From establishing a Scottish business networking group in Australia to bringing fintech Encompass to Glasgow, Hugh has always been committed to supporting Scotland.
A resident of Singapore since 1994, GlobalScot Hugh Sutherland has established the regional operations of three US-based multinational software companies.
He is currently a director of Dalnair International, which specialises in establishing Asia Pacific operations for software companies.
Before his time in Singapore, Hugh lived and worked in Hong Kong and Sydney.
Strong ties to Scotland
Despite being based overseas for much of his working life, Hugh has retained strong links with Scotland. From the earliest days of his career, he has been committed to helping Scottish companies do business internationally.
One example of his commitment is the Murrayfield Club, a business networking group for Scots in Australia, which he set up with a colleague.
“Back in the late 1980s, there were very few forums designed specifically for Scottish people working abroad to come together to help each other out, so I created the Murrayfield Club as a way of bringing Scots together in a business environment,” says Hugh.
Bringing Encompass to Scotland
Hugh’s experience with the Murrayfield Club meant he was happy to accept an invitation to become a GlobalScot. In the 10 years since, he has assisted a host of Scottish companies. His role in bringing Australian firm Encompass to Glasgow is a prime example of his ongoing commitment to Scotland.
Encompass provides information management technology to the insolvency and restructuring sector. The firm has established its European headquarters in Glasgow’s financial services district.
It was formed by business contacts which Hugh had made during his time in Australia who invited him to become a shareholder in the firm.
“It was clear to me that the next logical step in their growth was to move to Europe and specifically the UK, which is effectively the financial centre for Europe and has a similar approach to Australia in terms of systems and its approach to data access.
“The Encompass management team looked at different locations for their development centre, including Belfast and Manchester where they already had a sales office. I went into sales mode for Scotland and made it clear the obvious location was Glasgow, which hosts the back office systems for so many leading financial institutions and has the skilled staff they would need.
“Scotland can offer highly intelligent, business literate people who have come out of the best educational institutions like Glasgow, Strathclyde, Heriot Watt and Edinburgh universities.
“And that’s what attracted Encompass. They were impressed by the skills and knowledge of the people they could hire, with the added bonus that Scotland is close to its target markets.
“None of the management team had ever been to Scotland and they were hugely impressed by Glasgow, its people, the architecture and the business environment.”
It’s all about people
“I’ve always been enthusiastic about ‘giving something back’ because business is all about people - nothing happens till you talk to somebody,” said Hugh.
“Having a network like GlobalScot with people in foreign communities who have connections back to the home country is tremendously beneficial.”