Cowal Highland Gathering announces its 2016 Chieftain - Cowal Highland Gathering
25th - 27th August 2022


News  »  Cowal Highland Gathering announces its 2016 Chieftain

Cowal Highland Gathering announces its 2016 Chieftain

One of the UK’s most successful business figures has been unveiled as the Honorary Chieftain of this year’s Cowal Highland Gathering (CHG).

Nick Ferguson CBE will accept the salute from the massed bands as well as present the trophies in the prestigious Highland Dancing and Pipe Band competitions.

Nick – who has lived in Argyll for many years and is recognised nationally and beyond for his philanthropy as well as his business achievements – said he was honoured to be asked to be the ceremonial head of this year’s Gathering.

“This is a wonderful event, and one which brings so much not just to Dunoon and the surrounding area but to Argyll and Bute as a whole,” he said.

“It is a real showcase for our region, with thousands of people flocking to the area to experience what must surely be one of the most spectacular highland games events.

“Many come for longer than the Gathering weekend itself, and have time to explore other parts of Argyll and Bute while they are here. What they discover and experience on their first visit often brings them back again in the future, so the success of the event is a major contributor to the success of the local tourism sector – and economy - both in the short and longer term.

“I am very proud to call Argyll and Bute ‘home’, and I’m looking forward to being right at the heart of the action for what is one of the biggest weekends in the area’s calendar.”

Nick is Chairman of Savills plc and former Chairman of Sky plc, SVG Capital Plc (where he was also CEO) and Schroder Ventures, which became Permira. He is also a member of the Board of Maris Capital, and Chairman of Alta Advisers.

Closer to home, Nick is Chairman of the Argyll and Bute Economic Forum - a private, public and voluntary sector partnership dedicated to driving forward economic change in the area.

He and his wife, Jane, are also leaders in philanthropy, and received the ‘Beacon Award for Place-Based Philanthropy’ in 2013.

In 2003 Nick founded the Kilfinan Group, a group of senior business people who provide free and informal mentoring to chief executives of charitable organisations. He is also former Chairman of the Institute for Philanthropy.

Argyll has always been a key focus of his efforts. Nick and Jane’s Kilfinan Trust aims to benefit young people and the elderly in Argyll and Bute. They also have a programme of interest free loans for entrepreneurs who create jobs in the area and they part-finance the Argyll College Construction and Engineering Centre in Lochgilphead.

Each year, the Trust provides scholarships to 12 students from Argyll and Bute to help them attend Edinburgh University, from where Nick graduated in Economics. He also has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

CHG Chair Ronnie Cairns said: “There cannot be many people who give so much of their knowledge, expertise and funds back to their local community, and we are obviously very pleased to have someone of Nick’s stature as this year’s Chieftain.

“He is someone who invests in Argyll and Bute and its people in every possible way. I can’t think of a more suitable person to head up this years’ event.

“For many years, Nick has been a passionate supporter not just of the Cowal peninsula where he lives, but of Argyll and Bute as a whole. His record in helping local people reach their full potential and trying to make this a better place in which to live and work is second to none, and he has rightly been recognised for his tireless efforts in this regard.

“As one of the UK’s most high profile business figures as well as a local resident, Nick is a perfect choice to be our Chieftain and we’re delighted he has agreed to step into the role. We very much look forward to welcoming him to Dunoon in just a couple of months’ time for what is shaping up to be a fantastic weekend.”

This year’s Cowal Highland Gathering runs from Thursday 25 – Saturday 27 August. For information or to book tickets, please visit the Gathering’s website at or contact the event office by emailing or phoning 01369 703206.