm’s service delivery and commitment to privately-owned businesses in the market.

Prior to joining EY, Ally was Managing Director of Barclays in Scotland where he presided over a tenfold increase in the scale of its corporate banking operations and was responsible for its 2,600-strong workforce.


7.30am Breakfast Reception, Registration & Networking

8.00am Welcome

8.15am Keynote Speaker

8.35am Panel Discussion

9.00am Q&A

9.15am Closing Remarks

9.30am Coffee & Networking

10.00am Event Concludes

*Please note timings are given as an indication and may vary at the event.

Ticket Prices

Ticket: £60 plus VAT

Table of 10: £550 plus VAT

Table of 12: £600 plus VAT


To discuss sponsorship opportunities please contact Aileen Turnbull on:
0141 309 4909
[email protected]

More Info

For more information regarding this event please contact Pamela Milligan on:
0141 309 1490
[email protected]