UQ People

Upper Quartile's partners are all experienced business professionals with backgrounds at senior level in both the public and private sectors at home and abroad.

James Mason


James Mason

James Mason has more than 40 years experience in international management of Plcs with a manufacturing bias and held Managing Director roles overseas for 30 years. He specialises in high growth and turnaround situations for SMEs.

As Chairman James does not deploy but is responsible for maintaining an arm’s length responsibility for Governance, Company Operations and Compliance.   His experience in operational management of companies operating internationally provides a steady hand allowing stable and accelerated growth of Upper Quartile.

James started his career with Coates Viyella working internationally before moving to William Baird establishing and managing various subsidiaries throughout the world.

Subsequently James was instrumental in assisting high-growth SMEs in developing their strategy; he progressed into the position of non-executive director of many diverse new-start and high-growth companies ranging from Software, Engineering, and Civil Engineering, Clothing, Textiles and University spin-outs.  In these roles James focussed on Strategic Planning, Change and Growth Management; supported taking them to high growth markets and assisted with the preparation and sourcing of growth funding.

He has ten years regional economic development experience working with SMEs and built an understanding of the skills and management needs of these companies. Equally he has an understanding of the Government’s roles in assisting these companies grow and develop.

James formed Upper Quartile in 2007 with Gavin Jones and, along with Gavin, is one of the Designated Partners.  James initially focussed on Benchmarking and the training of consultants to understand the process and cause / effect analysis necessary to interpret comparative / benchmark data.  Upper Quartile focused on several performance measurement tools and acquired licences for international benchmark tools which measured and benchmarked innovation, ability to change and financial stability.

As Upper Quartile has grown and developed, James has had the responsibility for corporate guidance and management, oversight of contracts, legal and company secretarial issues as well as overseeing the financial stability.   Upper Quartile is a high growth company with many overseas projects that require appropriate support and control demanded to ensure stability for post conflict work.  James has been crucial to running the administration and governance of Upper Quartile for the last five years.

James continues to work in Non-Executive roles and is currently Non-Executive Chairman of a Swedish-owned Company in which he has changed the Board, hired a new team and has responsibility for the new Business Plan to treble sales in the next three years.

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