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.


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.


Sarah Whitehead
Sarah is a Partner and the Head of Legal for Sturgeon and together with Seonaid sits on the Venture Capital Fund Committees. Following an English degree at Oxford University, Sarah trained at Linklaters to become an English qualified solicitor, then joining Clifford Chance’s investment funds department, working for a year in Man Group’s derivative funds team in Switzerland. Sarah then spent eleven years at ING Barings, first as a trading floor lawyer, then in the capital markets team, becoming head of debt capital markets for Russia and the CIS.

On her return to London before joining Sturgeon, she worked as an internal counsel and provided compliance support for Pemberton Asset Management. In her spare time, Sarah edits Nordic legal academic articles, walks her Galgo and provides active support to a Spanish charity which rescues hunting dogs. Sarah’s dog is from Spain and is called Duquesa, meaning Duchess.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Daniela Filini-Gill
Daniela is Sturgeon’s Third Party Due Diligence Assessor. She manages the research, collation and analysis of due diligence data of Sturgeon’s third parties and suppliers. Daniela joined Sturgeon in 2019 from a boutique corporate finance firm, bringing over 15 years’ experience working with high net worth individuals and family offices.


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.


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


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.


Melvyn Davies
Melvyn is a Non-Executive Advisor to Sturgeon Ventures; sitting on our Executive Management Committee. Melvyn has over 30 years’ experience auditing and advising regulated businesses and 20 years’ experience on Boards of listed companies. Melvyn first became involved with Sturgeon almost 20 years ago and, after giving up his audit practice in 2016, took on the role of an independent adviser to Sturgeon in 2017.


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.


Trust - Strugeon Ventures

Trust – More important than ever

Sturgeon Ventures have championed agile working and remote working since their inception in 1998. We are all used to agile working and one of the most important factors for successful

Start Up Compliance Consultancy Firm of the year UK

Sturgeon Ventures wins Start Up Compliance Consultancy Firm of the year UK

Sturgeon Ventures is pleased to announce their most recent win from Worldwide Financial Advisor Awards Magazine - Superior Lawyers 2020 as Start Up  Compliance Consultancy Firm of the year UK.

Start Up Compliance Consultancy Firm of the Year - UK

Sturgeon Ventures wins Start Up Compliance Consultancy Firm of the Year – UK

Sturgeon Ventures is pleased to announce that the Lawyers Worldwide Awards Magazine - Global Leading Lawyer 2020 -  has awarded them Start Up Compliance Consultancy Firm of the Year UK.

Sturgeon Ventures LLP became a Carbon Neutral Plus Organisation

Sturgeon Ventures – A Carbon Neutral Plus Organisation

Sturgeon Ventures LLP became a Carbon Neutral Plus Organisation on 14th July 2020.   This status is a strong demonstration of our true low carbon credentials. (more…)

Investment Management Advisory Firm

Investment Management Advisory Firm of the year – UK

Sturgeon Ventures are delighted to announce that they have been awarded Winner of the Global Advisory Experts Award for Investment Management Advisory Firm of the Year in the United Kingdom

Sturgeon Ventures Regulatory Umbrella

If Sturgeon did art exhibitions…

To add variety to our Team Meetings, this week we asked everyone to show their self-portrait and here they are.  Can you guess Who's Who? Visit our Team Page for

Sturgeon Ventures Compliance Consultancy 2020

Sturgeon Ventures – Compliance Consultancy of the year – UK

Leaders in Law recognised Sturgeon Ventures' expertise by awarding them their Compliance Consultancy of the Year - UK.  This award is part of its Global Awards Winners 2020 programme. (more…)

Possible Consequences of the Unauthorised use of Third Party Logos

Possible Consequences of the Unauthorised use of Third Party Logos

Sturgeon Ventures (Sturgeon) contacted Womble Bond Dickinson to discuss the possible consequences of the unauthorised use of third party logos in the advertising and promotion of a UK business or