Cahal Dowds qualified as a chartered accountant with Touche Ross and co-founded Rutherford Manson Dowds which was acquired by Deloitte in 1999. He led Deloitte’s UK advisory corporate finance business from 2005 before becoming chairman from 2014 when he was also appointed vice chairman of Deloitte UK, prior to his retirement in 2018. He is a non-executive director and interim chairman of MarktoMarket Valuations Limited. He was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the Company on 18 May 2021 and Chairman on 9 June 2021.
Hazel Cameron qualified as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen, before moving into corporate finance with British Linen Bank and then into private equity investing, initially with 3i in 1993. She was subsequently UK head of Bowman Capital, before performing the same role for Cross Atlantic Capital Partners. She is currently network director at Growth Capital Partners LLP, an independent adviser and head of portfolio talent at AIM-listed Gresham House plc and a non-executive director and chair of the audit committee of AIM-listed Parsley Box Group plc. She was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the Company on 18 May 2021 and Chairman of both the Nomination and Remuneration Committees on 17 August 2022.
Sandy Nairn is Executive Director of Global Opportunities Trust plc, a self-managed global equity investment trust, and an experienced professional investor and author of three original books about investment. He has won multiple performance awards for the management of global equity portfolios.
Sandy was a founder and CEO of the independent investment boutique Edinburgh Partners in 2003. It was subsequently acquired by Franklin Templeton Investments in 2018, from which time until July 2022 he has been Chairman of the Templeton Global Equity Group. Before founding Edinburgh Partners, he was Chief Investment Officer of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, from 2000 to 2003, and Executive Vice President and Director of Global Equity Research at Templeton Investment Management, from 1990 to 2000. Before joining Templeton Investment Management, Sandy spent for years at Murray Johnstone as a portfolio manager and research analyst. Prior to that he worked as an economist at the Scottish Development Agency.
In 2001 he published a book entitled Engines that Move Markets: Technology Investing from Railroads to the Internet and Beyond. In 2012 he co-authored, with Jonathan Davis, Templeton’s Way With Money and in 2021 published The End of the Everything Bubble: Why $75 trillion of investor wealth is in mortal jeopardy, warning investors about an imminent severe decline in both stock and bond markets.
Sandy Nairn graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 1982 and in 1985 was awarded a PhD in Economics from the University of Strathclyde/Scottish Business School and has been a CFA charterholder since 1992. In 2020 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was appointed as Executive Director of the Company on 27 April 2022.
David Ross was with Ivory & Sime plc from 1968 to 1990. He was a partner of Aberforth Partners LLP from 1990 until his retirement in 2014. He is non-executive chairman of JPMorgan US Smaller Companies Investment Trust plc and a non-executive director of CT Property Trust Limited. He was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the Company on 1 June 2014 and Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee on 24 April 2019.
Under the leadership of the Chairman, the Board of Directors is collectively responsible for the long-term sustainable success of the Company, generating value for Shareholders and contributing to wider society. It establishes the purpose, values and strategic aims of the Company and satisfies itself that these and its culture are aligned. The Board ensures that the necessary resources are in place for the Company to meet its objectives and fulfil its obligations to shareholders within a framework of high standards of corporate governance and effective internal controls. The Directors are responsible for the determination of the Company’s investment policy and strategy and have the overall responsibility for the Company’s activities, including the review of investment activity and performance. A copy of the Schedule of the Matters Reserved for the Board is available under Shareholder Information - Other Documents.
The Board consists of four Directors. It seeks to ensure that it has an appropriate balance of skills and experience, and considers that, collectively, it has substantial recent and relevant experience of investment trusts and financial and public company management. The Chairman, Mr Dowds, is deemed by his fellow independent Board members to be independent and to have no conflicting relationships. He does not have any other significant commitments that would affect his Chairmanship of the Company and the time he can commit to the Company’s affairs.
The role and responsibilities of the Chairman are clearly defined and set out in writing, a copy of which is available under Shareholder Information - Key Documents & Risk Information.
The Directors of the Company meet formally at least four times a year to receive and review reports from the AIFM and the investment manager.
The Board regularly reviews its composition and effectiveness. As part of its review, it considers succession planning; identification of the skills and experience required to meet future opportunities; the challenges facing the Company; and those individuals who might best provide them. The Board has agreed that while the benefits of diversity, including gender and ethnicity, will be taken into account for any new Director appointments, the priority would be appointment on merit. Therefore, no measurable targets in relation to Board diversity have been set.