Stuart has been involved in Financial Services since 1986 when he started training as a Financial Adviser in the UKwith Liberty Life. He remained with the same organisation for the whole of his UK career although, Liberty Life was bought by American giant Lincoln National in the Mid Nineties.
He studied for and passed the advanced Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) qualifications in Taxation and Trusts(G10), Retirement Pensions Planning (G60) and Supervision and Sales Management (H15) which putt him in the top 2% of qualified Financial Advisers at the time in the UK and allows him to use the designation ALIA (dip)(Associate of the Life Insurance Association).
Stuart left the position of Scottish East Coast Area Development Manager for Lincoln National in 1999 to move to Singapore and join Austen Morris Associates (AMA) as an Offshore Investment Adviser. This new challenge involved providing advice to expatriates on the creation and management of wealth using the various Tax Free jurisdictions around the world.
He was asked by Austen Morris Associates to take over the development of a mainland China office in Shanghai in 2000. Originally this was structured as a Representative Office but Stuart saw the benefit of creating a “Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise” (WOFE) in mainland China and implemented that to great success, AMA being the first company of its kind in China.
When one of the original two owners of Austen Morris Associates retired in 2005 Stuart bought half of the company and over the following four years helped his business partner, Greg Morris increase the turnover of the company by over 1,200 percent allowing Austen Morris Associates to become by far the biggest company of its type in China and one of the biggest in Asia.
Stuart sold his half of the company back to his partner in 2009 to focus on other opportunities for the development of business in China. At this time Austen Morris Associates had almost 200 employees (at least half being expats!) and a turnover of many millions. He was retained by Austen Morris Associates on a business consultancy contract,has helped with the development of the company in various capacities since then and continues to have a business consultancy agreement with the company to this day.
In August 2006, Stuart formed Austen Morris China with Greg Morris and local Shanghai business colleague Bin Ying.On Greg’s departure from this business in 2008, Bin and Stuart re named the business Asset Management China with the local company in Shanghai being called Shanghai Aozheng Wealth Management Consulting. The Intention was to bring the western standards of care and professionalism to the mainland domestic wealth management market.This company was made dormant in 2010 due to the implementation of laws in China specifically prohibiting the sale of offshore investment vehicles to a domestic market.
During the 15 years Stuart has spent in China he has been directly involved in the formation of seven Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises (WOFEs), four of those in the financial services sector and three in the Food and Beverage, Retail, Import and Export sector. In addition he has structured companies for Austen Morris Associates in Manila(Philippines), Ho Chi Min (Vietnam) and Bangkok (Thailand). Stuart was recently invited to attended the opening of the first Austen Morris Associates South African office in Johannesburg.