SCOTTISH financial services sector heavy hitter Adrian Grace has been appointed chairman of the 7IM investment management business, which has a significant presence in Scotland.

Mr Grace has taken on the job months after retiring from the chief executive’s position at Edinburgh-based Aegon UK, which he ran for around ten years.

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Mr Grace stepped down from the board of Clydesdale Bank owner Virgin Money in May under that group’s succession plan.

7IM, formerly known as Seven Investment Management, said Mr Grace would bring significant expertise and knowledge in combining technology and financial service solutions, as well as extensive mergers and acquisitions experience.

Mr Grace shifted Aegon UK’s focus from traditional pensions to the provision of online platforms that investors can use to help manage their portfolios. He helped the company develop a significant business through acquisitions.

7IM has headquarters in London but highlighted its belief in the importance of the Scottish market in 2018 when it acquired the Edinburgh-based TCAM asset management business. TCAM was spun out of law firm Turcan Connell in 2015 though a management buyout.

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The acquisition allowed 7IM to increase assets under management by around £1bn, to £13.6bn at the time. It has around £14bn assets under management currently.

7IM employs 72 people in Scotland out of a group total of around 360.

The business was founded in 2002 by Justin Urquhart Stuart and Tom Sheridan.

Mr Grace said 7IM had a strong track record of innovation and focus on technology.

He has succeeded Ian Owen who stepped down after serving as chairman for approaching five years.

Before joining Aegon UK, Mr Grace held senior roles at HBOS, Barclays, Sage and GE Capital.

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In 2015 he was appointed a non-executive director of Clydesdale Bank. This became part of the CYBG business, which acquired Virgin Money for £1.7bn in 2018 and then assumed its name.