“A rich, dark, healthy place … and a beautifully lit vantage point from which to look at the world.” Songwriter Michael Marra, the ‘bard of Dundee’.
Dundee is a small city with a history of seriously punching above its weight. It’s a pioneering city, from Captain Scott’s Discovery to contemporary medical and surgical breakthroughs.
With its roots in whaling and its reputation made on ‘jute, jam and journalism’, emerging Dundee investment houses were at the forefront of the financing of the American settlers and railroads in the 1880s.
It’s a city that’s enjoying a cultural renaissance with the V&A and other developments on the banks of the Tay and leading the way in the global games industry. The “thriving, creative” city of Dundee was also rated as one of the best places in Europe to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet.
Thorntons Investments is proud of its Dundonian roots and its renewed buoyancy and, with many of us being Dundonian, the team espouse its typical characteristics of being canny, down-to-earth, hospitable, self-deprecating and able to see an opportunity where others only see an obstacle.
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Meet The Team
Leigh GrubbChief Operating Officer
Matt StrachanChief Investment Officer
Barry DavidsonHead of Financial Planning
Graeme YoungChartered Financial Planner
Matthew BrownHead of Discretionary Portfolio Management
Tim RitchieFinancial Controller
Leigh HudsonHuman Resources Manager
Jeremy DuftonSenior Portfolio Manager
David HolmesHead of Business Development
Shirley RobertsonCompliance Manager
Nadine ReillyAdministration Manager
Nick SheppardSenior Business Development Manager
Alasdair KylePortfolio Manager
Ciaran GarveyInvestment Manager
Susan BennettChartered Financial Planner
Stewart TaylorFinancial Planner
Alison MillerFinancial Planner
Zoë MalpasTrainee Financial Planner
Sarah and AshleyInvestment Assistants
Kim and AnneParaplanners
Catherine JacksonResearch Assistant
Alison DaviesExecutive Assistant
Maggie WrightMedia Liaison
As Chief Executive, Stephen embodies the energy and passion of our team, leading with an entrepreneurial flair and a sincere commitment to our staff, clients and stakeholders. Stephen has more than 25 years’ experience as an investment management professional and has a detailed knowledge of model portfolio methodology, private equity and corporate pension legislation.
Something you didn’t know about Stephen:
Stephen is passionate about the Gaelic culture and language which is perhaps why he owns so many tweed suits and socks. When Stephen is not working he can usually be found on the Island of Barra in the Western Isles helping with the family croft.
A qualified Chartered Accountant with over 15 years’ experience with Alliance Trust in a variety of senior management positions, Leigh is an integral part of our team as Chief Operating Officer. Leigh brings a broad mix of skills and experience to complement our senior management team and plays a key role in delivering the ambitious growth plans we have for the business. Leigh is a proud Dundonian and supports his local community in his volunteer role as Vice Chairman of Discovery Credit Union.
Something you didn’t know about Leigh:
Leigh recently featured prominently on the home page of a website supporting a major local charity event. He was dressed as an elf. You’ll have to ask him about that!
As head of our investment management function, Matt’s 30-year industry experience is vital in the formation of our range of retail and institutional investment funds, as well as our model portfolio service. His long term investment discipline generated strong performance when he managed the Alliance Trust Investments North America Equity Fund, receiving a Morningstar/OBSR Bronze award within one year of fund launch. Matt’s considerable international investment experience saw him successfully selling out of Japan at the top of the market (1989/90), a bold move made with analytical and measured judgement.
Something you didn’t know about Matt:
Matt was scouted for a 1980s Jackie magazine photoshoot. He chose not to pursue a modelling career, and, luckily for us, instead focused on his financial services career.
‘Excellence is not a single act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.’
Head of our Financial Planning team, a Chartered Financial Planner, Associate of the Personal Finance Society and holder of the Investment Management Certificate, Barry has over 25 years’ experience of helping clients understand their finances and plan for their futures. He specialises in advising business owners and individuals, both in the lead up to and into retirement, as well as advising on pension options at separation or divorce. In addition, he advises individuals and families about how to invest, protect and transfer wealth to future generations. Barry has also tutored law degree students on the Business and Financial Services module at the University of Dundee.
Something you didn’t know about Barry:
Barry is a keen runner and cyclist.
Widely regarded as one of the most influential advisers in the industry, Graeme was one of the first financial specialists in Tayside to be awarded Chartered Financial Planner status by the Chartered Insurance Institute, and since 1998, has played a key role in our Financial Planning team. With over 30 years’ experience, Graeme holds an Advanced Financial Planning Certificate and a Securities Institute Diploma, is an Associate of the Personal Finance Society and also a Fellow of the Securities and Investment Institute. Graeme advises both individuals and businesses on investment, retirement planning, pensions, protection products and Inheritance Tax planning matters. Graeme is a well recognised and respected financial adviser in our community and always takes the time to truly understand what matters to his clients
Something you didn’t know about Graeme:
Graeme dreams of getting back to single figure golf handicap.
