Exclusive: anger over lecture
Unpaid staff stunned at failed exchange chief’s new plan
Tomas Carruthers: will be addressing students (pic: Terry Murden)
UPDATED 25 Feb: Outraged former staff and contractors in the failed Scottish Stock Exchange project have expressed dismay that its former chief, who owes them thousands of pounds, is to address a management school about his latest venture.
Despite leaving a mountain of debt and a trail of disgruntled creditors Tomas Carruthers has launched a new plan based on similar social investing ideals.
He will address a meeting of students on Wednesday organised by Stirling University’s Management School as part of its 2019/20 Student Managed Investment Fund series.
In a tweet it announced: “The SMIF are delighted to welcome Tomas Carruthers this Wednesday where he will discuss his latest venture: A Social Stock Exchange for a Global Scotland.”
A brief biography with the publicity material makes no mention of the collapse of Project Heather, the steering group behind the stock exchange plan.
Mr Carruthers has failed to respond to claimants chasing him for thousands of pounds in unpaid salaries and contracted work following the collapse of the proposed exchange before Christmas.
The Management School’s booking drew criticism and incredulity on social media.
One former employee, former comms chief Martha Walsh, tweeted: “An interesting choice! Good to advertise so creditors and sheriff court bailiffs know where to find him. You can ask him when he’s going to file accounts and about the impending strike-off by Companies House.”
Former SNP MP Michelle Thomson, whose consultancy firm advised Project Heather, tweeted: “Words Fail Me”.
A filing appeared at Companies House dated 25 February stating that a compulsory strike-off had been suspended suggesting the late accounts may have been filed. Documents are due within five days.
A compulsory strike off, also known as a dissolution, occurs when a company’s legal existence is removed from the Companies House register.
Daily Business, which first exposed problems at Project Heather last summer, revealed last month that Mr Carruthers has teamed up with a California-based social entrepreneur, Robert Fishkin.
Mr Fishkin’s LinkedIn account describes him as chief systematic change officer for Project Heather.
Project Heather was backed by trading platform Euronext which is believed to be owed about £500,000.
Mr Carruthers had expected support from high net worth individuals and later from institutional investors, but neither materialised.
All staff left at the end of last year and the Crown Estate issued an eviction order on the George Street offices it moved into last summer.