When Tim Wishart (pictured) was profiled by Wealth Manager in September 2014, shortly after setting up Psigma’s Edinburgh office, the fate of Scotland was teetering between staying in the union or going it alone.
Four years after Scotland voted to remain in the UK, a lot has changed for Wishart and Psigma’s Edinburgh office. However, some of the macro political noise remains the same.
Has Brexit rekindled the independence debate?
‘It is fascinating, really, because, obviously with the vote back in September four years ago, it was put to bed at that time, and Nicola Sturgeon should not have been able to come back and ask the question again for a considerable period of time.
‘Now, obviously the SNP [Scottish National Party] are still in power and that is their main raison d’être. But, actually, what is interesting at the moment is that Sturgeon has been using the current situation, where we are with the Brexit vote – with 62% of Scotland wanting
to remain in Europe – as purchasing power to try and get the vote slightly back on the table again.
‘But I think, realistically, there is no appetite up here, and certainly while it is a possibility, there remains a lot more to worry about at the moment. I don’t think anyone in Scotland would be prepared to make that decision, given that we don’t know where we are with Europe anyway.’
How has the business changed?
‘Obviously, I moved to Psigma to set up the Edinburgh office. Before I moved, there wasn’t any representation of Psigma in Scotland, so there was only me and zero clients.
‘Now, four years later, we now have a team of four here in Edinburgh, which includes one investment director, a business development director and an investment manager’s assistant.
‘So, it has changed a lot. We now have well over 100 clients, and this office is now looking after about £130 million of assets.
‘When I first started, Psigma was pretty unknown in Scotland, and there was really no brand building at all in the north.’
How has your role changed?
‘It’s quite a change from my point of view – I was a senior investment director and now I’m head of Scotland and the north of England, which means that the title changed. But also, I’ve been appointed on to the executive committee of the group.
‘I’m responsible for Scotland, but I’ve also got broader responsibilities across the business. In terms of developing the business in Scotland, people often judge your business up here by the number of assets that you are running.
‘But I’ve been developing business across England, which is building up the assets that are run in our London office too.’