Bailie Group CEO, Fergus Bailie, has been announced as the Yorkshire and Humber regional chair of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) — the most influential organisation of its type, speaks on behalf of 170,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors, across every region and nation of the UK.

Having held the post of vice-chair for the past year, Fergus’s appointment represents a particularly nostalgic moment for the company as, in a case of history repeating itself, Fergus’s father, Roy Bailie OBE, previously held the same position — but for the Northern Ireland division in the 1990s.

Having studied for a law degree, Fergus took his first steps into business 22 years ago. Taking on a role with PWC, he achieved chartered accountancy status working in the audit team and finally in mergers and acquisitions. It was from here that Fergus joined the family business, initially taking on a project management position, later working his way up from commercial director to managing director, and finally to the CEO position he occupies today.

Of his experiences and ambitions for the CBI, Fergus shared: “I’ve been a member of the CBI for nine years and have always believed it to be an essential organisation – championing and empowering British businesses to strive for excellence.

“2024 is a hugely important year for Yorkshire businesses and the political landscape will shape all our futures. With general and mayoral elections happening this year, the voice of Yorkshire businesses needs to be heard by politicians, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”

“It’s an honour to be able to bring my own perspectives to the role. I hope that my experiences as an SME business leader will enhance our ability to further represent the diverse interests of our membership, as we navigate the challenging economic climate that we find ourselves in.”

Having overseen the growth of Bailie Group from £20m turnover when he joined, to £60m and 450 employees today, Fergus has experience of guiding through challenging periods – including the financial crisis in the late 2000s, the Covid pandemic, and the current cost of living crisis – Fergus will bring his experiences forged from leading SME, technology-focused businesses, and add a perspective on the impact that macroeconomic factors and government policy can have on them.

Commenting on Fergus’s appointment to the role, Beckie Hart, CBI regional director for Yorkshire and Humber said:

“Firstly, I would like to thank Jane Madeley for her steadfast commitment to the role of regional chair and support of the CBI Yorkshire & Humber team. I’m pleased that she will continue in the role of vice-chair during 2024.

“I’m delighted Fergus Bailie will be taking on the role of chair in what will be a pivotal year for the country. His knowledge and experience of running businesses through difficult periods will bring crucial insight and help shape the agenda for stability and sustainable growth across the UK. It’s more important than ever that the voice of business is heard in the run-up to the general election as well as the local and mayoral elections.”

Bailie Group is a family-owned collection of agencies and consultancies, focussing on investing in people and ideas that make a positive difference. The Group provides a range of communication services including cybersecurity, software development, cloud engineering, data analytics, content creation and training. Clients include MOD, Asda, Met Police, Transport for London and Hays Travel.