Investment firm 7IM's Edinburgh-based chair Adrian Grace says 'all functions in growth mode'

Investment firm 7IM’s new Edinburgh-based chairman said the business was committed to growing its presence north of the Border as it homes in on £20 billion of assets under management.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 12:30 pm

Adrian Grace spent a decade as the boss of insurer Aegon’s Edinburgh-based UK operation and took up the role of 7IM chair last autumn.

His experience working in the capital for some 20 years will come to the fore given the investment firm’s expansion in Scotland, which was turbocharged by the acquisition of TCAM in 2018. The Edinburgh-based discretionary asset manager was spun out of Scottish law firm Turcan Connell via a management buyout in 2015.

As well as a dedicated office in Edinburgh, 7IM has a technology hub office in Leith. The headcount across the two locations stands at about 70 and Grace said he was keen to see that grow.

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Adrian Grace was the chief executive of Aegon UK's Edinburgh operation and took up the role of 7IM chairman last autumn.

“We would like to grow the Edinburgh operation,” he said. “All the functions are in growth mode. There is a need for advice and there aren’t enough financial advisors to go around.”

Grace, who oversaw a substantial expansion of Aegon UK’s investment platform, added: “As a firm we are hoping to do £20bn of assets under management this year, which will be a significant step up from about £18bn last year.”

7IM, which was founded in 2002 and has its other offices in London and Jersey, said it was committed to providing tailored investment management and financial planning services to private clients across Scotland.

Since the TCAM deal, the firm has bolstered its presence with the acquisition of Partners Wealth Management as well as the appointments of sector veterans such as Zane Hunter.

On the intermediary front, the firm stressed its commitment to the Scottish IFA market with plans to develop its proposition and service in response to adviser and client demand.

Talking about his decision to take on the chairman’s role, Grace said: “I wanted to do something Edinburgh-based and technology led and do something I could add some value to. This is an opportunity to get up close and personal to a business again.”

An advocate of new technologies, Grace said he was looking to “push the fintech agenda in Scotland as much as I can”.

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