Quote: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, and with coveted Chartered Wealth Manager status, Matthew was a welcome addition to our team in 2016. With over 10 years of investment experience, working in both large and small organisations, most recently at Brewin Dolphin, Matthew manages portfolios for individuals, trusts and charities. Matthew enjoys working with clients to provide them with the best service throughout the different stages of their lifetime and as their goals and objectives change.
Something you didn’t know about Matthew:
At age 15, Matthew was a World Champion bagpiper as part of a Juvenile Pipeband.
Mantra: Do it today, life’s too short.
With over 25 years of accountancy experience, Tim has worked in private practice and a variety of industries ranging from a chain of night clubs to a country estate. Tim joined Thorntons Investments in 2014, and plays a key role in our strategic growth plans. The highlight of Tim’s day is being part of a great team – his dry humour helps to make numbers fun!
Something you didn’t know about Tim:
Tim has been learning to play the saxophone for the last ten years.
Leigh looks after the wellbeing of our team. A Yorkshire lass with over 20 years’ experience as an HR specialist, Leigh chose to move from a large PLC to join our team – enticed by our entrepreneurial spirit and ambition. Leigh deals with all our HR functions, from recruitment and resourcing to policy development and employee relations. Her ongoing work with personal development and employee relations contributes to a business culture we are proud to be part of.
Something you didn’t know about Leigh:
Leigh left the bright lights of London for rural Perthshire. She has four pet donkeys and an ongoing house restoration.
Mantra – Always treat others how you would expect to be treated
Jeremy has over 25 years of investment experience in small and large organisations, running his own investment management practice before joining Thorntons Investments in 2015. An Oxford University Mathematics graduate, Jeremy works within our Bespoke Discretionary Management Service and manages portfolios for private clients and trustees. Jeremy has extensive knowledge of selecting investment funds and drives this element of our Investment Management Committee’s research function.
Something you didn’t know about Jeremy:
Jeremy took up running shortly after his 50th birthday and has now completed several marathons and half-marathons in Scotland and his native Yorkshire. A lover of all things Greek and a passionate Tottenham Hotspur fan.
David has been involved in financial services for nearly 30 years. Prior to joining us, David spent many years as an Account Manager with Standard Life, and has considerable experience of working with wealth managers and financial planners helping them to grow and develop their business. As well as building new relationships, David’s primary responsibility is to work closely with financial adviser firms who choose to use our discretionary managed investment services, with particular focus on our risk-targeted model portfolios and our AIM Inheritance Tax Portfolio Service.
Something you didn’t know about David:
Away from work David is a keen musician, and performs as ‘Michael Rutherford’ in leading UK tribute band, Genesisn’t.
Shirley’s career in Financial Services spans 30 years, starting at Gateway Building Society in a customer services role and moving on to Bradford & Bingley where she gained her professional qualifications, undertaking the role of Senior Financial Planning Adviser. Eager to further her career, she was delighted to be selected as the first Branch Manager of a new local branch of Skipton Building Society who were expanding their network of branches in Scotland. Shirley has spent most of her career in a client facing role, however, in more recent years, she has been using that experience and applying it to her current role as Compliance Manager. Regulation is fast moving and ever changing; the role of the Compliance Team in Thorntons Investments is to keep abreast of those changes and ensure we look after our valuable client relationships.
Something you didn’t know about Shirley:
Shirley was a member of the Territorial Army Royal Signals Regiment and was recognised nationally with an outstanding recruit award after completing military training – never afraid to get her hands dirty.
Mantra: little things can have a big impact.
Nadine leads our busy administration department providing both administrative and IT support across the company. Nadine has 16 years’ experience in the financial services industry.
When not at work Nadine enjoys cycling, hill walking and family days out.
Something you didn’t know about Nadine:
Her passion is caring for animals and she supports several charities. She currently has two furry feline friends called Bubble and Squeak.
Quote: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Nick’s long career in financial services saw him spend many years as an account manager with Standard Life in Southampton followed by business development roles with Brewin Dolphin and Close Brothers. Much of his time has been spent working with intermediaries and wealth managers across London and the South Coast, using his extensive knowledge and experience to offer investment solutions and support.
He has particular expertise in the use of Business Relief qualifying AIM investment for IHT planning, and works to help and support adviser firms in this field.
Something you didn’t know about Nick
Nick raced single seater racing cars for several years and competed at the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch on several occasions. He has now decided to slow down having recently gained his solo Skydiving A licence.
A Chartered Wealth Manager, Alasdair joined us in December 2017 and brings a broad mix of skills and experience to our portfolio management team. Alasdair has over ten years’ experience of managing and running private client portfolios, and has an excellent track record of asset allocation and stock and corporate bond selection. Alasdair most recently worked in London for Alder Investment Management, following a number of years with Deutsche Bank Private Wealth.
Something you didn’t know about Alasdair:
Alasdair is the reigning Elie 10km Champion. He is proud of this accolade, despite the fact the event no longer exists, having been replaced by the Elie Triathlon a number of years ago…
Ciaran joined Thorntons Investments in 2011 and is based in our Edinburgh office. He is part of our investment management team focusing on the selection of AIM listed companies for our AIM IHT proposition. Ciaran is a Chartered Member of the CISI, and in 2013 he was the top Scottish performer in the CISI Masters exam.
