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Pinsent Masons Named Stonewall’s Scotland Diversity Champion

Pinsent Masons has been crowned Scottish Diversity Champion for a second year by equality campaign charity Stonewall.

The first law firm to be included in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index back in 2008, Pinsent Masons has consistently ranked in the Top 100 British employers. This year marks the fifth consecutive year the firm has been placed in the British top five and the second successive year as Top Employer Private Sector in the Stonewall Scotland Workplace Awards.

With more than 500 staff based at offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Pinsent Masons has been consistent in supporting LGBT issues in the workplace and out with the business.

Construction sector specialist and senior associate, Craig Macphee, collected the award on behalf of colleagues at a celebration dinner at the Virgin Money Banking Hall in Glasgow.

Craig Macphee said: “The willingness of the firm to embrace diversity and inclusion has benefits across the firm. It encourages a more inclusive atmosphere and even for those staff not directly affected by diversity issues, they will feel a parallel benefit if other colleagues are able to come to work and be genuine or authentic.”

“More often now, we are being asked by clients, and even third parties who supply services to Pinsent Masons, to share information on the approach we are taking on diversity issues, and we are happy to be able to positively contribute to the wider equality agenda.”

One initiative which has made a significant contribution to promoting diversity within Pinsent Masons has been the formation of an LGBT Allies network. Staff can privately discuss with an Ally, who are visible and known throughout the firm, matters they may feel they are unable or unwilling to raise with managers.

Craig added: “The Allies network has gained a lot of traction with staff and they are available for anyone, working at any level, who would benefit from have a confidential sounding board or is looking to seek advice on a range of issues. There is also a strong partnership across the firm with other forums such as our Disability and Wellbeing Network and Female Futures Network, because often those groups share common issues and experiences.”

Pinsent Masons’ Chair of Scotland and Northern Ireland, Katharine Hardie, said: “Diversity and inclusion is a central tenet of our business and we are delighted that Stonewall has again recognised the work being done across the firm, and particularly in Scotland, on these vitally important issues.

“Law graduates are increasingly selective when it comes to deciding which firms they will work for and resting on our laurels and past reputation will not cut it when it comes to attracting the best legal talent. Being highly regarded by the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index provides potential future employees with a valuable benchmark and an assurance that diversity and inclusion is treated seriously at Pinsent Masons.”

Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland, said: “Pinsent Masons are playing a huge role in improving the lives of LGBT people in Scotland, and should be very proud of their work.

“We still don’t live in a world where everyone is able to be themselves in the workplace, as we know more than a third of LGBT staff (36 per cent) hide who they are at work. By taking steps to make their workplaces supportive and welcoming of all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, these organisations are bringing us closer to a world where everyone is accepted without exception.”

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://www.pinsentmasons.com/

Manufacturing Firm Recognised for Excellence and Innovation

The nominations are open for a national award to recognise excellence and innovation in Scotland’s manufacturing sector, the Scottish First Minister has announced.

Scotland is a country that is part of the UK. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile border with England.

Manufacturing is the creation or production of goods with the help of equipment, labour, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary sector of the economy.

The First Minister’s Award for Manufacturing Leadership celebrates competitive and innovative manufacturing companies who champion fair work and invest in the skills and wellbeing of their employees.

A first minister is any of a variety of leaders of government cabinets. The term literally has the same meaning as “prime minister” but is typically chosen to distinguish the office-holder from a superior prime minister.

The winning company will receive:

  • a physical award designed by students on Skills Development Scotland’s Engineering: Design and Manufacture Graduate Apprenticeships programme
  • two places, together worth £2500, on a delegation arranged by the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service of industry leaders visiting an overseas advanced manufacturing site
  • one year of free enterprise membership of Scotland House in London which gives access to meeting rooms, event spaces and exclusive networking events

The Scottish Government is supporting advancement in manufacturing including the £65 million National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, up to £14 million investment through the Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund, and the £39 million Glasgow City Regions City Deal project to develop the essential infrastructure needed for the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland.

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland is a group of industry-led manufacturing research and development facilities with a network of Partners across Scotland brought together to boost the manufacturing community.

The winner will be announced at the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service’s National Manufacturing Conference on 26 May, 2020.

Global Accountancy Firm Names New Company Boss for Scotland

Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast and the Irish Sea to the south.

PwC has unveiled a new boss for its operation in Scotland. The firm has unveiled Claire Reid as the successor to long-standing Scottish chairman Lindsay Gardiner, who has stepped down after seven years in the role.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is a multinational professional services network of firms, operating as partnerships under the PwC brand. PwC ranks as the second-largest professional services network in the world and is considered one of the Big Four accounting firms

Claire, until recently head of assurance for PwC in Scotland, becomes the first female to hold the post.

And she comes to the role with a strong background in technology. Claire joined PwC in 1998 and in the earlier part of her career with the firm was based in Silicon Valley, California, where she worked with a number of high-profile technology clients.

On returning to the United Kingdom she worked to establish and develop PwC’s relationship with Oracle, a cloud computing partner, going on to help build the firm’s cyber security operation, during a 10-year spell in London.

