Scottish Stock Exchange hires senior executives

Helen Webster and Elaine Morton

Project Heather, the firm creating a new Scottish Stock Exchange based in Edinburgh’s Geoge Street, on Friday announced the appointments of two senior executives.

Helen Webster joins the Scottish Stock Exchange from Aberdeen Standard Investments, where she was chief executive officer of Aberdeen Life and head of governance, UK and Ireland.

Webster will be responsible for overseeing the operations of the Scottish Stock Exchange. 

Elaine Morton joins the Scottish Stock Exchange from Sainsbury’s Bank and will be chief regulatory and compliance officer.

Morton will lead the dialogue with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as the project seeks regulatory approval for the stock exchange.

Project Heather plans to “change the way capital markets operate to better benefit the whole of society.”

The company says the Scottish Stock Exchange “will be the first recognised investment exchange worldwide for which companies have to measure their positive social and/or environmental impact before listing, and an annually updated impact report publicly available on their website.”

Project Heather CEO and founder Tomás Carruthers said: “I’m delighted with the quality of the team we have assembled and their terrific depth of experience.

“I’m also pleased that over 50% of our team are women and that this pattern of diversity is reflected in our executive team.  

“We are looking at diversity through multiple lenses and as part of this commitment we are keen to provide opportunities for people who are just starting out on their career journey, which is why I am so pleased that we have been able to partner successfully with the Ethical Finance Hub and Entrepreneurial Scotland to offer internship opportunities.

“We will continue to challenge our standards of diversity as we build a new type of stock exchange, as it is by challenging norms that we ensure we do not behave in the same old ways.

“Culture and values are key to creating a trusted, accessible and innovative new financial institution, and we look forward to developing a great place to work as we continue towards launch.”

Project Heather recently confirmed the support of Scottish Enterprise via a Regional Selective Assistance grant, following a successful fundraising coordinated via AAB advisers.

The company is partnering with Euronext, EuroCCP and Euroclear to provide the market infrastructure for the proposed Exchange.

In March, Aberdeen-based chartered accountants and business advisors Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP (AAB) said it secured a “significant seven figure equity investment” for Project Heather to support the re-launch of a Scottish Stock Exchange after almost 50 years.