The Team

The Sturgeon team celebrates their trusted friends. Roll over each team picture to see them…….

Seonaid Mackenzie
Seonaid Mackenzie, a Designated Partner and Founder, of award winning Sturgeon Ventures in 1998 as a single family office, incubating companies and firms from that day –  known as the Venture Catalyst. Sturgeon Ventures moved into the specialty of incubating Financial Services firms as well as individuals and in 2000 pioneered “Regulatory Incubation” for the first time as individuals became approved persons, under the FSA migrating from The SFA and IMRO.

 Seonaid’s career in financial services spans the early years of being a US Equity Institutional Stockbroker at well-known firms to launching the first paid independent research product in the UK in 1995, which was paid out of CSA to a corporate Finance Advisor, pre and post Sturgeon leading a number of transactions.

Seonaid has advised and managed numerous family office portfolios personally and being involved in numerous investment committees to date, whilst also being a member of Fund Boards on and offshore.

Seonaid is a genuine out of the box thinker. Outside of her busy work schedule, she mentors and is a frequent speaker in schools on subjects including the journey of a female entrepreneur and looks after Sandy, the family Spaniel.
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Tom Powell
Tom is a Partner and the Chief Operating Officer at Sturgeon. A qualified Chartered Accountant, Tom previously helped found an investment management firm building it into a multi fund and multi manager business before resigning to take a sabbatical and join Sturgeon. Stella, his Working Cocker Spaniel, takes up a lot of spare time.
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Sarah Whitehead
Sarah is a Partner, Portfolio Manager and the Head of Legal for Sturgeon, and together with Seonaid sits on the Investment Committees. Following an English degree at Oxford, Sarah qualified as a solicitor, joining Clifford Chance’s investment funds department, her time there including a year in Man Group’s derivative funds team in Switzerland. Sarah then spent eleven years at ING Group, first as a trading floor lawyer, then in the capital markets team, becoming head of debt capital markets for Russia and the CIS. Before joining Sturgeon in 2016, Sarah worked for five years at the Pemberton funds group as an inhouse legal and compliance advisor.
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Lizzy Balcombe
Lizzy Balcombe is a Compliance Analyst. Lizzy has 12 years’ experience within compliance industry, most recently on the buy side for a mid-sized asset manager and brings her expertise to the Sturgeon team.
When not at work, Lizzy is a keen albeit very amateur DIY-er and enjoys attempting to improve her ‘project’ house.
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Alex Luke
Partner at Sturgeon. Head of Due Diligence & Onboarding of new clients, Controlled Function Persons and exits of clients who leave the Firm, with over 25 years’ experience in recruitment. Alex walked 26 miles for Macmillan on the Thames Walk and cycled 80k overnight for female cancers as part of the Sturgeon team. The next team challenge is under discussion and could be abroad! Alex’s family dog is called Ziggy.
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Becky Neill
Becky Neill is a Compliance Analyst, responsible specifically for the monitoring of the Appointed Representative Firms within Sturgeon as well as general compliance support. Becky has over 15 years compliance experience previously working in Japanese and German Investment Banks in the city.
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James Mabey
James joins Sturgeon Ventures Operational Team having gained over 10 years experience on the sell-side and buy-side, whilst holding Chief Operating / Executive / Financial Officer positions for numerous European hedge fund launches and capital market roles, within large UK institutional banks. In his spare time he provides football coaching, enjoys reading Greek mythology and has launched an organic dog food company.

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Stephanie McClennon
Following a period overseas, Stephanie joined Sturgeon as a Compliance Analyst and now leads on Financial Promotions for the firm. She has a degree in Economics and a twenty-year career in managing international fixed income and currencies, including emerging markets, for institutional dollar-based portfolios. In her spare time, she walks Howard the spaniel, plays tennis and practices yoga.
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Stephen Butler
Stephen is responsible for the risk monitoring of the Portfolios managed by Sturgeon. Having gained over 20 years of experience on both the buy and sell sides of the market, working within some of the largest banks and systematic hedge funds in London. He has held senior positions within both trading teams, portfolio risk and operational risk committees during his career.

