Stuart Laing, executive chairman of Laings and founder of the Houlden Group buying consortium has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List for his services to the UK jewellery industry.
His brother Michael Laing was previously awarded an OBE for services to hallmarking in 2002.
Mr Laing, who handed over daily control of Laings to his daughter Wendy and her husband Joe Walsh in 2016, is one of the most respected names in the global jewellery and watch industry.
After joining the family business in 1970 Stuart was instrumental in steering Laings towards the success that it enjoys today. Alongside his role at Laings he made impact in the trade by founding the Houlden Group, whilst giving expert advice across the industry.
He was instrumental in bringing Rolex into Laings, a relatively unknown watch brand at the time. He later started working with Patek Philippe as well.
Commenting on what has given him the greatest satisfaction after a life long career in the watch and jewellery business, Mr Laing said: “Strengthening and creating a strong, independent retail sector and giving the UK industry a global identity has been extremely rewarding.”
Laings was established in 1840 and is one of Scotland’s the oldest family businesses. Stuart joined the business in 1970 and straight away made an impact opening new showrooms in the revered Argyll Arcade, Glasgow.
Over the years his knowledge, expertise and business acumen helped Laings to grow into the business it is today, a thriving family-run operation with a reputation for outstanding customer service and high quality goods.
Laings is now one of the largest independent jewellery businesses operating seven stores across the UK, three stores in Glasgow, two in Edinburgh, one in Cardiff and one in Southampton. Turnover for the combined group topped £35 million last year.
Stuart remains active in his role at Laings and has enjoyed being part of the next chapter of the business.