Bill Gammell

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Sir William Benjamin Bowring Gammell, commonly known as Bill Gammell (born 29 December 1952) is a Scottish sportsman and industrialist.

Early life

Bill Gammell was born in Edinburgh. His father was an investment banker, invited at an early age to join Edinbugh's Ivory & Sime (which was started in the late 1800s with the formation of the British Assets Trust.) Gammell attended Edinburgh's exclusive Fettes College where he was friends and debating partners with future British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The two have remained close friends. After Fettes, Gammell attended the University of Stirling where he obtained a BA in Economics and Accountancy.


Gammell played rugby union at county level and for the Scottish national team. A tall wing, he earned five international caps, and played in the game against Japan in 1977 in Tokyo when he scored four tries in the Scots' 74-9 victory.

Gammell scored two tries on his debut for Scotland, against Ireland at Murrayfield in 1977.

Business career

After his rugby career was ended by injury, Gammell followed his father into business. Using venture capital, he founded Cairn Energy in Edinburgh. The company invested in several unsuccessful oilfields in the US before making a modest strike in the Pennsylvania oilfield. Gammell was appointed Cairn's Chief Executive on its initial listing in 1989. In the mid 1990s he led the company in a radical reallocation of its assets, moving out of US and North Sea oil and gas concerns...
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