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Aberdeen financial services firm snaps up Cruden Bay practice

l-r Brian McAulay, Scott James, of Scott James & Associates, and Mark Wyllie, of St James's Place Wealth Management.
l-r Brian McAulay, Scott James, of Scott James & Associates, and Mark Wyllie, of St James's Place Wealth Management.

Investment specialist Scott James & Associates (SJA), of Aberdeen, has acquired a fellow St James’s Place practice in the north-east.

It has taken over the business of Brian McAulay, based in Cruden Bay, following his decision to retire.

The move is the latest expansion of SJA, which provides investment, protection and tax planning advice to clients of all ages.

It opened an office in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, in 2019.

Since then, the business has grown from three people to 11 and recently broke through the £100 million funds under management barrier.

The purchase of Brian’s business is an ideal fit for us as we look to broaden our reach across the north-east.”

Scott James, director, Scott James & Associates.

SJA, an appointed representative of St James’s Place Wealth Management, now boasts more than 720 clients.

Its latest acquisition extends its reach, particularly in north Aberdeenshire.

Director Scott James, who hails from Fraserburgh, said: “The purchase of Brian’s business is an ideal fit for us as we look to broaden our reach across the north-east.

“I look forward to the opportunity to meet, build and strengthen relationships with these clients over the coming weeks and months.”

Scott James.

Mr James added: “The St James’s Place model is unrivalled in terms of its focus on succession planning which, ultimately, gives individuals peace of mind that they will continue to receive the same high level of service they’ve come to expect.

“I’ve known Brian for several years, including taking part in several fundraising activities together for the VSA (Aberdeen-based social care charity) and others through the St James’s Place Charitable Foundation, and would like to wish him a healthy and happy retirement.”

He was a gentleman the day he joined us and has remained so ever since.”

Mark Wyllie, St James’s Place.

Mr McAaulay bows out after seven years at St James’s Place and a total of 17 in the financial services industry following a career in oil and gas.

He plans to spend his retirement playing golf, gardening, playing music, travelling around the Scottish islands, and enjoying time with his family, including nine grandchildren.

‘Immense pleasure’

Mr McAaulay said: “It is time for me to retire and enjoy a more relaxing lifestyle.

“It has been an immense pleasure advising clients on financial matters, and I would like to thank  them all for their support and business over the years.

“I have personally known Scott for many years and have great respect for his approach to work.

“I firmly believe that he and his team are best-placed to offer a dedicated and professional service to my clients and their families going forward.”

Glowing tribute

Mark Wyllie, regional director and head of business, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, for St James’s Place, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work alongside Brian on his journey with us to this point and I am delighted that he will now get a chance to enjoy the fruits of his significant efforts over the last seven years.

“He was a gentleman the day he joined us and has remained so ever since.”


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