The Vistage Story

“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought.”

Alber Vanszen Gyorgy

250 years of Leadership Wisdom Focused on the Question at the Front of Your Mind

Vistage is the World’s largest Chief Executive member organisation with over 22,000 members in 20 countries; it’s also one of the oldest.

Here's its' story...


Milwaukee 1957

Bob Nourse, the President of his family business has an idea:

“Would eight or ten company presidents be interested in forming a group to help solve each other’s problems? Many presidents paid big fees to management consultants. At that moment I had myself. Wasn’t a president who had solved many problems better qualified to help peers than a consultant who had not had first-hand experience?

To test my idea, I presented it to several friends: my rector, a lawyer, a management consultant, an industrial psychologist, and a friend who was a company president. All of them encouraged me, gave me helpful suggestions. One said: “How about calling it The Executive Committee?” I replied: “Perfect.”

So, The Executive Committee it became and, later, TEC for short. I started calling other presidents in the summer of 1957 and by fall had five presidents who were willing to try one meeting. On the date set, October 1957, four showed up. At the end of the day all said they would attend a second meeting. In the interim, I added three members. TEC had been launched.”

TEC grows into Vistage

From those simple beginnings TEC starts to grow beyond Wisconsin across the US and then further afield.

Throughout the 60s, 70s and on into the 80s and 90s, TEC expands into different countries across the globe based on exactly the same principles Bob Nourse established at the very start:

  • Mobilising the collective wisdom of a group in service of its individual members.
  • Helping the group members to make better decisions, become better leaders and achieve greater results

In 2006 TEC changed its’ name globally to Vistage.

Vistage Today

Vistage has grown to become the world’s largest CEO membership organisation with over 22,000 members in 20 countries.

Andy Lothian

“In fourteen years I have been a Vistage member, we have grown revenues twenty-fold and profits many more times than that.”

Andy Lothian, CEO, Insights Group

EY Scotland Entrepreneur of the Year 2016

Vistage in Scotland

We have a thriving Vistage community in Scotland with over 120 members across a diverse range of businesses. The groups work together to mobilise their collective wisdom in support of the critical business questions faced by individual members.

Paul Pinson chairs 2 working groups of CEOs/owners and business leaders in Scotland - the average growth rate for these companies is over 13% year on year (data correct as at May 2018 from the last 2 reported years from member companies)

Proven Return on Investment

Companies who join Vistage globally grow at nearly 2.2 times the rate of non-member companies (28% vs 12.5%)*

*Average compounded annual growth rate for company revenues (CAGR). Analysis performed on Dun & Bradstreet data for U.S. companies with $5M to $1BN in annual revenue. CAGR for Vistage member companies (sample size: 788) calculated for companies still active as of April 2017.

Paul Pinson's Vistage groups consist of the CEOs/owners/leaders from a diverse range of businesses including Thorntons Law, William Purves, BCF Technology, Murgitroyd PLC, Cornerstone, The Insights Group, Dynamic EMS, LS Productions and The Sharkey Group. 

Collectively the 2 CEO groups have cumulative revenue of £0.5bn and employ over 5,000 people

Stephen Webster

“The way Paul chairs the meetings brings out the best in all of us. I remember a specific session where I sought guidance on the role of a CEO, this was a transformative session for me and the way in which Paul chairs our Vistage meetings brings out the solutions which I craved.”

Stephen Webster, CEO

Thorntons Investment Management