Introduction from Sandy Begbie, Chair, Scottish HR Leadership Group

I am delighted to introduce you to the Scottish HR Leadership Group.
Following a number of high level discussions, the Board and I feel there is a need for a senior HR forum in Scotland and we are all keen to give back to the HR profession.
Primarily the Scottish HR Leadership Group will focus on the advancement of the profession in Scotland plus have a development and mentoring framework.  If you wish to express an interest in joining, you must agree to mentor an individual from another member’s organisation.
Our aim is to ensure an interesting, diverse and experienced group of senior practitioners across all sectors who can develop talent and as business leaders contribute and influence the broader societal agenda.
The Scottish HR Leadership Group has a website ( which you can access, it will be fully operational by 1st December 2017 and mentoring will begin in 2018.
Please register your interest at  In addition we will host 3 or 4 events a year and the Leadership Dinner is confirmed for the 1st November 2018.
I look forward to meeting you in 2018.
Sandy Begbie
Director, Global People, Organisation & Culture Integration, Standard Life Aberdeen plc
Chair of Scottish HR Leadership Group


The Scottish HR Leadership Group is a senior networking forum which aims to develop and benefit talent across the profession.

We aim to:

  • Advance the HR profession in Scotland
  • Give access to senior individuals across the profession for development
  • Influence the broader societal agenda

For further information please visit our website or contact Alix Meekison, Secretary to the Board on

Board Members

Sandy Begbie, Standard Life Aberdeen plc (Chair)

Sandy Begbie is responsible for the Global People, Organisation & Culture Integration since the successful merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management on 14 August 2017. He is also the Lead Executive for the Joint Venture Heng An Standard Life in China and the Asia business based in Hong Kong. Sandy joined Standard Life in May 2010 as the Group Transformation Director. Awarded ‘Most Influential HR Director in the UK 2016’ and ‘One of the 10 Most Influential HR Directors of the Decade in 2015’. He was a NED with the Scottish Government for 9 years, latterly on the Strategic Board and also Chairman of the Scottish Government Remuneration Comm. He is a member of the ‘Global HR 50 Group’ a group of the top 50 HRD’s globally, Chairman of Career Ready, Scottish Advisory Board (SAB) and also Chairs the new Regional Developing Young Workforce (DYW) group to tackle Edinburgh and Lothian youth unemployment. He was recently appointed as a NED to the Open University Board.

Lynne Burns, RBS plc

Lynne was appointed as HR Director, Personal & Business Banking in April 2016. Prior to this role she was HR Director for Organisation & Performance and was responsible for strategy and deployment across, Executive Reward and Proposition, Executive development and Executive search. As well as Organisational Design, Leadership, Talent and Performance Management, Culture Development, Organisation Effectiveness and Inclusion.
Recently, along with her Group Communications colleagues, Lynne was a key architect in the design and implementation of the Think outside the Bank Campaign and the launch of RBS 'Our Values'.
Previously Lynne held the role of HR Director Group Talent where she led RBS Resourcing, Learning, Talent and Performance Management, Culture Development, Organisation Effectiveness and Inclusion.
Lynne has also held a variety of HR and business roles across RBS, including HR Director, Group Functions and Non-Core HR, HR Director, Group Corporate Functions; Group Head of Diversity; Head of Sales Delivery, Direct Sales, Retail Banking, RBSG and Head of HR, Royal Scottish Assurance plc, subsidiary of RBSG.
Lynne is a member of the Institute of Personnel & Development, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and a Fellow of the Centre for Performance-led HR at the University of Lancaster. She is married to Paul and has 2 daughters, Emma and Rachel.

Jacqui Mallin, Tesco Bank plc

Jacqui is the People Director at Tesco Bank and a member of the Tesco Bank Executive Committee. Jacqui has extensive Leadership experience and has spent her career working across a number of industries, including General Insurance, Life and Pensions, Telecoms and Banking.
Jacqui spent five years at Aegon, a Scottish based Life and Pensions Business, where she was accountable for leading HR Operations while also leading the HR Transformation programme. Jacqui then moved on to take up a broader leadership role at Standard Life, leading the group people operations, while also leading a multi-million pound award winning group people transformation programme. While at Standard Life, Jacqui was awarded HR Director of the Year at the HR Network Awards in 2013 and also received the Customer Excellence Award from Oracle for the programme's Return on Investment.
Prior to joining Tesco Bank, Jacqui led the people and transformation programme at the market-leading telecoms provider, Three UK.

