Stuart McGuire – a winner on every level

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.


There are winners… and there are winners. And Scorpio Distributors Founder and Managing Director Stuart McGuire, not for the first time, proved himself the best possible example when his company was named ‘Supplier of the Year’ at the recent Inflight Sales Person of the Year (ISPY) Awards.

This award was particularly significant as it was judged by the airline retailers – concessionaires and in-house – who attended the event.

“We have never won a prize for anything before… ever,” said the delighted and clearly overwhelmed recipient. If that’s the case, it’s an oversight, for very few companies and individuals in this channel have displayed the qualities or the success of Stuart McGuire and Scorpio.

Mind you he comes from good stock. His father Bruce is also a great achiever of the business, having built his UK distribution company Clifford International into a major powerhouse, culminating in its sale to Ronson in the early 1990s. Bruce is still active in the business, playing an important brand and relationship role in Scorpio’s impressive expansion.

Stuart’s university degree was in law and politics but selling was in his blood. In 1997 he founded Scorpio and he’s never looked back since, overcoming all the pressures that face independent entrepreneurs as well as family tragedy (the loss of his young son Freddie in a car accident in 2000).

He and his company have flourished because of their innate honesty and integrity, linked to reliable customer service and Stuart’s instinctive knack of what will sell onboard an airline. 

Those qualities helped attract the interest of German wholesale-to-retail giant Gebr Heinemann and last September the two companies announced a new partnership agreement in which Gebr Heinemann holds 51% and Scorpio the balance.

The marriage of two independents, both built on family values and high-quality supply chain management, seems to have winner written all over it. So did the face of Stuart McGuire at the ISPY Awards. Never has there been a more deserving one.

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