- Category : Business-Entrepreneur
- Type : GP
- Profile : 1/4 - Investigating / Opportunist
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sphinx 2
Scottish entrepreneur, the Director of Stagecoach Bus Company. With his sister, director Ann Souter Gloag, he exploited the opportunities that arose when Margaret Thatcher deregulated local transport during the 1980s, turning the company into a global transport empire within 20 years.
The son of a bus driver, Souter and his sister were raised on an estate near Perth without television and were taught to shun drink and tobacco. He was always polite and humble but was noted for his mischievous sense of humor. He earned his diploma in commerce from the Dundee College of Technology, and with his sister, he established the Stagecoach Bus Company in 1980, starting business with a couple of used buses purchased with his father’s redundancy money. Privatization of the railways further expanded his business holdings, and in October 1999, he and his sister purchased a large stake in a small airline, now called ScotAirways.
His life seems full of contradictions. While he sends his children to state schools and believes in free health services and education for all, Souter is a ruthless businessman whose interests stretch from Scandinavia to Africa, to the United States as well as Hong Kong. He once stated that "ethics aren’t irrelevant, but some are incompatible with what we have to do, because capitalism is based on greed." His management approach toward his workers is unusual as well. He often made them work extremely long hours when the business was getting started, and he cut their wages because they had gone higher than the market rate. Although a former union member himself and a supporter of trade unions in general, when his employees were poised for a strike against overtime, he threatened to bring in scab labor. However, his employees are given free shares every year, and their pension plan is the best in the industry. He is Scotland’s richest man with a fortune estimated at over 565 million pounds in 2000; his sister is the country’s richest woman.
Souter is a devout member of the Evangelical Church of the Nazarene and a lay preacher who openly opposes issues such as discussing sexual relationships in schools. He donated 500,000 pounds to a campaign opposing the government’s repeal of a law against discussing homosexuality in schools, but says he is not homophobic, he simply doesn’t believe in promoting homosexuality.
He is married with four children.