Absence of promised money
Stock Exchange plan scuppered by funding failure
Tomas Carruthers presenting at the Scottish parliament in June (pic: Terry Murden)
A failure to secure funding support from institutional investors is thought to have been a key factor in the collapse of Scotland’s proposed stock exchange project.
All staff have left, many of them owed unpaid wages, pensions and expenses, just six months after moving into a new head office in George Street, Edinburgh.
Project Heather, the steering group which launched the initiative at the end of last year, burned through millions of pounds as chief executive Tomas Carruthers promoted the idea to potential backers and investors at home and abroad.
Mr Carruthers promised further funding round, initially from high net worth individuals and later from institutional investors, but neither materialised. It is not known how advanced these discussions were and how much was being considered.
Initial support was raised through Anderson Anderson & Brown, the accountancy and business advisory firm, together with Scottish Enterprise, though it is thought this was conditional and was not drawn down.
It had been hoped to resurrect Scotland’s first Stock Exchange for 50 years and a launch date had been set for the end of this year.
The project was promoted by former SNP MP Michelle Thomson and a number of senior figures were signed up for key roles in compliance, risk and marketing with the aim of having 45 staff in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
A four-year lease was signed with Crown Estates Scotland on the George Street premises but last week it is understood to have sought an eviction order for unpaid rent.
One source said: “Many people have lost out as a result of the project, including every employee who awaits wages, expenses, pension payments and any kind of communication from Tomas.”