A LEADING investment specialist has acquired an Aberdeenshire-based practice following a strong period of growth for the business.
Scott James & Associates is an appointed representative of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, based in the heart of Aberdeen’s west end.
The company has purchased a fellow St James’s Place practice, due to the retirement of Brian McAulay. Located in Cruden Bay, Brian has spent the past seven years at St. James’s Place, and seventeen years in the financial services industry following a career in the oil and gas industry.
The newly acquired business extends Scott James & Associates’ reach, especially throughout the north of Aberdeenshire, and will see it provide investment, protection, and tax planning advice to clients of all ages.
This marks the company’s second acquisition in the past three years, following the opening of an office in Blairgowrie, Perthshire in 2019.
Since then, Scott James & Associates has grown from a three-person outfit to an 11-strong team, including four financial advisers. The company ended last year strongly by breaking through the £100million funds under management barrier following rising demand for sound financial expertise.
Director Scott James, who hails from Fraserburgh, commented: “The purchase of Brian’s business is an ideal fit for us as we look to broaden our reach across the north-east and I look forward to the opportunity to meet, build and strengthen relationships with these clients over the coming weeks and months.”
“The St James’s Place model is unrivalled in terms of its focus on succession planning which, ultimately, gives individuals peace of mind that they will continue to receive the same high level of service they’ve come to expect.”
“I’ve known Brian for several years, including taking part in several fundraising activities together for the VSA and others through the St James’s Place Charitable Foundation, and would like to wish him a healthy and happy retirement.”
Brian plans to spend his retirement playing golf, gardening, playing music, travelling around the Scottish islands, and enjoying time with his family, including nine grandchildren.
He said: “After nearly two decades in the financial services industry, I have finally decided it is time for me to retire and enjoy a more relaxing lifestyle. It has been an immense pleasure advising clients on financial matters and I would like to thank them all for their support and business over the years.”
“I have personally known Scott for many years and have great respect for his approach to work. I firmly believe that he and his team are best-placed to offer a dedicated and professional service to my clients and their families going forward.”
Mark Wyllie, regional director and head of business (Aberdeen and Edinburgh) for St James’s Place, added: “I’m thrilled to be wishing Brian all the best for a well-deserved retirement. It’s been a pleasure to work alongside Brian on his journey with us to this point and I am delighted that he will now get a chance to enjoy the fruits of his significant efforts over the last seven years. He was a gentleman the day he joined us and has remained so ever since.”
“I know we will miss him, as will his clients, but we are all pleased that his relationship with us won’t end as he hands over the baton to the safe hands of Scott James.”
Mark continued: “I have no doubt that the significant growth experienced by Scott and his team over the last seven years will be maintained and that the excellent working environment he has developed will continue. Scott has built up a loyal following within his team and within his client base, which is testament to the character of the business and its founder.”
“I’m convinced this latest acquisition will simply see that excellent journey continue. It’s been a pleasure to watch the growth and the development of the business since the join date back in 2015 and I look forward to witnessing more of the same from here.”
Scott James & Associates, which now supports more than 720 clients, has largely grown through referrals and recommendations from existing customers and contacts. Director Scott James has also been a proud advocate of the St. James’s Place Academy since its inception in Scotland in 2016, having mentored three candidates to help realise their goal of becoming certified professionals.