Baird Group board of directors
Roy E. Bailie, OBE, Chairman
Roy, a graduate of Harvard Business School, is a well respected and experienced businessman who remains passionately involved in the activities of the Group and the wider business community.
Starting his print career as a hot-metal compositor, he soon developed leadership potential. In 1977 he led the management buy-out of W&G Baird Ltd from the British Printing Corporation. After forming W&G Baird (Holdings)Ltd, now known as The Baird Group, Roy embarked on the acquisition trail, purchasing MSO Ltd in 1984, Biddles Ltd in 1989, Thanet Press Ltd and Blackstaff Press Ltd in 1995, Corporate Document Services Ltd in 2000 and Newspress Ltd in 2006. On the way a number of smaller acquisitions were also made and absorbed into existing Group companies. Roy is Chairman and majority shareholder of The Baird Group.
Roy’s previous directorships include:
- U.T.V. (Ulster Television)
- MSO Cleland Ltd.
Past non-executive posts include:
- Bank of England (Board)
- Northern Ireland Tourist Board – Chairman
- British Printing Industries Federation – President
- Industrial Development Board for Northern Ireland
- CBI (Northern Ireland) – Chairman
- Bank of Ireland Court of Directors
- Bank of Ireland (N.I. Advisory Board)
- Tacade (The Advisory Council on Alcohol & Drug Education)
Fergus Bailie, Chief Executive Officer
Fergus Bailie has a strong commercial background, which started with a law degree at Durham University, continued on with a Chartered Accountancy Qualification achieved during his time with PWC, and also with a qualification in Business Management and Strategy from Columbia University.
Following 5 years at PwC in audit and mergers & acquisitions, Fergus joined CDS in 2007, and after a period of time as a Digital Consultant involved in various technology projects Fergus was appointed to the Board as Commercial Director responsible for finance, commercial contracts, HR, as well as Group responsibility for Newspress’ performance and strategic direction.
Fergus was appointed CDS CEO in January 2011 and during his time, the company has experienced profitable growth in all areas of the business, and diversified the service offering to existing customers as well as moving into new sectors such as Financial Services and Transport.
Fergus has a passion for entrepreneurial activities and as well as bringing several new prospects through CDS, Fergus dedicates time to business start-ups as part of his role as Business Mentor for the Princes Trust, helping young people start their own business. Fergus is also on the regional council of the CBI for Yorkshire & the Humber.
When not at CDS, Fergus enjoys spending time with his wife Kate and 2 daughters Nora and Oona, is a huge Ulster and Ireland rugby fan, and enjoys the occasional game of tennis for good measure!
Philip Walter, Chief Operating Officer
Philip Walter is a Chartered Director and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Chartered Management Institute. He has a BSc(Hons) and Diploma in Systems Practice from the Open University and is registered with the Engineering Council as an Incorporated Engineer.
He joined the Baird Group as Chief Operating Officer in 2015 after a highly successful 17 years with the Phoenix IT Group plc. Having joined Phoenix Computers in 1997 when it employed 250 staff and turned over £20m the growth of the company provided challenges and opportunities as it acquired in the UK, Germany, France and Holland.
After 14 months as MD of Phoenix GmbH he filled a variety of Service Director roles as the company continued to grow, achieving a full listing on the UK stock market, culminating in Operations Director responsible for a £90m budget and a team of nearly 2000 personnel. Prior to Phoenix he was an Engineer Officer in the submarine branch of the Royal Navy.
His two sons have followed him into engineering; one is engaged in a PhD and the other in an MEng. He pursues a range of interests and is Vice Chair of the Nottingham IoD and Secretary of the IAMCP. He still gets his “hands dirty” by restoring a series Land Rover and then “washes” them by long distance open water swimming.
Mrs E P A Bailie
John McCann, Non-executive director
The former chief executive of the Belfast-based Wireless Group, formerly UTV Media, retired from his role in May 2016 and joined The Baird Group as non-executive director in 2018.