SFE annual beano hears Stern words of thanks

Sammi Kinghorn: new athlete ambassador for Harper Macleod. Picture: Submitted
Sammi Kinghorn: new athlete ambassador for Harper Macleod. Picture: Submitted
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The Scottish Financial Enterprise annual dinner was an opportunity for Standard Life Investments to put the loss of star manager Euan Munro behind it.

Guy Stern, who replaced Munro as SLI’s head of multi-asset investing, picked up the SFE award on behalf of his team.

It would have provided some relief for him and SLI boss Keith Skeoch after long-serving Munro left in July to join Aviva Investors as chief executive. He had been with SLI since its launch in 1998 and set up the firm’s flagship global absolute return strategy (Gars) fund. Aviva was delighted to lure one of the industry’s best performers from Edinburgh.

Sadly, the award glossed over a 4 per cent fall in Standard Life’s shares the previous day after new client money into savings and investment products missed analysts’ estimates. Analysts noted that the decline followed Munro’s departure.

On receiving the trophy at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Stern was gracious in acknowledging the strength of the other finalists in the SFE competition: Alliance Trust, Grand Central Savings, the Kay Review team, Rock Spring Ventures and the Scotland Schools Investment Challenge.

Totseat in the vanguard

Rachel Jones, the brains behind Totseat, the “washable squashable highchair”, is in high spirits after the firm featured in the British Brands Festival in China. The Edinburgh-born brand was one of just 28 representing Great Britain and featured alongside blue-chips such as Range Rover and Marks & Spencer. The Totseat founder says: “I was delighted to have been involved in this festival, true celebration of Britain abroad.

“It was quite wonderful to see the product that I designed on my bedroom floor on display in front of this overwhelming audience.”

Athlete is a ‘perfect fit’

Harper Macleod, legal adviser to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, unveiled Scottish para-athlete Sammi Kinghorn as the firm’s “athlete ambassador” ahead of next year’s sporting spectacular. Kinghorn, 17, will compete in the T54 1,500 metres event at the Games. In September, she was the youngest of the first 27 athletes to book their place on Team Scotland.

Harper Macleod chief executive Martin Darroch says: “In legal terms, like Sammi, we’re a relative newcomer but that has never held us back and when we were looking for an ambassador to sum up our association with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games it didn’t take us long to see that Sammi and Harper Macleod were a perfect fit.”

Nairn’s at a canter

KEN McGarrity takes the biscuit – literally – for mixing business with pleasure. The part-owner and finance boss at Nairn’s Oatcakes will be able to sample his firm’s products at Musselburgh Racecourse after striking a sponsorship deal.

The tie-up will see the food firm’s name emblazoned on the East Lothian track’s owners and trainers marquee.

McGarrity – an owner of six horses under the stewardship of trainer Linda Perratt’s stable – tells us: “Not only am I a regular visitor to my local course, but the company has a staff outing once a year which is always eagerly anticipated and much enjoyed.”

Dressing for Down Under

Inverness businesswoman Freda Newton is heading Down Under this week to fly the flag for Scottish tourism in a bid to increase the number of visitors from Australia.

The owner of Loch Ness-based Jacobite Cruises will show off a tartan dress custom-designed by Highland designer Coca Tenorio at a televised event in Sydney.

Newton, who is joining a VisitScotland mission to the Pacific region for its Australian leg, has also produced an animation of Jacobite’s mascot Jess, Nessie’s Cousin, to help generate excitement for the mission.

The aim of the mission is to capitalise on the opportunities the Commonwealth Games presents to forge links with Australian tour operators.

• Contact Dominic Jeff on 0131 620 8464 or e-mail dominic.jeff@scotsman.com