Carol Henry, Arnold Clark

Carol Henry has been HR Director of the Arnold Clark Group for five years. She has a BA (Hons) in Business Management with HR from the University of Paisley, and spent three years with Scottish Power in an HR role. Carol joined Arnold Clark in 2002 as a Training and Development Coordinator, then worked as Group HR Manager before progressing to her present role. Today, she leads a proactive HR department that offers strong leadership throughout the business, delegating responsibilities and guiding branches in managing over 11,000 employees. Her remit is extensive, encompassing employee relations, employee engagement, recruitment, payroll and training. Carol is a chartered fellow of the CIPD. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family.

Jane Brydon, Heineken UK Ltd

Current Position: HR Director
Tenure in position: 3 years
Tenure in the Company: 3 years
Academic Background:
Jane has an MBA from the University of Strathclyde and an under graduate degree in Economics and Economic History from the University of Glasgow.
2014-Present: Heineken UK Human Resources Director
2010-2014: People and Communications Director, Sainsbury’s Bank
2008-2010: HR Director, Scottish Widows, Lloyds Banking Group
2004-2008: HR Director, Group Functions, HBOS
2001-2004: Director of Senior Talent and Search, HBOS

Rosemary McGinness, Weir Group plc

Rosemary joined Weir as Chief People Officer in the summer of 2017.
Rosemary was Group HR Director of William Grant & Sons, the international premium spirits group, for twelve years. Having started her career in line management with Forte Hotels Rosemary has held a range of positions covering all aspects of Human Resources across the globe, including being based in New York in her role as Senior Vice President of HR for document management company Bowne Business Solutions.
Rosemary is an Advisory Board Member to the School for CEO’s and an Advisory Board Member of the University of Strathclyde Business School. She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Kate Guthrie, CYBG plc

Kate Guthrie was appointed Group HR Director, CYBG, owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, in 2016, with responsibility for establishing and leading HR strategy and performance for the newly independent bank.
Kate was recruited as part of a new executive management team put in place to prepare CYBG for flotation on the stock exchange in 2016 and to establish CYBG as the UK’s leading independent challenger bank.
Leading a team of around 90 people, Kate has established a new people strategy for CYBG, built around a cultural transformation programme focussed on improving performance and service across the Bank’s workforce of around 6,000 people and supported by a new HR operational framework delivered by Kate and her team, following the Bank’s separation and demerger from National Australia Bank.
In her role, Kate has also worked closely with the new Board and Remuneration Committee to put in place the Bank’s remuneration strategy, implementing a new reward strategy, including pensions, across the whole group as well as leading the delivery of the Bank’s restructuring programme.
Kate’s career has been built upon an extensive range of UK and international experience managing mergers and acquisitions, organisational restructurings, culture change, leadership and talent development, as well as employee relations. Her previous roles have spanned a range of leading FTSE firms across multiple sectors, including Novartis, Diageo and Marks & Spencer.
She joined CYBG from Lloyds Banking Group where she was first HR Director for Scottish Widows and then LBG’s wider Insurance Division, before becoming Group HR Director for Culture, Capacity & Engagement.
An active supporter of various charities, Kate was appointed a trustee of Action for Children in 2014 and was previously Chair of the Bank of Scotland Foundation, one of Scotland’s largest charitable donors.
In October 2011 Kate led the hugely successful Lloyds Banking Group / Save the Children expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro, combining her charitable roles and love for outdoor pursuits and hill walking.

