Chief Operating Officer


Who I help

AAB Group – Internal & External Stakeholders

How I help

Oversee the day-to-day operations of AAB. Support the Group Executive Team and wider Leadership. Work to execute the group’s strategic plan.

“People are at the heart of what we do.”

Derek Mitchell is Chief Operating Officer at AAB Group. In his role, Derek is responsible for achieving operational excellence across the business. His role consists of supporting the day-to-day operations and running of the business as well as working to achieve the strategic plans set for the Group.

Derek provides leadership and guidance to business units and support functions across the Group. By collaborating closely with internal and external stakeholders he’s able to ensure as a Group we are operating in the most efficient way for our clients and our people.

Collaboration is key.

“In my role it’s so important to ensure that everyone is aligned on achieving our goals.

How do we do this? Taking a collaborative approach to how we work. Listening, then deciding. Whether that’s internally with our people or externally, it’s about open and honest communication, being able to trust one another and also proactively address challenges as they arise.

Opportunity in challenge.

Any challenge involves a level of problem solving, which is something I really enjoy. Being presented with an issue and collaborating with the right people to reach a solution together is a great feeling.”

“I like thinking outside the box and bringing a different angle and opinion to something. For me, the more challenging something looks – the better it is for me. I always approach every challenge believing that somewhere in there – there’s an opportunity and if not an opportunity, then a lesson.

Having that attitude to challenges is something I think the group and the teams I support appreciate- they know that I’ll encourage them to expand their horizons and try new things. There’s nothing to be gained from staying in your comfort zone but so much you can gain from trying something new and that’s what I’ll always stand by.”

Technology is pivotal for us.

“The technology we have available to us now is so integral to the journey we’re on as a Group. It enables us to work together efficiently, wherever we are. It enables us to provide a best-in-class service to our clients because we’re able to respond to them dynamically, we’re able to support a broader range of clients from wherever they are in the world because we have a group with c.1,000 specialists across the business. Technology gives our clients access to the best people, wherever they are.

It is not a substitute for face to face. We’re on a journey to become a leading tech enabled business. Technology is helping us to work smarter, deliver more, remove barriers, but face to face will always be valuable to us.

At our core we are a people-based business and we believe spending real time in quality conversations creates better outcomes for our clients, and greater learning and development opportunities for our people.

Giving back to great people.

“The most satisfying part of my role is when I feel I am helping to create opportunities for people in this ever changing, growing and dynamic business. Why? Because I get to give back to a business that’s provided me with multiple role opportunities, backing and support. Bringing more incredible people into the Group, creating even better, cross location, career opportunities, and seeing people fulfil their own career goals is a privilege that I don’t take lightly.

That fast-growing element to our business does mean that we are constantly evaluating and reconsidering how we operate both internally and externally. The marketplace is quickly changing all the time and in our phase of transformation it’s important that we meet that changing market as best we can.”

I’ve been here for over 17 years. I joined the firm originally as a senior manager in Private Client, I’ve been head of Private Client, progressing to Aberdeen Managing Partner before I took on my current role as Chief Operating Officer. I’ve had experience in roles that are client facing and ones that were our people focused which has given me a great foundation for my current role. I’ve seen a lot of change, a lot of growth but that value- of people being the most important has been consistent. It’s what always has and what will continue driving the business forward.”