Walter Scott’s directors share bumper pay-out

PROFITS at investment firm Walter Scott & Partners surged by more than 25 per cent last year as assets under management passed the £30 billion mark.

The strong performance saw the highest-paid director at the Edinburgh-based company receive a pay and incentives package of £4.4m, up from £3.3m in 2010.

In total the ten directors at the business, owned by US-banking group Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon, shared almost £20m in pay and bonuses.

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Overall, the 101 staff at the company, including directors, received pay and share-based payments of £35.7m – an average of more than £353,000 each.

Turnover at the firm, which provides portfolio management services to institutional investors including pension funds, rose by 27 per cent to £143.7m.

Pre-tax profits rose to £94.1m from £75.3m and assets under management increased by 5 per cent to £30.4bn.

The company’s accounts provided little explanation of the bumper figures but in their report the directors pointed out that the long-term success was based on investment performance.

Its investment managers target long-term real returns of between 7 per cent and 10 per cent for the portfolios it manages.

BNY Mellon reportedly paid £400m to take control of the firm in 2006, valuing the 70 per cent stake held by the company’s founder at around £280m. A former star fund manager at Ivory & Sime business, Scott had founded the business in 1983.

The nuclear physics graduate was renowned for visiting potential clients in countries such as the US wearing tartan trousers or a kilt. The company is now chaired by Dr Ken Lyall, who joined in 1983 from Arthur Andersen. He took over at the helm of the company when Walter Scott left the firm in 2008.