Claire, who has a degree in international business and modern languages from the University of Strathclyde, returned to her hometown of Glasgow in 2016 to become head of assurance and lead the firm’s technology risk practice across the United Kingdom.

Mr Gardiner meanwhile will continue to work within the firm’s audit business.

Independent wealth management firm acquires six businesses

Succession Wealth has acquired six financial advisory businesses from around the United Kingdom. Together, the deals add up to £800m in assets under management, bringing Succession’s total AUM to more than £8bn.

As a result of the six new acquisitions, a further 2,100 clients will join Succession Wealth, as well as 16 qualified and experienced Financial Planners.

In April, Succession Wealth announced it had secured over £100m of additional financing facilities through its existing financing arrangements, to fund an intensive acquisition plan and accelerate its national growth and presence.

As a result 55 firms have now joined Succession since 2014 – an average of one acquisition per month.

The latest six acquired companies are:

  • Mackenzie Investment Strategies, Inverness
  • Winter Financial Services, Marlow
  • Warwick Butchart Associates, Cheltenham
  • Killermont Investments, Glasgow
  • Additional Glasgow business acquired subject to FCA Change of Control approval
  • Ellaby Pollard, Bristol

James Stevenson, CEO, Succession Wealth, said: “We are delighted to welcome the proprietors and staff of these outstanding businesses on board.

“We share common values and a relentless drive to achieve excellence for our clients.

“We look forward to these acquisitions continuing to drive the growth and development of our national business.

“Since the launch of our advisory business just five years ago and the acquisitions we have completed, Succession Wealth is now in a very strong position to continue to deliver sustainable growth and become the UK’s foremost professional financial planning practice.

“The most sustainable companies prioritise their relationships with their clients and stakeholders, and our aim is to ensure everyone who is interested in benefiting from full Financial Planning and wealth management has ready access to the best possible advice.

“These latest acquisitions extend our national coverage, creating new regional offices in Inverness and Bristol and considerably strengthening our already significant presence in Glasgow and the Thames Valley.”

Duncan Mackenzie, founder of Chartered Financial Planning firm, Mackenzie Investment Strategies, said: “Succession has invested heavily in Scotland and, for us, it was essential for our clients and staff to join an established, reputable company that would allow us to foster the same level of trust and provide the same quality of service upon which we had based our reputation.”

Bristol based financial advisory firm, Ellaby Pollard’s managing director, Andy Barr, said: “Our clients will continue to receive high quality financial planning advice but will also enjoy enhanced services and an improved proposition as a result of us becoming part of a larger, national organisation.”

Ernst & Young Appoints Ally Scott as New Managing Partner

Ernst & Young Global Limited, doing business as EY, is a multinational professional services network with headquarters in London, England. EY is one of the largest professional services networks in the world.

EY has for the first time appointed someone who is not a chartered accountant to head its Scottish operation, and flagged major hiring plans.

EY is the largest professional services firm in Scotland, with an ongoing investment to grow their Scottish workforce.

Ally Scott, who joined the accountancy firm’s Scottish operation from banking giant Barclays in autumn 2016 as head of transaction advisory services, will succeed Mark Harvey as EY’s managing partner for Scotland on July 1. Mr Harvey will remain a partner of EY until next April, before joining car retailing giant Arnold Clark as chief financial officer in the summer of 2020.

A spokeswoman for EY confirmed that Ally would be the first leader of the Scottish business who was not a chartered accountant.

EY highlighted its ambitions to increase its current Scottish workforce of about 1,000 by 25 per cent over the next 12 months.

EY has offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen.

EY noted Mr Harvey had, since taking on the Scotland managing partner role in 2015, raised the annual revenues of the accountancy firm’s Scottish business from about £100 million to £170m.

The EY spokeswoman noted some of the new jobs would be in the data analytics, automation and digital area, but emphasised hiring would be broadly based, citing a ramping up of activity across assurance, advisory and tax operations.

Scottish Industrial Strategy Efforts

The aim of the Industrial Strategy was to boost productivity by backing businesses to create good jobs and increase the earning power of people throughout the United Kingdom with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.

Speaking to over 50 business leaders at the Scottish Council for Development and Industry Annual Forum today, Lord Henley showcased how, through collaboration between United Kingdom and Scottish government, Scottish businesses and regions were “rising to the occasion” to meet some of the United Kingdom’s biggest challenges.

In particular he highlighted the importance of collaboration between the SCDI and government in supporting Scottish enterprise in recent years – with £87 million of United Kingdom government funding awarded to 163 Scottish organisations through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund since its launch in April 2017.

The government has also invested over £1.35 billion pounds across Scotland, as part of the City and Growth Deals, aimed at providing more power and flexibility to cities in terms of employment and skills, business support and housing.

As part of his visit, Lord Henley met with life sciences company RoslinCT to see how £887,000 of government funding, awarded in October 2018, is being used to help develop stem cell therapies for clinical use.

He also met with scientists and academia from SynthSys, Edinburgh’s virtual centre for Synthetic Biology, to tour its flagship Genome Foundry, which is using robotics and automation to assemble DNA for medical applications.