Members of our Client Service team have typically been investment managers themselves. This ensures that each individual really understands our investment process and the companies in which we invest on our clients’ behalf.
Francis SempillHead of Client Service
Francis is Head of Client Service. He successfully established our on-the-ground presence in the US in 2019 and returned to Edinburgh in October 2023. He joined the firm in 2001, initially as an investment manager before taking on his current role in 2012. Francis holds a BA (Hons) in Financial Services from Edinburgh Napier University.close
Alex TorrensHead of Walter Scott North America
Alex is Head of Walter Scott North America, a division of BNY Mellon Securities Corporation, and is based in Boston. Alex is also a member of the Investment Management Committee. He first joined the firm before university in 2006 and intermittently worked in different departments. Alex participated in the Walter Scott investment internship in 2009 and joined full time as an investment analyst in 2010. He performed investing roles until 2023, as an investment manager and as Co-Head of the Research team from 2016. Alex holds an MA in Law from the University of Cambridge and an Executive Education certificate from Columbia Business School.close
Tom DuffHead of Consultants & Distribution Partners
Tom joined Walter Scott in 2008, following previous careers in the British Army and Cable and Wireless PLC. He spent his first six years combining responsibilities for particular stocks in the Research team along with supporting the firm’s Distribution Partner business. Tom holds a BEng (Hons) in Engineering from the University of Bristol and an MBA from Imperial College London.close
Takashi TajiHead of Business Development in Japan
Takashi is Head of Business Development in Japan at Walter Scott. He joined the firm in 2018 with almost 30 years’ experience in the investment industry. Previously, Takashi held a number of business development and client service roles in asset management both in the UK and Japan. He spent seven years with Standard Life Investments, ultimately heading up Japan business development. He is a CMA (Chartered Member of the Security Analysts Association of Japan) holder and has a BA in Economics from Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan.close
Justin AtkinsonClient Investment Manager
Justin joined Walter Scott in 2016. Prior to this he was a board director of Alliance Trust’s private equity business, having been an investment manager on the North American and Asian equities teams. Justin has also worked at an activist investment boutique in London for three years, having begun his career at an international law firm in 2002. He is a CFA charterholder and holds an MA (Hons) in Japanese from the University of Cambridge.close
Gustavo BikkesbakkerClient Investment Manager
Gustavo is a client investment manager. He joined Walter Scott* in 2022, after 11 years at Meketa Investment Group where he contributed to the firm’s client services, sustainability and research efforts. Prior to this, he worked as an investment analyst at Ernst Research and Management, a Boston-based hedge fund. Gustavo earned an MS in Finance from Carroll Graduate School of Management at Boston College, an MSM/MBA from the Arthur D. Little School of Management, an Analista de Sistemas degree from the Fundación BankBoston School of Information Science in Buenos Aires, and a Certificate of Advance Studies in Sustainable Finance at the Haute École de Gestion Geneva.
*Whilst Gustavo is an employee of BNY Mellon, he is 100% focused on supporting Walter Scott clients.close
Kiersten ChristensenClient Investment Manager
Kiersten joined Walter Scott* in 2019, having worked in the investment management industry for more than 25 years. Prior to this, she was Head of Global and US Large and All Cap equity research at NEPC. She previously held analyst and portfolio management roles for both Lloyd George Management and Eaton Vance Management. Kiersten is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she graduated cum laude in the international business programme, and is a CFA charterholder.
*Whilst Kiersten is an employee of BNY Mellon, she is 100% focused on supporting Walter Scott clients.close
George DentClient Investment Manager
George joined Walter Scott as an investment manager in 2008, initially focusing purely on research and covering stocks in the US and Europe. Prior to joining Walter Scott he lived and worked in China, before completing a traineeship as a private client fund manager. George is a CFA charterholder and holds a BSc (Hons) in Financial Economics from the University of St. Andrews.close
Margaret FoleyClient Investment Manager
Margaret joined Walter Scott* in 2011 having worked in the investment industry for more than 25 years. Prior to this she was the director of BNY Mellon Asset Management’s Endowments and Foundations Resource Center and also spent 11 years at Wellington Management Company, LLP. She holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA in Economics from Georgetown University where she played varsity tennis. Margaret is a CFA charterholder.
*Whilst Margaret is an employee of BNY Mellon, she is 100% focused on supporting Walter Scott clients.close
Laura MacDonaldClient Investment Manager
Laura is a client investment manager. She joined Walter Scott* in 2020 having worked in the investment industry for more than 25 years. Most recently, Laura served as a strategic account manager for MSCI, managing the firm’s largest asset manager client relationships in Boston. Prior to this, Laura held client relationship management and team leader roles at Wellington Management Company, Eaton Vance and GMO. Laura began her investment career in equity research at Goldman Sachs, focusing on the technology sector. She holds a BA in Psychology from Harvard University.
*Whilst Laura is an employee of BNY Mellon, she is 100% focused on supporting Walter Scott clients.close
Murdo MacLeanClient Investment Manager
Murdo is a client investment manager at Walter Scott, having joined the firm in 2006 and spent 12 years in the Research team focused on Japanese and US equities. He joined the Client Service team in January 2019. Prior to joining Walter Scott Murdo lived and worked in Japan for six years. He holds a BA (Hons) in Japanese and Marketing from the University of Stirling and level 1 Japanese language proficiency test.close
Tom QuinnClient Investment Manager
Tom is a client investment manager. He joined Walter Scott* in 2020 after spending over 27 years at BNY Mellon and its predecessor organisations. Most recently, he held the role of Director and Head of US Product Management within BNY Mellon Investment Management’s North American Distribution arm. He holds a MBA from Fordham University and a BS from Providence College. Tom is a CFA charterholder.
*Whilst Tom is an employee of BNY Mellon, he is 100% focused on supporting Walter Scott clients.close
Dennis WylesClient Investment Manager
Dennis is a client investment manager. He joined Walter Scott in 2015 and has 32 years’ experience in the investment industry. Prior to joining the firm, he spent ten years as an investment manager at Ignis Asset Management, working in both London and Glasgow. Dennis holds a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of York.close