Bailie Group

Investing in people and ideas that make a positive difference and properties that inspire

About Us

Bailie Group is a family owned group of agencies and consultancies with the collective mission to improve people’s lives by sharing knowledge. We want to make a difference. We work on projects which keep people safer, helps the UK transport system move effectively, connects citizens with social services in their local area, provide content channels for industries like the automotive sector and get equipment to the front line so it’s safe to use and train our military to be the best they can be.

Our Group mission is to create an entrepreneurial organisation of collaborative specialists. The companies are empowered to utilise technology and expert knowledge to create solutions which enable our customers to maximise their potential through intelligent use of information, content and data.

As a Group our purpose is simple: invest in ideas and people which make a positive difference and properties that inspire. We have invested millions of pounds into projects to enable our group companies to thrive and grow, whilst making a positive contribution to their communities.

Our intention is to continue with a programme of internal investment and acquiring companies which meet our philosophy and purpose, for the benefit of future generations.

Our Companies

CDS is a multi-award winning communication agency providing Insight, Content, Digital, Print and Technology services to clients across the UK.

Our Purpose is to make a positive difference through exceptional communications. Our Vision is to be the adventurous agency that challenges thinking through transformative communications.

We simplify complexity, through straight thinking, to make a positive difference.

At its core, our 170-strong team exists to simplify complexity. We use logical-thinking in order to ensure everything happens in a neat, quietly efficient manner – turning an initial business problem into a brilliant, timely solution.

CDS DS is a consultancy with a deep understanding of engineering, training & learning and cyber security & information assurance within the defence and security sector.

Our Purpose is to make the world a safer place. Our Vision is to recognised as a leading member of the Defence & Security Community delivering world class, innovative services.

We use our expert knowledge to improve your organisation’s operational effectiveness, maximise people performance through sustained behavioural change and reduce risk. We provide innovative and cost-effective learning, engineering support and digital resilience for the defence and security industry.

Digitalisation, novel contracting methods and more rapid adoption of modern technology are now commonplace and present significant opportunities for our industry.

Our team has significant experience serving on UK military operations, giving us a realistic context upon which to base our advice and services.

Newspress is the official automotive news source for journalists globally.

Our Purpose is to enrich the world’s automotive public relations. Our Vision is to be a world-leading automotive public relations agency with the industry’s foremost editorial database and distribution channel.

Newspress is the hub that connects automotive manufacturers and supply chain to their global audience.

We provide press release creation services and a variety of technology tools to ensure the message reaches its largest possible audience, a dedicated online platform for journalists and media site creation. Newspress operates in key global automotive markets including UK, USA, Germany, Spain and Australia.

Loop is an automotive PR and communications agency with a focus on advanced automotive communications. The agency works with automotive manufacturers, industry supply chain and anyone with a vision to change the way the automotive sector works.

We provide a range of services to help enhance the profile of brands and to help boost performance in the automotive sector, be that consumer, technology or engineering.

Our enthusiasm and understanding of everything from historic vehicles to electric car technology and consumer habits to industry trends means see we opportunities as they emerge and work with clients to deliver effective PR and Marketing to meet business goals.

We help by understanding the needs of the automotive sector in an unrivalled way, and add value through strategic communication planning, product PR, product launches, content creation, event management, social media, insight and brand strategy.

Simple Usability is a behavioural research company which helps brands to understand the needs of its customers when validating a concept, launching a new service or looking to optimise their service across all touchpoints.

They provide user research, consultancy and training services for brands such as McDonalds, EE and Asda.

Simple Usability uses purpose built labs and state of the art technology for user testing including eye tracking capabilities to ensure users browse and act naturally.

Meet The Board

Roy Bailie

OBE, Chairman

Roy, a graduate of Harvard Business School, is a well respected and experienced businessman who remains passionately involved in the activities of the Group and the wider business community.
Starting his print career as a hot-metal compositor, he soon developed leadership potential. In 1977 he led the management buy-out of W&G Baird Ltd from the British Printing Corporation. After forming W&G Baird (Holdings)Ltd, now known as The Baird Group, Roy embarked on the acquisition trail, purchasing MSO Ltd in 1984, Biddles Ltd in 1989, Thanet Press Ltd and Blackstaff Press Ltd in 1995, Corporate Document Services Ltd in 2000 and Newspress Ltd in 2006. On the way a number of smaller acquisitions were also made and absorbed into existing Group companies. Roy is Chairman and majority shareholder of The Baird Group.
Roy is currently a Senate Member of Queen’s University Belfast and Chairman of Opera Northern Ireland.