Something you didn’t know about Ciaran:
Ciaran is a keen sports fan.
Susan has an extensive career in banking and financial services and over 20 years’ experience in advising high net worth clients. Susan has shown her commitment to the industry by obtaining Fellowship of the Personal Finance Society, a qualification that is universally regarded as the premier qualification for those working in the financial services industry. As well as advising on Investments, Protection and Inheritance Tax, Susan also holds the specialist qualifications required to advise on pension transfers, and she can also assist elderly clients requiring help with their changing financial needs.
Something you didn’t know about Susan:
Susan is at the gym at least three times per week, and enjoys yoga.
Mantra: Every day is a school day – we are constantly learning in financial services.
Stewart is an experienced Independent Financial Adviser who has been providing financial planning advice to individuals and corporate clients for over 17 years. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Insurance and specialises in providing investment, inheritance tax planning, pension and protection solutions for his clients. Stewart is currently working towards achieving an accreditation to become a Later Life Adviser, focusing on the financial planning needs of older clients.
Something you didn’t know about Stewart:
Stewart is a sports enthusiast and enjoyed skiing until he required the assistance of the ski police to rescue him from an Italian mountain. He now prefers safer sports like running and swimming!
Alison offers independent and whole of market financial advice to individuals, trusts and businesses within a range of financial planning and investment services and products. The advice includes a comprehensive range of financial planning and tax matters, including investment, pension and retirement planning and protection. She is a member of The Chartered Insurance Institute.
Something you didn’t know about Alison:
Alison skydived from 15,000ft over Lake Taupo in New Zealand whilst taking in the views of the scenery from The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Mantra: Treat other people as you would like to be treated; remember small kindnesses and forget small faults.
Zoë joined Thorntons Investments in 2012 whilst studying towards her degree in Finance and Business at Abertay University and she very quickly made herself an important and integral part of the team. We were delighted when, on completing her degree, Zoë chose to join our Financial Planning Team as a Paraplanner. She has since achieved her Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning in her spare time and developed her technical knowledge on all things Investment and Financial Planning related. Zoë has a particular passion for pensions, and is looking forward to the next stage of her career and continuing to provide a great service to our clients. Zoë is a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
Something you didn’t know about Zoë:
Prior to dedicating her career to Financial Planning, Zoë was a fully qualified Dental Nurse.
Mantra: Failure is a feeling long before it becomes a result (Michelle Obama).
Sarah and Ashley
Supporting our investment managers, our investment assistants are the first port of call for our investment management clients. The team facilitate the processes required to execute investment transactions and coordinate our clients’ portfolios in a timely manner.
Bill is a Chartered Accountant by profession and joined Thorntons Investments in 2001 after a career with several multinational companies. He was integral in setting up and managing our first specific AIM portfolios for clients back in 2006.
Having retired in 2016, Bill’s valuable knowledge and experience are now employed on a consultancy basis.
Something you didn’t know about Bill:
He is an enthusiastic Scottish Country Dancer and curler, but not at the same time.
Kim and Anne
Supporting our financial advisers, our paraplanners prepare client reports, produce research on behalf of the team and assist with the review of clients’ investments. Our entire team is committed to delivering a great service, and the efficiency of our paraplanners is an important part of that.
We have an ongoing training and development programme to support our paraplanners as they progress, and we’re keen to hear from you if you love to deal with people and have a great eye for detail. If you would like to join our team please get in touch with Leigh Hudson.
Catherine joined us in 2011 and among her many key responsibilities are the monitoring of our model portfolios and their underlying holdings, and ensuring the smooth running of our models on all platforms. Her knowledge of third-party platforms and their operation is put to good effect in the support we provide advisers using our services.
Something you didn’t know about Catherine:
With a degree in Scots Law and another in Mathematical Sciences, she is a fantastically multi-dimensional asset to our team.
Alison is not only our friendly face at reception in Dundee, she also looks after the day-to-day activities for our CEO, Stephen Webster. With many years’ experience as a personal assistant, most recently at DC Thomson, Alison helps to ensure the smooth running of our offices.
We have advised clients on investments across the UK since 1995. As well as our flagship office in Dundee, we have an Edinburgh base. We’re a proud Scottish company with global aspirations.
Initially part of Thorntons Solicitors, one of the largest legal practices in Scotland our business has grown from managing investment portfolios for the firm’s private clients, to separating from the legal firm in 2014.
Sir Thomas Thornton begins a legal practice in Dundee
Introduction of Discretionary Investment Management Services
Establish our discretionary investment portfolio management service for private clients of Thorntons Law LLP.
Expanding the Services
Launch of our financial planning advice service.
AIM Inheritance Tax Service
We begin managing portfolios of Business Relief qualifying company shares listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) for clients looking to mitigate their liability to Inheritance Tax.
Stephen Webster joins the company as CEO
Thorntons Investment Management
The investment business separates from Thorntons Law LLP to form a separate company called Thorntons Investment Management Ltd
Our company goes from strength to strength, to managing or influencing over £400m of assets during 2018. Our ambition is reflected in our fresh look brand, and is supported by continued investment in technology.