Corporate Ego – failures of governance in Scotland and beyond

  • 20 October 2022
  • Edinburgh
  • Event
Event Details

Join us on Thursday 20th October for our upcoming event 'Corporate Ego – failures of governance in Scotland and beyond'.

The format of the evening will be:

  • Sir Ewan will provide a talk about his book 'Corporate Ego', (self-published in December 2021.) The book postulated that the prime culprit for each company’s fall from grace was the development of a collective mindset in the boardroom.
  • Reactions from the talk will then be drawn from the panel.
  • There will then be time allocated at the end of the evening and a chance for networking, with drinks and canapes on offer.


Sir Ewan Brown

Sir Ewan Brown


Ewan Brown was educated at Perth Academy and St Andrews University. He was an executive director of Noble Grossart, merchant bankers, for over thirty five years and a non-executive director for a further fourteen years.

His past directorships included Scottish Financial Enterprise (chair), Entrepreneurial Scotland, Lloyds TSB Scotland (chair), Lloyds TSB Group, Wood Group, Stagecoach Group, Dunedin Income Growth Investment Trust (chair), Aberdeen Trust, Scottish Widows Bank, Scottish Transport Group and Scottish Development Finance.

At Lloyds TSB Group, Ewan chaired the audit committee and the trustees of the group pension schemes and was the senior independent director.

He was Scottish Business Insider non-executive director of the year in 1998 and 1999

Ewan has been an honorary professor of finance at Heriot-Watt University, senior governor of St Andrews University, treasurer of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, depute chair of the Edinburgh International Festival, chair of Creative Scotland and Master of the Royal Company of Edinburgh Merchants. Other previous appointments have included the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, the Council of Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland; the Royal Scottish Academy Foundation and he chaired the Court of Heriot-Watt University.


He received a CBE for services to public life in Scotland and was knighted for services to business, public life and philanthropy. 


Simon Thompson

Simon Thompson

Chartered Banker Institute | Chief Executive


Simon Thompson was appointed as Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute in 2007 after working for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in Central & Eastern Europe, and for the International Federation of Accountants.  Under his leadership, the Institute has grown to become the largest professional body for bankers in the UK, with nearly 35,000 members and students in more than 100 countries.

Simon is the author of Green & Sustainable Finance: Principles and Practice, published by Kogan Page and leads the Institute’s work in this area. He chairs the UK’s Green Finance Education Charter on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is a former Vice President of the European Bank Training Network. 

View Simon's LinkedIn profile here. 


George Littlejohn

George Littlejohn

CISI | Senior Adviser

George Littlejohn qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC in London before becoming a journalist with The Economist, specialising in financial and economic matters. He is now Senior Adviser at the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), having conducted advisory work in financial centres across Europe, the Middle East and Asia over the past two decades. He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, and the author of a number of works on risk management in finance.
Sarah Ivory

Sarah Ivory

B-CCaS / University of Edinburgh Business School | Director / Senior Lecturer


Dr Sarah Birrell Ivory is a Lecturer in Climate Change and Business Strategy at the University of Edinburgh Business School (UEBS), and Director of the Centre for Business, Climate Change and Sustainability (B-CCaS). She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a former elected non-professorial member of the University of Edinburgh Senatus Academicus. She is a past-Chair of the British Academy of Management Sustainable and Responsible Business Special Interest Group (SIG). Dr Ivory has been teaching at the University of Edinburgh Business School for over a decade.

Dr Ivory has a BCom (hons) from the University of Melbourne, an MBA from Melbourne Business School (including an exchange semester at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), an MSc (by research) and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. Prior to academia Dr Ivory worked for a decade in the private sector in Singapore, Indonesia and Australia. She has lectured and presented in person and virtually across the world including in  the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, France, Belgium and China. Dr Ivory has extensive experience supervising undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students from multiple countries including the UK, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, South Africa, Canada, Ireland, Russia, Germany, Poland, China, Indonesia, Egypt, and Iran.

Dr Ivory has recently established the Global Challenges for Business compulsory first year course for all UEBS undergraduate students. This new course focuses not only on the global challenges students will face as they embark on their scholarly and then graduate life, but explicitly on the skills of critical thinking that will be essential to navigating such issues.  Designed around three foundational aspects of critical thinking - quality of argument, strength of evidence, clarity of presentation - the course acts as a foundation for a business degree focusing on teaching students how to think, rather than what to think. The course won a prestigious 2019 Aspen Institute Ideas Worth Teaching educational award. It was the only European-based course to receive an award in that year. Past recipients include Havard and MIT. It was from the teachings on this course the Dr Ivory started teaching critical thinking, leading to her recently published Oxford University Press textbook: Becoming a Critical Thinker: for your university studies and beyond. The book has been adopted by universities across the world to support their student’s transition into university, and their transition to critical thinking.

Dr Ivory is part of the team delivering the Strategic Leadership module to the flagship MBA programme, and is a regular guest lecturer in other schools around the university including the Law School, School of Geosciences, and School of Politics and Social Sciences. 

In the past, Dr Ivory has taught strategy, leadership, sustainability, as well as all aspects of the business and climate change.

In addition to a focus on teaching, Dr Ivory has an established research career in sustainability, social enterprise, and critical thinking pedagogy. She recently co-authored a Journal of Business Ethics article in a Special Issue relating to paradox and sustainability, and a Business Strategy and the Environment article relating to Scaling Sustainability within an organisation.

James Barbour

James Barbour

ICAS | Director - Policy Leadership


James Barbour CA, is Director, Policy Leadership, at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), where he oversees the work on various areas including Audit and Assurance, Ethics and Corporate and Financial Reporting. He is also responsible for the ICAS Ethics Board and is the lead on all matters connected with The Power of One initiative. James qualified as a CA in 1996 and worked in general practice (primarily audit) with one of Scotland’s largest independent firms before joining ICAS in 1999.

James is a member of the UK Endorsement Board’s Accounting Firms & Institutes Advisory Group (AFIAG) He is also a member of Accountancy Europe (AE)’s Audit and Assurance Policy Group, Professional Ethics and Competencies Working Group, and is the ICAS representative at the AE Members’ Assembly. He is a recent former technical adviser to a UK Board member on the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) and the technical adviser on ethics to the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA). He remains a member of the IESBA Technology Task Force.

James regularly represents ICAS at meetings with standard-setting bodies, government bodies, regulators, and others concerning various business and technical issues, such as audit and assurance, corporate reporting, and ethics. He is also an Honorary Professor in the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow.

As places are limited please only register to attend if you have intentions to travel to Edinburgh and attend in-person.

Please fill in the form below to secure your place:


Date & Schedule


Thursday 20th October 2022


Library of Mistakes

33A Melville Street Lane

Provisional Timings


18:00 – 18:10 Talk by Sir Ewan

18:10 – 18:30 panel discussion

18:30 – 18:50 Q&A

18:50 – 21:00 Canapes and Drinks

Booking Details

As places are limited please only register to attend if you have intentions to travel to Edinburgh and attend in-person.

To secure your place please fill in the form below:

Please note that numbers are limited so book early to avoid dissapointment.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]