CompaniesMay 1 2013

Firing Line: Douglas Pryde

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ByMelanie Tringham

Winning it, in conjunction with two other owners, was the icing on the cake. But it was also the continuation of a competitive instinct that saw him play football for Scotland at the age of 18.

Mr Pryde said: “It is a hugely different experience going as an owner than going as a punter. If you’ve been into sport for a long time then you need something else to be competitive.”

He has gained a huge amount of satisfaction from horse racing. He said: “There’s a good atmosphere when you see all the silks and jockeys and if you’re able to compete at the highest level.

“If you’ve a horse running at the Grand National, that’s a tremendous achievement, and winning it is a tremendous achievement.”

However, apart from ensuring the horse is at the right age and has the right handicap rating, the costs are considerable. Mr Pryde said training costs a minimum of £15,000 a year.

He added: “The benefits are that you’ve got all the benefits of what the racecourses provide for owners – you get a lovely lunch. It’s also meeting other people who are participating as owners.

“It’s just a change from dealing with business with clients. It’s a release valve.”

Mr Pryde has been an IFA since 1987, when he left the insurance sector and struck out on his own.

He set up his business, D G Pryde, and is now working in a team of six.

The majority of his clients are high net-worth, mainly senior executives, and he deals with pensions, protection and tax planning, involving enterprise investment schemes and venture capital trusts, as well as trusts for inheritance tax planning.

Most of his business comes from referrals from many of his existing 1500 clients, with 40 per cent from three accountancy firms. His typical client has a £250,000 portfolio, and the firm has approximately £160m under management.

He started out working for the Royal Bank of Scotland and after about 18 months was speaking to a friend who suggested working for Scottish Equitable. He applied as a trainee and became a consultant at the age of 21. He moved to Liverpool for five years, and was also assistant marketing manager at Scottish Widows.

When it came to setting up on his own, he said: “My career in insurance companies was coming to a natural end. I wasn’t a typical insurance company person; I just wanted to be a bit more entrepreneurial and run my own business, and I didn’t want to be an employee any more. Setting up on my own was hugely motivating. It’s the best thing I ever did.”