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Alex Brown
Alex Brown, Senior Marketing Associate, is the longest standing member of the current team, having joined Sturgeon in 2008. Alex came to Sturgeon from Goldman Sachs, where she was the Assistant to two Senior Partners. She has had many roles throughout her tenure at Sturgeon, embracing our marketing role five years ago. Her activities include the co-ordination of new enquiries, liaising with the Sturgeon on-boarding team, through to the approvals of all new approved persons as they become fully embedded into the Sturgeon incubation journey. Alongside this, Alex also runs Seonaid’s busy work schedule.
Alex loves a challenge and spearheads Sturgeon’s volunteering and charity events, most recently, a 26 mile sponsored walk and Ride the Night.

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Kirsty Bedford
Kirsty Bedford is a Executive Personal Assistant to Seonaid and is an invaluable member of the team preparing Agendas and Minutes for all the Sturgeon Committees.

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Lisbeth Garrigan
Liz, through TPG Design, started working with Sturgeon in 2013 and looks after their digital comms, including the website content, SEO and social media. In her spare time she is a very amateur runner and volunteers with the Wardrobe Team at Hampton Theatre sewing costumes for their productions.

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Andrew Haggard
Partner & Financial Controller of Sturgeon Ventures, Andrew Haggard has been working with Sturgeon Ventures for 13 years, and became acquainted with the firm when Peter Crowther merged his business with Haggards. Andrew’s background was as an entrepreneur and now as an Accountant for entrepreneurs

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Paul Forsyth
Paul is a Non-Executive Advisor to Sturgeon Ventures; sitting on our Executive Management Committee. A PwC qualified accountant; Paul has over 30 years investment experience working primarily in the funds industry with Rothschild and Fidelity Investments, where Paul was a Managing Director From 1987-90. In 1991, Paul founded the Forsyth Partners Group, a multi-manager research and investment firm that managed almost USD 2 billion of assets which was sold in 2013. Paul has regularly chaired and presented papers at investment conferences around the world and has featured as a commentator on BBC World and CNBC.

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Nigel Grierson
Nigel is a Corporate Finance Advisor with 20 years’ experience in the IT technology industry as an operating executive. 20 years’ experience as Managing Partner of venture capital funds within Intel Ventures and Doughty Hanson investing and managing over $700m into 70 start-up companies across Europe. Significant experience in company financing, raising and managing VC funds, advising on business strategy and building high-performance management teams.

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Aman Oberoi
Aman Oberoi is a Designated Portfolio Manager in Sturgeon for a Quant Directional Japanese Equity macro strategy. Aman has been trading Japanese equities in various capacities since 1989, including establishing and running Citibank’s Japanese Equity derivatives business. In his most recent position, he was a Senior MD and member of the Executive Committee at Mizuho International Plc, London. He has a B. S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Duke University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Oscar, his Scottish working Golden Retriever keeps his feet warm when he is not walking with him in the Heath.

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Damien Lui
Damien is a member of the Investment Committee as a Portfolio Manager for Illiquid Equity Investments in Sports and Wellbeing Sectors.

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Andy Birley
Andy is a member of the Investment Committee as a Portfolio Manager for Illiquid Equity Investments in Sports and Wellbeing Sectors.

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Simon Wooding
Simon is one of Sturgeon’s Designated Portfolio Managers. Having qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2005, he then joined Merrill Lynch as an equity derivatives structurer. With over 15 years’ experience on buy and sell side investing, Simon’s focus is equity market neutral and fixed income relative value strategies. As a Portfolio Manager since 2012, he has worked with regulated AIFs, proprietary vehicles, family offices and other alternative mandates.

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Mike Brayshaw
Michael is one of Sturgeon’s Designated Portfolio Managers. He started his career in the City in 2007 with Barclays Capital and has over 13 years of experience on buy and sell side investing, working in both London and New York. Michael’s focus is equity market neutral and fixed income relative value strategies. As a Portfolio Manager since 2012, he has worked with regulated AIFs, proprietary vehicles, family offices and other alternative mandates.

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Tim Peppiat
I love the detail that others shy away from. A member of the Investment Committee as a Portfolio Manager for Illiquid Real Estate Investments.

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