Simpson & Marwick parent Moray Group launches financial arm with East Lothian-based MD

A fledgling professional services group has launched a financial arm as it continues its rapid growth.

Moray Financial will serve new clients with mortgage and protection needs, as well as being on-hand for Moray Group’s existing legal and property brands and customers.

Moray Group was launched in 2020 as a tech-focused professional services umbrella group. Its aim is to develop or acquire legal or other professional services practices with scope for growth. Bosses have a financial target of achieving revenues of £10 million by the end of 2022.

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Businesses in the group include legal and estate agency specialist Simpson & Marwick in Edinburgh. It launched Esson & Aberdein in the North-east last year and acquired Glasgow-based Alston Law in February 2021.

Michael Wales takes up the role of managing director and head of mortgages and protection. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Moray Financial is spearheaded by newly appointed managing director Michael Wales, who has experience working with RBS, Adam & Co and latterly as a self-employed mortgage and protection adviser.

He will also lead on the new brand’s immediate growth plans, with a target of £300,000 turnover in new business in its first year.

Haddington-based, Wales will operate between Moray Group bases across Scotland, with a view to having teams of dedicated advisers by mid-2022 in both Simpson & Marwick and Esson & Aberdein.

Rob Aberdein, chief executive and founder of Moray Group, said: “Mortgages and protection was the clear and obvious next step for our business given how much we have been referring elsewhere.

“Michael is an exceptional talent and the perfect candidate to be at the helm of this new brand, with a potent mix of energy and high-level experience.”

Wales, in his new role as managing director and head of mortgages and protection, said: “The opportunity before us is immense. Immediately I’ll be on-hand to serve clients with the group’s successful legal brands.

“Following early meetings with the senior team I can see the task in front of us and it’s hugely exciting. Their ambition and drive matches my own.

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“I’m under no illusions there will be a need to roll our sleeves up over the coming months. We must quickly establish ourselves and deliver the excellence and service-levels that are expected of the Moray Group brands.

“At the same time I’ll be delivering on a plan to grow the Moray Financial brand while we seek to employ like-minded advisers and support staff. We’ll be going on a recruitment drive soon,”

Last year, Esson & Aberdein hit the Aberdeen legal scene with two familiar faces behind it.

The private client-focused firm is led by Joni Esson, who spent more than ten years at Stronachs, and Rob Aberdein, who has gone on to become one of Scotland’s most prominent business figures since leaving Aberdein Considine.

The pair believe there is a “significant gap” in the market for a new firm with a technology focus but insist services must be less transactional and focused on building long-term, meaningful relationships with clients.

Aberdein said: “Private client is a space that nobody has effectively owned. We’re bringing a fresh – albeit highly recognisable – brand and a real focus and commitment to normal everyday people in Aberdeen and the North-east.”

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New brand enters Aberdeen legal scene with two familiar faces behind it

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