100 People Doing Good

The Power of 100 People

Brian Gillies

Brian Gillies

Chairman

A Scottish economics graduate, Brian worked as a fund manager in the City of London for a large institution which also bought very large properties such as hotels, office buildings and shopping centres. The shopping centres particularly attracted Brian’s interest and he gradually moved across to the property side, along the way re-qualifying as a chartered surveyor and shopping centre designer. This proved a very successful move as Brian discovered one of his great passions. Over the next few years, shopping centres where Brian acted as lead designer or development manager were voted Best in Britain, 3rd Best in Europe and Best in Europe.

One morning Brian’s wife told him the great news that she was pregnant with their second daughter: That afternoon he was told that he was being made redundant as the company he worked for had been bought by French insurance giant AXA.

Brian used his redundancy money to set up a shopping centre design business which was quickly successful, designing shopping centres across Europe. The bonuses from these allowed Brian to buy properties which he sold once he had refurbished them. Other
businesses quickly followed in investment, construction, fit-out etc and the property portfolio blossomed. At its peak in 2006 the company owned three  shopping centres, offices, factories and parades of shops with a total of over 500 tenants.

Spotting the 2007 crash coming early, Brian sold most of his investments and properties, including the shopping centres, between June 2006 and March 2007, before retiring in his 40’s. As a retirement present to himself Brian followed a childhood dream and bought a ticket to travel into space with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

For the next three years Brian only worked in the charity sector and also mentored students and small businesses. However early retirement did not prove the nirvana many believe it to be, and extreme boredom led to Brian travelling around the world for several months with his young family before deciding to settle in Singapore where he re-trained as a financial advisor, starting work in 2012. In December Brian was awarded the title of “Singapore Financial Advisor of the Year 2014”.

He has continued his love of the charity sector, joining the board of Pilotlight, Virgin Galactic Unite and is also Chairman of business charity Talent Trust. He is very proud to be establishing 100 Women Doing Good and it’s companion charity 100 Men Doing Good as a way for expats to give back to their adopted home.

Isa Schaller

Board Member

 

Isa Schaller holds a Master of Science in International business focused on the Growth of Asia and e-commerce. She is also a qualified teacher having taught English at Oxford University, local government in Spain and to the management teams in some one of the largest companies in both Spain and China. She has lived and worked in over 6 countries the past 10 years and speaks 6 languages. She has also founded, secured investment for and exited a startup.

Isa has been involved in charity and NGO work for the past decade starting through her work at KPMG with Edinburgh city council where she was part of a government initiative supporting underprivileged children with learning difficulties.

She has spent considerable time in Sichuan, China where she studied Chinese languages and culture. She was living in Chengdu during the Sichuan Earthquake in 2008, which was one of the most devastating natural disasters in the 21st century, and she quickly
became heavily involved in the relief work mainly focusing on education and on rebuilding schools and orphanages for children who had lost their families.

Isa Schaller
Lisa Montford

Lisa Montford

Events Director

 

Lisa jumped at the chance to join Brian’s team in Singapore where she runs a programme of client entertainment and charity events, including 100 Women Doing Good.

She loves seeing big ideas become reality and bringing people together to make a difference to the lives of others.  Lisa formerly managed some of the most successful fundraising events for Action for Children and was a trustee for a small, local charity in her hometown of Glasgow, working with refugees and vulnerable people in the community. She lives with her husband Geoff and their little boy, Otto.