Death announced

Business leader Nick Kuenssberg dies, aged 80

Nick Kuenssberg
Nick Kuenssberg: died on Sunday

Nick Kuenssberg, one of Scotland’s veteran company directors and father of BBC journalist Laura, has died aged 80.

The Edinburgh-born businessman was a prominent figure on the corporate scene in the UK and overseas until moving into social and civic roles across Scotland’s central belt.

Mr Kuenssberg, the son of a German doctor who moved to Scotland in the 1930s, spent a large part of his career in the textiles industry, mainly with the cotton thread supplier Coats in Paisley and later with Dawson International during its ownership of Pringle, which was popular with golf stars such as Nick Faldo.

He sat on the boards of Bank of Scotland, ScottishPower and Standard Life and in more recent years chaired the Institute of Directors Scotland, the digital trade group ScotlandIS, and Social Investment Scotland.

Nick Kuenssberg with former RBS executive Ken Barclay (pic: Terry Murden)

He became an angel investor, supporting more than 40 businesses since 1996 and made a return to textiles by helping Scott & Fyfe, a Tayport-based company, to transform into an employee-owned company.

His non-business interests included trustee of the Pitlochry Festival Theatre and chairing the Glasgow School of Art and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He was on the Scottish Legal Aid board and was deputy Chairman of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. 

He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde and an Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow.

Laura Kuenssberg
Nick Kuenssberg was the father of the BBC journalist Laura (pic: Terry Murden)

Other non-executive board roles included the cloud computing firm Iomart and the plant hire firm Gap.

In his latter years he sat on the board of Gabriel Investments, the investment syndicate, and was the chairman at Frog Systems, a software company that provides wellbeing content.

Mr Kuenssberg’s family home was in Glasgow’s west end and he was a fluent speaker in French, German, Spanish and Italian. He studied at Oxford University and Manchester Business School.

In 1965 he married Sally Robertson, who in 2000 was appointed CBE for services to child welfare. She survives him with their son, David, a senior civil servant, and their daughters, Joanna, a former high commissioner to Mozambique, and Laura, the BBC’s former political editor.

He is understood to have died on Sunday after a period of illness.

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