Six shining firms keeping Scotland’s financial services crown polished

SIX big players from the world of finance and investment are in the running for this year’s Scottish Financial Services Award.

The winner of the prize, for which The Scotsman is the media partner, will be announced at a glittering dinner in Edinburgh on 1 December.

Now in its second year, the contest – which replaced the previous “innovator awards” – is designed to reward the winner’s “contribution to Scotland’s standing as a financial centre, long-term perspective, benefits for customers, innovation and imagination”.

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Last year, the prize was scooped by Standard Life Investments for “promoting stewardship of investments” and “turning in an excellent performance”, with chief executive Keith Skeoch praised for his leadership of the asset management firm.

Owen Kelly, chief executive of trade body Scottish Financial Enterprise, which organises the competition, said: “We are delighted to announce six top-calibre finalists for our award this year, which truly reflect the breadth of services on offer from our industry in Scotland.

“Choosing just six from the wealth of talent we have is always a challenge but we feel these finalists have excelled this year in what continue to be very challenging times for our industry.”

Peter Wallace, head of financial services at accountancy firm Ernst & Young in Scotland, which sponsors the prize, added: “The award recognises those companies that have demonstrated unparalleled vision as they continue to uphold Scotland’s long history of financial services success while enhancing its reputation across the globe.

“Each of the finalists deserves congratulations for the manner in which they have navigated the uncertain and constantly evolving economic and regulatory landscape as they promote the growth of their industry and Scotland as a whole.”

And the nominees are…

Aberdeen Asset Management for its “energy and commitment in developing its business in Asia and for innovation in meeting client demand for products based on Chinese government bonds”

Johnston Carmichael for “growing from its origins in the North-east” to become Scotland’s largest indigenous accountancy firm

Nucleus Financial for “creating a strong online end-to-end business platform that meets the needs of independent financial advisers and their clients, and for attracting £3 billion in assets to the platform from scratch”

Scottish Financial Risk Academy for “creating a successful collaboration between industry and academe that enhances Scotland’s international appeal as a financial centre where serious thinking takes place”

State Street for “establishing Edinburgh as its European Centre of Excellence for cash and expanding its operation to encompass some 840 jobs”

• A consortium consisting of the Insurance Institute of Perth & Dundee, Chartered Insurance Institute, Perth College (UHI), Aviva, George Stubbs Insurance and Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers for “their joint initiative to promote Perth and Kinross as a centre of excellence for general insurance” and “working with schools, colleges and local businesses to make insurance an important career option for students in the area”.