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The adviser Top 100: 11 of Scotland and Northern Ireland's finest

With the retail distribiution review around the corner our sister publication New Model Adviser has travelled the length of the country to identify those setting the standard. In the first of our series we highlight the best of class in Scotland and Northern Ireland.   

Duncan Glassey


‘In America, financial planning is so goal driven, however the influence of goals has become slightly lost in the UK,’ says Duncan Glassey, who is championing the role of life coaching in financial advice. ‘I have been a life planner for nine years. But it wasn’t until I started working with [life coaching expert] Maria Nemeth that I can now ask clients about their life intentions and what fuels their spirit.’ Edinburgh-based Glassey is now helping to train IFAs to integrate life coaching into their businesses. He is also working towards becoming a fully qualified life coach himself. Nemeth has described him as ‘the brightest coach in the whole academy’.

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Alan Dick

Forty Two Wealth Management

Glasgow-based Alan Dick has inspired many advisers to adopt passive investments. He was one of the founding members of Evidence Based Investment Solutions, the group that aims to share business practices and a commitment to passive investments. Dick is a chartered and certified financial planner and is registered as a life planner as part of George Kinder’s programme. He is director and chair of the IFP ethics and practice standards committee, and has recently been elected vice president of the IFP.

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Alan Steel

Alan Steel Asset Management

‘We were the original asset managers,’ says Alan Steel. Steel boasts 40 years of experience as an IFA, and says his success as a financial planner has a lot to do with coming from a small town. ‘As part of a family of generations, you learn to respect people and people trust you, it forms your character.’

Linlithgow-based Steel has been a mover and a shaker, not only in his home town of Linlithgow, but across the investment world. Steel cites Warren Buffett as his inspiration.

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Carl Melvin

Affluent Financial Planning

Paisley-based Carl Melvin is a multi-award-winning financial planner and is certified and chartered. He has 20 years’ experience as a financial planner and lists his greatest achievement as obtaining a first-class degree in financial planning while running a profitable IFA business and coping with the demands of two children under the age of five.

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David Crozier

Navigator Financial Planning

David Crozier was crowned New Model Adviser® of the Year for Scotland and Northern Ireland in January. Belfast-based Crozier was the first certified financial planner in Northern Ireland. He is focused on the niche areas of personal injury victims and local business owners. He is proud of his bespoke back-office and cashflow systems, and works closely with adviser-led think tank Evidence-Based Investment Solutions.

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John Mackay

Mackay Stewart & Brown

John Mackay has gone from strength to strength since he first built his business on the solid foundation of serving British Medical Association members. His Edinburgh-based practice has since widened its net to take on clients from other professions. He and his business partner, Sue Hussin, have launched the Edinburgh portfolios, in which all funds have managers based in the Scottish capital.

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John Moore

Central Investment Services

John Moore juggles his role as director of Central Investment Services in Aberdeen with chairing the advisory board for the Nucleus platform. In 2010, Aberdeen-based Moore launched an ‘investor group’ for his sophisticated clients who want more diverse investment opportunities. ‘This group is key to our expansion, in terms of increasing our brand in Scotland and to increase our assets under management,’ he says.

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Paul Lothian

Verus Chartered Financial Planners

Paul Lothian originally thought he was going to be a pop star. Instead, he joined his family’s general insurance brokerage in Dundee at 17 and gained a degree in financial services. ‘I always wanted to be a professional, a technician … I was in the first clutch of firms to become chartered and at the ceremony at the Guildhall in London, I realised that a profession was being born,’ says Lothian, who is still based in Dundee. He was inspired to join the PFS board of directors and in 2008 he became president. Lothian is still serving the PFS as the chartered champion for North Scotland, and is mentoring other advisers through to chartered status. ‘I want to contribute in a positive way and constantly improve… not for the plaudits, but for self-actualisation,’ he says.

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Robert Hair

Turcan Connell

Bob Hair began his career in financial services in 1995 after a stint in publishing at The Herald Newspapers. He joined Turcan Connell in 2004 and has become a leading practitioner of strategic planning. Turcan Connell specialises in providing integrated and inter-disciplinary legal, wealth management and tax services to private clients. Edinburgh-based Hair leads the financial planning team and the delivery of flagship service, the Turcan Connell Family Office, which draws on the different strands of the group’s business.

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Sandy Robertson

Acumen Financial Planning

Sandy Robertson has been an important influence in the advisory community. He has passed on his wisdom earned from a long career and given his time to many advisers starting out or wanting to develop their firms.

Aberdeen-based Robertson has applied his accountancy background to running Acumen and has fostered a ‘grow your own’ environment to recruitment. ‘We recognise that like attracts like, so we are keen to hire younger advisers to serve our younger client base,’ says Robertson. ‘The financial profession needs a healthy intake of youngsters and mobility between firms and regions.’

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Brian Steeples

The Turris Partnership Limited

Brian Steeples has been an IFA for more than 20 years. The managing director of the Glasgow-based firm is a fellow of the Securities and Investments Institute and the PFS, an associate of the CII and a chartered financial planner. He is a keen guitarist, has served as president of the PFS and has been enlisted as a chartered champion.

For more top advisers across the country click here.

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