New Scottish stock exchange firm makes two senior appointments

From left - Elaine Morton and Helen Webster
From left - Elaine Morton and Helen Webster

Project Heather has appointed Elaine Morton as Chief Regulatory and Compliance Officer and Helen Webster as Chief Operating Officer.

The duo will be joining the executive team who will work together to bring a new kind of stock exchange to Scotland.

In addition, three interns from Scottish universities have joined the team, in collaboration with the Ethical Finance Hub and Entrepreneurial Scotland, to work on discrete projects over the summer months, undertaking research, helping to establish processes and systems and supporting the team as they get ready to launch in the second half of the year.  

Headquartered in Edinburgh, the team recently moved into new premises on George Street, leased from the Crown Estate Scotland, offices which are intended to become a focal point for collaboration among partners of Project Heather to help change the way capital markets operate to better benefit the whole of society. With a permanent staff of 12, the organisation is now prepared in the key areas within which to build an impact focused, globally facing, Scottish based stock exchange.

Elaine Morton joins Project Heather from Sainsbury’s Bank, where she was Head of Conduct, Compliance & Financial Crime and brings over 18 years’ experience in a variety of disciplines in retail financial services. She will be leading the dialogue with the Financial Conduct Authority as the project seeks regulatory approval for the stock exchange.

Helen Webster joins Project Heather from Aberdeen Standard, where she was Chief Executive Officer of Aberdeen Life and Head of Governance, UK and Ireland. Helen will be responsible for overseeing the operations of the Scottish Stock Exchange.

CEO and founder Tomás Carruthers said: “I’m delighted with the quality of the team we have assembled and their terrific depth of experience. I’m also pleased that over 50% of our team are women and that this pattern of diversity is reflected in our Executive team.  

“We are looking at diversity through multiple lenses and as part of this commitment we are keen to provide opportunities for people who are just starting out on their career journey, which is why I am so pleased that we have been able to partner successfully with the Ethical Finance Hub and Entrepreneurial Scotland to offer internship opportunities. We will continue to challenge our standards of diversity as we build a new type of stock exchange, as it is by challenging norms that we ensure we do not behave in the same old ways. Culture and values are key to creating a trusted, accessible and innovative new financial institution, and we look forward to developing a great place to work as we continue towards launch.”

Project Heather recently confirmed the support of Scottish Enterprise via a Regional Selective Assistance grant, following a successful fundraising coordinated via AAB advisers. The company is partnering with Euronext, EuroCCP and Euroclear to provide the market infrastructure for the proposed Exchange, which, subject to regulatory approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, is targeting a launch around the end of 2019.

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