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Lunch with Brown Shipley's Charles Fotheringham
by Harriet Dodd on Jan 11, 2013 at 12:00
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Charles Fotheringham, head of Brown Shipley’s Edinburgh office. Charles was the first to dine with me for this column and I must say he was an interesting lunch guest.
Having researched this figure and his experience in large US corporate firms, I imagined he would want to go to eat in a steakhouse, so it surprised me then, when Charles suggested we pop to Henderson’s for a bite.
This restaurant, huddled in the corner of Hanover Street and Thistle Street in Edinburgh’s New Town, is a vegetarian and organic specialist. A stalwart favourite of the Edinburgh foodie community but with ‘the environment of a retirement café’, as Charles jokingly pointed out.
Charles was originally something of a commodity specialist, working for BP before moving to New York. He then started his investment career at Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith Inc in London covering commodities and equities for private clients, leaving as vice president after 10 years.
For lunch, Charles had a broad bean lasagne while I opt for a vegetarian haggis, a quiet celebration of being up in Scotland. Moving along the canteen to the drink, he ignores my furtive glances towards the organic wine and opts for a carrot and orange juice. Clients take note.
Once Charles talks more about his life history, the unexpected restaurant choice makes more sense. He left Merrill Lynch’s London HQ at Ropemaker House for life as a fruit farmer in Cupar Fife, following his father’s footsteps in the sugar business.
However, it would be hard to argue that Charles has left the city behind him. During his time in Cupar Fife, he continued managing foreign exchange carry trades for ‘a few select clients’ through his own small investment management business, C. Fotheringham & Co. Then, expecting to assist Gillespie Macandrew start an investment arm as just a short-term venture he ended up staying there for 15 years.
Following Brown Shipley’s acquisition of Gillespie Macandrew in 2011, Charles was appointed head of office in September 2012.
Despite his acute investment style, he is also a warm and energetic individual. Most definitely a social animal, his latest hobby is funding his son’s band, Bwani Junction, who opened the Edinburgh Princes Street festivities on New Year’s Eve. He continues to farm on a small scale with ‘a few chickens and fattening cattle’.
I hope in future to be further surprised and delighted to see where lunch on the road takes me. Please email me at email@example.com to get in touch.
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