Scottish Financial Enterprise announces new chair along with other appointments to new look board

Scottish Financial Enterprise announces new chair along with other appointments to new look board

John McGuigan

Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) has announced that current deputy chair John McGuigan will take over as the body’s chair and will be succeeded by Sue Dawe as deputy chair.

Mr McGuigan replaces outgoing Philip Grant, whose three-year term in the chair ends in November. This will coincide with Mr Grant’s retirement from Lloyds Group at the end of this year as he approaches 40 years service.

Mr McGuigan brings a wealth of customer service experience to the position, having spent nine years with pensions giants Standard Life and its post-2018 parent company Phoenix Group, where he was group customer director. He also has international experience, having been managing director of sales and service at Telefonica in Munich, prior to joining Standard Life.

Additionally, the SFE Board has appointed Ms Dawe, head of financial services for EY in Scotland, to the role of deputy chair. She has been a director on the SFE board since 2019.

In other recent changes, Rushad Abadan, general counsel at abrdn, joined the SFE Board in June, and Judith Cruickshank, recently appointed managing director, commercial mid market at RBS, is joining 1st September, replacing Malcolm Buchanan, who has been appointed recently to a new role with NatWest Group.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr McGuigan, said: “I’m proud to have been appointed as Chair of an organisation which represents one of Scotland’s most important industries, and excited to work with the board, SFE team and our broad membership to carry on the great work that has taken place under Philip’s tenure.

“Last year SFE launched its new financial services strategy setting out our collective response on issues like the economic recovery, net zero, skills and inclusion and changing customer needs.

“These issues remain as important as ever in the face of huge domestic and global challenges, and my priority will be ensuring we remain on track delivering the strategy with our members and for the benefit of customers and communities across Scotland.

“We are an industry with a huge amount to offer, and which continues to grow and add strength to Scotland’s economy. I am optimistic about our future.”

SFE chief executive, Sandy Begbie, said: “On behalf of SFE and our members, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Philip, whose contribution to SFE during his tenure has been invaluable, and has left us in a strong position as we look ahead to the future.

“Whilst I’m sad to see him go, the continued strength, commitment and diversity of our board is a huge source of encouragement for us and our members, and I am excited to see what this next chapter brings.”

“John has been an enormously positive presence on the board and brings significant knowledge about our membership and the changing needs of customers in Scotland.

“Alongside the recent additions of Rushad and Judith, I feel we are well placed with a range of experience, insight and huge skill to continue delivering our vision for a stronger, fairer and more sustainable financial services industry in Scotland that can play its part in solving the big challenges of our time.”

Mr Grant, outgoing SFE chair, said: “My time with SFE has been a huge privilege and I am grateful to have been able to work closely with so many great people and businesses from across the industry and our stakeholders in Scotland and further afield.

“I am particularly proud of the collaboration, alignment and influence that has come to mark SFE and the sector through the COVID period and that continues as Scotland faces into the Cost of Living challenges that lie ahead. I have been fortunate to chair an outstanding Board with an equally outstanding CEO in Sandy.

He continued: “Our membership has grown and we have implemented a clear, action-oriented strategy and plan for the development of the sector, all under the vision of having a positive, broader impact across Scotland in the years ahead.

“I am confident and ambitious in equal measure for the future success of SFE and Scotland’s financial and professional services industry. John and Sue have been a great support to me and I know will thrive in their respective roles. I wish them and everyone at SFE the very best for the future.”

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