John Stewart, SSE plc

John is the Director of HR for SSE and reports the CEO, Alistair Phillips-Davies. John has worked in a broad range of senior management roles in both the UK and in the US. He is passionate about people development and actively promotes the development of young people through SSE’s talent pipeline programmes and through his membership of the Developing Young People National Board in Scotland and as part of the Career Ready Advisory Board in Scotland.
John is strongly committed to SSE being a Responsible Employer through adoption of the Living Wage Programme and through the publishing of SSE’s ground-breaking ‘Human Capital’ and Changing Lives, Growing Value reports. John views these reports as a positive means to engage around the economic benefits that can be generated by employing and developing young people into sustainable employment.
SSE has been following a strategy of being transparent in its human reporting and published its gender pay gap two years early and has recently published its Valuing Difference Report which considers the Return on Investment offered by its Inclusion Strategy.
Outside work his interests include his family, cycling, tennis and travel. John is also a school governor and mentors a number of people within the HR arena.

Shirley Campbell, Scottish Water

As one of the largest global water companies Scottish Water provides vital services to over 2.4 million households and 159,000 business premises across Scotland.
Winning 2017 Institute of Directors Female Director of the Year award, Best Fair Work Employer of the Year at the 2016 Scottish Business Awards, 2016 HR Network (Scotland) Best Workplace award also in 2012), 2015 Business Insider Scotland’s Best Employer Award, CIPD Organisational Learning award, the Utility Industry Staff Development Award and the Energy and Utility Skills Business Skills Award in 2012 is testimont to the role the organisation takes to the development and engagement of its 3600 people.
As Director for People, Shirley Campbell believes that Scottish Water, as a major employer in Scotland, has a responsibility to develop skills and capabilities which people can take back into their communities.
In addition to her role as a member of the Scottish Water Executive team Shirley also has responsibility for Scottish Water International and Internal Communications. Shirley is passionate about Agile working and creating environments where people can flourish and be highly productive, She is also a lay member of Court at the University of Dundee and Chair of their People and Organisational Development Committee, and a member of their Remuneration Committee.
With 16 years cross sector experience at Executive level Shirley has held senior Human Resources and Corporate Services roles at Heriot Watt University, Royal and Sun Alliance (UK Director for Human Resources) and Aviva (UK Organisational Development Director and before joining Scottish Water in 2011).
Whist at Aviva she took on the role of Operations Director for Norwich Union Direct and worked Internationally on the development of Aviva’s Indian operations. She has also been an adviser to INSEAD Business School in France on their Executive Education programme.
She has a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a post graduate qualification in Personnel Management. Shirley is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development and a trained counsellor.

Ruth Chandler, Skyscanner

Ruth Chandler is Chief People Officer at Skyscanner, a global travel search site, with over 1000 people in offices across 8 countries, supporting over 60 million travellers monthly. Ruth has over 20 years’ experience in a range of specialist HR and People leadership roles in high profile organisations. She has been instrumental in ensuring that ‘People’ are at the heart of Skyscanner’s ongoing success – believing that ‘great people build great product’.

Susan Murphy, The University of Edinburgh

Susan Elaine Murphy was formerly Director of the School of Strategic Leadership Studies at James Madison University and Professor of Leadership Studies. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on leadership, leadership development, and mentoring. Her work has been published in Academy of Management Executive (currently Academy of Management Perspectives), Leadership Quarterly, Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Making, Journal of Vocational Behaviour, Journal of Business and Psychology, and the Journal of Applied Psychology. Her most recent edited volume with Rebecca Reichard is Early Development and Leadership: Building the Next Generation of Leaders and an authored book, Power Mentoring: How Successful Mentors and Protégés Make the Most of Their Relationships, with Ellen Ensher. She also serves on the editorial board of The Leadership Quarterly.

John Evans, Student Loans Company

John Evans joined the Student Loans Company in early 2017 as HR Director having held HR Director and CEO roles in a number of private and public sector organisations. John is currently responsible for HR, Organisational Design & Development and Communications. John holds an MBA from Edinburgh University and qualifications in HR, marketing, coaching and company governance. John has involvement with a number of charities involved in sport and working with disadvantaged young people and communities.

Alix Meekison, FWB Park Brown (Secretary)

Alix is a Director at FWB Park Brown with almost twenty years experience in HR, she has worked with the majority of the HR population in Scotland and has been instrumental in the formation of the Scottish HR Leadership Group. Alix is also an experienced non executive director having worked with several government agencies and third sector organisations over a number of years. She is very interested in the Arts, Charities and not for profit sectors and combines this with being a busy mum to Claudia.