Roy’s previous directorships include:

  • U.T.V. (Ulster Television)
  • MSO Cleland Ltd.
  • BPIF

Past non-executive posts include:

  • Bank of England (Court of Directors)
  • Northern Ireland Tourist Board – Chairman
  • British Printing Industries Federation – President
  • Industrial Development Board for Northern Ireland
  • CBI (Northern Ireland) – Chairman
  • Bank of Ireland Court of Directors
  • Bank of Ireland (N.I. Advisory Board)
  • Tacade (The Advisory Council on Alcohol & Drug Education)

John McCann

Non-executive director

The former chief executive of the Belfast-based Wireless Group, formerly UTV Media, retired from his role in May 2016 and joined The Baird Group as non-executive director in 2018.

Fergus Bailie

Chief Executive Officer

Fergus Bailie has a strong commercial background, which started with a law degree at Durham University, continued on with a Chartered Accountancy Qualification achieved during his time with PWC, and also with a qualification in Business Management and Strategy from Columbia University.

Following 5 years at PwC in audit and mergers & acquisitions, Fergus joined CDS in 2007, and after a period of time as a Digital Consultant involved in various technology projects Fergus was appointed to the Board as Commercial Director responsible for finance, commercial contracts, HR, as well as Group responsibility for Newspress’ performance and strategic direction.

Fergus was appointed CDS MD in January 2011 and during his time, the company has experienced profitable growth in all areas of the business, and diversified the service offering to existing customers as well as moving into new sectors such as Financial Services and Transport.

Having achieved growth in each year as CDS MD, Fergus took responsibility for all Group activities as Baird Group CEO in 2017, having restructured the Group to put independent MDs and Operating Boards in place.

Fergus has a passion for entrepreneurial activities and as well as bringing several new prospects through CDS, Fergus dedicates time to business start-ups as part of his role as Business Mentor for the Princes Trust, helping young people start their own business. Fergus is also on the regional council of the CBI for Yorkshire & the Humber and participates in the CBI Public Sector Council.

When not at CDS, Fergus enjoys spending time with his wife Kate and 2 daughters Nora and Oona, is a huge Ulster and Ireland rugby fan, and enjoys the occasional bike ride!

Philip Walter

Chief Operating Officer

Philip Walter is a Chartered Director and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Chartered Management Institute. He has a BSc(Hons) and Diploma in Systems Practice from the Open University and is registered with the Engineering Council as an Incorporated Engineer.

He joined the Baird Group as Chief Operating Officer in 2015 after a highly successful 17 years with the Phoenix IT Group plc. Having joined Phoenix Computers in 1997 when it employed 250 staff and turned over £20m the growth of the company provided challenges and opportunities as it acquired in the UK, Germany, France and Holland.

After 14 months as MD of Phoenix GmbH he filled a variety of Service Director roles as the company continued to grow, achieving a full listing on the UK stock market, culminating in Operations Director responsible for a £90m budget and a team of nearly 2000 personnel. Prior to Phoenix he was an Engineer Officer in the submarine branch of the Royal Navy.

His two sons have followed him into engineering; one is engaged in a PhD and the other in an MEng. He pursues a range of interests and is Vice Chair of the Nottingham IoD and Secretary of the IAMCP. He still gets his “hands dirty” by restoring a series Land Rover and then “washes” them by long distance open water swimming.

Vicky Wordsworth

Chief Financial Officer

Vicky Wordsworth is a Fellow Member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. A financial management specialist who developed experience working alongside CEO’s and management teams in a diverse range of privately owned and Private Equity backed businesses.

Vicky’s philosophy is to put the finance function at the centre of every organisation, supporting the delivery of the strategic objectives.

She joined Bailie Group in 2019 as CFO and oversees the shared service People and Finance functions. A strong believer in the ability to succeed in the workplace actively encouraging ambition and personal development within her teams.

Away from the office, Vicky enjoys walking her dogs and is a keen Duathlete.


We are an ambitious Group seeking to grow and acquire organisations which match our philosophy of ambition and making a positive difference. Currently we are seeking companies operating in the following sectors:

User Research Consultancies

Cyber Security

Artificial Intelligence

Training Providers or Edtech

Creative Agencies

Data Consultancy

SAAS Start Ups

Content Creation Agencies

Would you like to discuss investment opportunities?

Contact Us

Our Story

As a Group we can date our history all the way back to 1862 and have constantly been driven by innovation and future change to transform the Group from a single printing company in Belfast to a global group of communication agencies and consultancies, pushing the boundaries with technology.

The Group changed it’s name on 29th June 2020 to ‘Bailie Group Ltd’ from ‘The Baird Group Ltd’