Jim McColl left school at 16 to take up an engineering apprenticeship with Weir Pumps in Glasgow. After six years he left work to take up full time study at Strathclyde University for a BSc Degree in Technology and Business Studies. After graduating with an Honours Degree in 1978 he returned to Weir Pumps where he remained for three years while studying part-time for an MBA.
In 1981 he moved to a senior management position with Diamond Power Speciality Limited. In 1986 he become a self-employed “company doctor” and, after two successful turnarounds, in 1992 he bought 29.9% of a small Scottish engineering company, Clyde Blowers PL which now has over 55% of the world market.
On Tuesday 8th May 2007, over 135 years after the Weir brothers founded their business, Jim McColl announced the acquisition of Weir Pumps (Glasgow) from The Weir Group plc. As a result of this transaction, the diverse portfolio of technologies, process knowledge and expertise generated by Weir Pumps was incorporated into a newly created company, Clyde Pumps Ltd saving 600 jobs and an important part of Scotland’s engineering heritage.
Over the past 10 years Clyde Blowers has developed into a truly global portfolio of 83 Companies in 27 different countries, employing 5,000 people around the world, with an annual turnover in excess of £1.4 billion.