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Wealth Manager Profile: Haig Bathgate

by Matthew Goodburn on Aug 07, 2009 at 09:45

Wealth Manager Profile: Haig Bathgate

If you were looking for a shrewd fund picker to boost the profile of the asset management division of a burgeoning law firm, Haig Bathgate fits the bill perfectly.

At the tender age of 32, he heads the firm’s investment strategy, taking charge of its fund picking and asset allocation as well as being the architect of its fund and manager screening process.

The glass and steel frontage of the building in which Turcan Connell houses its Edinburgh operation, a stone’s throw from Scottish Widows’ upturned spaceship, is as imposing as Bathgate is unassuming, but his value to the firm should not be underestimated.

He now sits in a team that oversees £450 million in discretionary assets and £150 million in custody, in a department that has 11 fund managers and five financial planners.

Bathgate’s worth to the firm is borne out by the fact that, with head of financial planning Bob Hair, he was made a principal at Turcan Connell last April.

The promotion makes Bathgate what he calls a ‘quasi-partner’, despite the fact he is not a lawyer so cannot technically be a partner at the firm.

It is a further indication of his value, however, that the firm is lobbying vigorously to get the law changed so that both Bathgate and Hair can become partners.

‘We are not lawyers so cannot technically be partners but as principals we are quasi -partners in effect, and are invited to attend most of the partner meetings,’ he says.

‘All the pointers are looking towards a change in the law within the next two years, which will be great news for our private clients.’

Bathgate has about 75 clients, running around £50 million in assets. As with a number of wealth managers, size of portfolio is not necessarily the most important aspect.

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