Introducing Sturgeon Buchanan Partners

Written by Simon Kerr
First published 06 Oct 2008 on The Hedgefund Journal
There are a number of consultancy firms in London that help hedge funds get going. The exact footprint of the firm, which areas they assist with, varies according to the background of the principles and the sort of people they are. Some firms started by accountants are very focussed on administrative systems and routines and audits. For firms where the principals have a legal background the start-up consultancies get involved in fund structuring. Seonaid Mackenzie’s background is as a stockbroker with a deep and abiding interest in private equity, so her firm, Sturgeon Ventures, does not look quite like others in the sector.

Sturgeon Ventures was established in 1998 and became authorised in 1999, making it one of the longer established companies that help nascent hedge fund managers. Sturgeon has three spheres of activity. The core activity is compliance and commercially focused monitoring for firms that are regulated by the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA). Sturgeon Ventures also operates as a hub for a series of expert consultants in other functions, but all within the financial services sector. Sturgeon has experts in venture capital and fund raising, it gets involved in corporate development work, and Sturgeon Ventures can call on experts in risk management and portfolio construction for asset management companies of all types.
The third sphere of activity is to operate a regulatory umbrella, enabling firms and individuals that are unknown to the FSA to commence regulated activities in the UK. That Mackenzie is particularly adept in this area was demonstrated when her firm became the first sole trader firm to be granted authorisation by the FSA to offer corporate finance advice. For most of Sturgeon Ventures’ existence the people and firms that Seonaid Mackenzie and her team have helped have been based in Continental Europe or the UK. A new development is the formation of a joint venture with American compliance consultancy Buchanan Associates, headed by its President Vincent Buchanan. Buchanan Associates is a recognized expert in financial industry regulations and compliance, and one of America’s largest regulatory compliance outsourcing firms. The New York based Buchanan Associates provides broker dealers and investment advisers – including hedge fund managers – with services that support compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) regulations and requirements. With the recent February deadline for the registration of hedge funds with the SEC, the issue of compliance has taken on a heightened significance across the pond.
Read the full article: Introducing Sturgeon Buchanan Partners