Award winning UK regulatory incubator Sturgeon Ventures LLP seals CISI Corporate Supporter partnership with sponsorship of students to study Introduction to Finance course

By Lora Benson | Dec 09, 2019


Pioneering regulatory incubator Sturgeon Ventures has confirmed Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) corporate supporter partnership status for its staff.

The arrangement will support Sturgeon’s approved persons through CISI membership.

Sturgeon Ventures, founded in 1998, is the pioneer and the most established regulatory incubator for start-ups in the wholesale markets, coining the phrase ‘regulatory incubator’ in 2001. Since 2000 it has incubated 130+ start-up companies, including corporate finance boutiques, capital introduction companies and family office advisers.

The arrangement confirms CISI Affiliate Membership for Appointed Representatives, Approved Persons and Certified and Senior Management Function persons within over 45 different firms that fall into Sturgeon Ventures established Regulatory Hosting Solution Umbrella.

Seonaid MacKenzie, founder of Sturgeon Ventures, is a CISI Chartered Fellow, and has been a CISI member for 16 years.  She has worked for over 30 years in the financial services sector as a stockbroker, corporate financier, fund raiser and portfolio manager. She is a Freeman of the City of London with the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, a member of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the ICAEW and a member of the Women’s President Organisation.

Seonaid is a frequent guest speaker at several London secondary schools under the scheme, regarding careers in financial services and female entrepreneurship, promoting CISI where possible during this programme.

Seonaid is proud of Sturgeon’s predominantly working parents, with more than 50% of the team mothers, creating work life balance, with flexible hours, a philosophy and management practice she has had in place at Sturgeon since the beginning in 1998. She is also the founder of charitable foundation The Wellness Fund Foundation which focuses on educating parents and teachers on the issue of self-harm in young people. In addition, she is the angel investor also of Kidtection, a childcare agency for tweens and teens.

Sturgeon also endorses the CISI keeping a public register of its members to be a second reference to the FCA’s new Directory.

Seonaid said: “The link to CISI as a Corporate Supporter was a decision to evidence the commitment of Sturgeon to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, launching for investment firms on 9 December  2019, evidencing fitness and proprietary across our Certified Persons and Senior Management Function Persons, whilst maintaining the Approved Person Regime within our Appointed Representative Firms.

“Our CISI staff members will be encouraged to complete between 10 and 35 hours of CISI’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) through its dedicated portal, depending on their status, featuring over 500 videos on the CISI TV channel, over 180 Professional Refresher modules to update sector knowledge and the opportunity to attend CPD events.

“In addition, in 2020 Sturgeon will be sponsoring a select number of school aged pupils to take the CISI Introduction to Finance Course. This adds to the Sturgeon commitment of mentoring as part of our Statement to the Women’s Charter in Finance, set up by the UK Treasury, to encourage more women into financial services.”

Jim Winter, CISI Regional UK Director said: “We are delighted to welcome Sturgeon Ventures as a CISI Corporate Supporter. We would also like to thank Seonaid in particular for all the fantastic work she and her team do to promote CISI to schools to nurture the next generation of financial services professionals.”