Christmas spotlight: Fergus Bailie


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Our CEO’s festive blog appeared recently in the Yorkshire Times.

If ever there was a year when we need some festive cheer, it’s 2020. So, for our annual advent calendar of Q&As with the region’s businesspeople, we’ve tried to focus on what brings you joy.

Next up, it’s Fergus Bailie, CEO of The Bailie Group.

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1. Complete the sentence: “If there’s one thing 2020 has taught me, it’s…”

…to expect the unexpected! I am a big fan of Jack Reacher novels and as he always says: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth!” 2020 has taught me the value of being fluid and flexible!

2. If you could give a one-line shout out to your team, for how they’ve handled this year, what would you say?

I am incredibly proud of the resilience, good nature, and determination our team have displayed to deliver quality work, support each other, and remain committed in the face of incredible challenges.

3. Were you guilty of any lockdown splurges?

Ah – indeed! I bought a bean to cup coffee machine as the one thing I missed in the initial lockdown was a cappuccino. It has made Lockdown 2.0 a much more caffeinated experience!

4. In fewer than 50 words, summarise three things your business has to look forward to, in 2021.

We recently completed an acquisition (SimpleUsability) that will provide exciting opportunities, alongside internal growth potential in cyber, digital, training, transactional print, and PR. We also have a new office at Granary Wharf to look forward to – the best place to work in Leeds, if I do say so myself.

5. Which business do you think has gone above and beyond, this year?

I’m going local here – I live near an independent café In York called Love to Eat. Fiona, who runs it, has done a brilliant job in remaining open throughout the pandemic, by offering takeaways and providing amazing afternoon teas, casseroles, and Sunday lunches for people in the area. Really hard-working, inventive, and a huge asset to the local community.

6. What’s your oldest Christmas memory?

I remember my parents organising a Christmas party for their friends and kids – I guess I was about four years old. We went for a group walk in a nearby forest and Santa came out of the woods and gave a present to all the kids. I was so excited, and then discovered he’d given me a toothbrush! Who gets a four-year-old a toothbrush, Santa?! That’s always stuck with me!

7. What’s the one thing you could never be without, on your Christmas dinner plate?

Goose fat roast potatoes – non-negotiable.

8. What’s your favourite Christmas tipple, film, and tune?

I like a chilled Doom Bar, whilst watching Die Hard (IT IS A CHRISTMAS MOVIE!) and listening to the Pogues’ ‘Fairytale in New York’.

9. What are you most looking forward to about Christmas 2020?

We hope against hope that we will be able to visit our family in Northern Ireland. My wife and I are both from NI and all our relatives live there. It’s been ages since we have been over, and they are all desperate to see the grandkids.

10. And a message to your friends, family, colleagues and peers as they welcome in 2021?

Think what a party we will have when all this is over.

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CDS Marketing

CDS Marketing

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