The remarkable sister and brother team of Ann Gloag and Brian Souter founded the transport company, Stagecoach in 1980. By 1993, when it was floated on the stock exchange, the company had a value of £134m. In 1998 Stagecoach joined forces with Richard Branson to “turn Virgin Rail into the best rail network in Europe”. Souter and Gloag are major philanthropists, giving large sums of money to charitable causes. At the time of the sittings for this portrait, Gloag was mourning the death of her only son. Soon afterwards, she started working for Mercy Ships, a charity that provides ship-based hospitals offering free medical and dental care to some of the world’s poorest people. In 2001 Gloag took an unpaid nursing job (she is a qualified nurse) on one of the ships.