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Embracing the Brexit Challenge & Expanding across the Irish Sea

Causeway’s latest Northern Ireland based member, Dr Scott King, Co-Founder & Director of Pinnacle Professional shares the story of his business’ growth and his ambitions to expand across the Irish Sea.


Dr Scott King is an award-winning business growth advisor, entrepreneur, investor, and co-founder of Pinnacle Professional, a business growth advisory firm based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, which has a key mission to enable and empower clients to achieve their business growth goals. 

The journey to leadership 


As well as achieving a Mechanical Engineering Degree, Scott is also a Chartered Engineer and has a Doctorate in Advanced Composites, and is an internationally published author, and lean practitioner. Although his early background is quite technical in nature, Scott has spent many years working internationally, in particular within the aerospace and aviation sectors and has led the development of a range of new high value products which are integrated into a selection of aircraft globally. 

For over 15 years, he has worked and travelled across the globe providing direction, assistance and leadership to an ever-expanding list of multi-sectoral organisations, ranging from new starts to SMEs and globally recognised brands.

Expounding more about his career path, Scott says: “Although I have a technical background, I transitioned over time to more strategic leadership roles. For example, I was the founder of Ireland’s first collaborative large-scale co-locative research centre (NIACE) that brought industry, academia, and government under the one roof to utilise industrial scale research and development to generate solutions and new products for companies that not only gave them a competitive edge, but also facilitated economic growth. I also helped to create a new collaborative funding programme in partnership with Invest Northern Ireland (also Causeway & BITA corporate members).”

As a growing business, Pinnacle has three clear values: Go above and beyond to support their clients; continuously expand their knowledge; and provide straightforward and honest advice. Recognising that enabling business growth requires an organisation to focus on multiple aspects of their business, Pinnacle supports their multi-sector clients’ commercial, operational and technical challenges and provide support across the eight areas (see left).

Naturally, within each of the eight support areas, there are a range of specific services which Pinnacle provide their clients.  Examples include, but are not limited to:

• Business vision, goals & strategy development
• Funding and grant strategies
• Trade, exports & customs
• FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) concierge service
• Business planning 
• Business improvement 
• Interim management
• Lean manufacturing
• Operations and resource planning 
• Non-executive and chairman services

Pinnacle operate across numerous business sectors, including but not limited to:

• Aviation and aerospace
• Advanced manufacturing and engineering
• Agri-food and drink 
• Renewables
• Software 
• Tourism

Since the business launched in 2018, Pinnacle has achieved remarkable results for their clients, who range from organisations who have turnovers from £50k to £500m, and vary from those who are who are product or manufacturing-based, to those who are service-based.  

Detailing the success Pinnacle has accomplished to date for their clients, Scott explains: “Pinnacle has had an over 90% success rate at securing grant funding for our clients. We have secured over £12m to date to support the likes of: new jobs; market development; research and development; process improvements; new software and systems; quality system integration; Brexit and export-planning and many more. We have also helped our clients to secure over £11m in new sales and have also supported the creation of over 400 new jobs.” 

The Brexit challenge and opportunities for Northern Irish business


Examining the current pros and cons facing businesses in Northern Ireland right now, Scott believes when the Brexit transition period comes to an end, there will be many shared challenges experienced between businesses across the island of Ireland and Scotland, but there will also be a unique situation in Northern Ireland, and rather than focusing cynically on the challenges, Scott remains optimistic that this is an opportunity for his business to be proactive and evolve to not only survive, but thrive. 

“We are one of the leading providers of Brexit, trade and export guidance across Ireland. We have so far helped well over 100 businesses (including multinationals) to understand the impact of Brexit on their business and plan accordingly. We are also able to support clients with their necessary customs documentation, which will become even more critical once the transition period ends in December 2020.

“For Pinnacle, we have significant capabilities in trade, exports, customs and Brexit-planning that can provide opportunities not only for our business, but we hope now we are part of the Causeway network, we can share our knowledge or collaborate to help other Causeway members too. For Scottish businesses looking to supply into Northern Ireland, or into the Republic of Ireland via Northern Ireland, Pinnacle is here to support and offer advice to deal with these future challenging export processes, not to mention all the future customs paperwork which will be required.”

Ambitions to grow Pinnacle in Scotland and beyond 


Pinnacle is now looking across the Irish Sea to grow its business and client list further, with Scotland being a key target country of interest, which is what brought Scott to join the growing Causeway network. As he explains the future goals for Pinnacle, he says:

“I have a key desire and drive to grow Pinnacle outside of the island of Ireland. Pinnacle has a great reputation throughout Ireland and a large database of client wins that have had not only generated positive and profitable wins for our clients, but also created tangible economic impact. My key focus area is Scotland and I firmly believe that because Causeway is focused on Scottish-Irish business growth, the network is well aligned to our goals. Additionally, we have proven that the skills and capabilities of Pinnacle are transferable outside of Northern Ireland. We know we can add value to organisations, no matter where they are based and what scale they are.”

The value of developing Irish-Scottish business relationships through Causeway 


“I am hopeful that through joining the Causeway network, that I will be able to expand my professional connections and generate new opportunities that will grow my business, as well as that of other Causeway members. 

“From my experience, people from Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland share the same sense of humour and take a pragmatic approach to challenges. We have a significant shared history and have a real interest in helping one another if we can. I believe these features are the key basis for our sound relationship and why we do business so well together.”

To find out more about Pinnacle and their services, visit their website or get in touch with Scott at scott.king@pinnacle-ni.com

Interested in becoming part of our growing Causeway network of Irish-Scottish business professionals? Join us today! 


Author: Aoife O'Sullivan

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About The Author

Aoife O'Sullivan

Aoife O'Sullivan is Causeway's Events and Membership Engagement Manager. She is responsible fo nurturing the membership engagement activity for Causeway, primarily through hosting events both online and offline in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland, and helps to connect Causeway's members and raise their profile through communications, marketing and PR.

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