Derek Mitchell

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.”

Douglas Martin

Who I help

AAB Group- internal and external stakeholders

How I help

Collaboration. Delivering on the group’s growth aspirations

“Don’t wait for the right opportunity; create it”

Doug Martin is the Chief Commercial Officer at AAB Group. In his role, he is responsible for driving the inorganic growth strategy across the group. Having advised on over 400 client deals Doug utilises his extensive Mergers & Acquisition knowledge to help the group to achieve our strategic growth plans.

He provides internal and external stakeholders with guidance on our growth strategy setting out how we’ll achieve our goals and outlining the steps we’ll take to get there.

A strategic focus

“Something I pride myself on is my ability to think strategically and provide insights. A lot of my role involves building out our existing business units and helping the group to expand into new locations. To successfully achieve this, I need to identify and execute transaction opportunities that arise. By approaching this strategically I’m able to create a plan and collaborate alongside key stakeholders within the group to achieve our goals.”

Ambitious growth plans

“We have ambitious growth plans in terms of organic and inorganic growth. The rapid growth journey we have been on since securing investment has been incredible. A big part of my role is the development of our commercial business strategy. I couldn’t do this without the fantastic people I get to work alongside.

Ahead of the curve

“In my role, it’s important to be on the front foot where possible. That means, bringing market insights, recognising opportunities that align with our long-term goals and identifying potential challenges before they arise.

There are of course times when an opportunity crops up when we least expect it- we’re unfortunately not able to plan for everything. However, we don’t allow this to become a blocker. Through balance and flexibility, we’re able to easily pivot and capitalise on opportunities.”

Tremendous opportunities

“The firm has undergone so many changes throughout my 20+ years here. Our recent growth journey has accelerated the pace of change. As we’ve expanded the business, we have increased our service offering and increased our headcount all with the goal of providing better service for our clients. . However, the one thing that never changes is at the core of our outstanding group our people. That hasn’t changed since 2002. It’s what we’ve used to drive our business forward consistently and continually.

Why are we on this journey? We want to create unrivalled opportunities for our people and help our clients achieve their goals. Bringing incredible businesses and people into the group helps us to create cross-location career opportunities. It also helps us to deliver more services for our clients, supporting them where they are and providing them with top talent to help them achieve their goals.”

The future is exciting.

“It’s amazing to be part of this outstanding team and the future is incredibly exciting . Seeing how the hard work and dedication of our fantastic people continues to rise to new challenges and pursue emerging opportunities is great to be a part of.  . I can’t wait to see what’s next for us.”

Graeme Allan


At AAB Group, my role as a Board Member varies from developing our strategic partnerships, working closely with the Group Executive Team to deliver our ambitious growth plans, supporting the leadership team, ensuring they have what they need to be effective, engaging the Board and connecting all the stakeholders.


Graeme Allan is Group Executive Director at AAB. In Graeme’s role he is responsible for growing, developing, and maintaining relationships with AAB’s key strategic partners, including regulators and associations.

Prior to taking on the role of Group Executive Director, Graeme was Chief Executive of AAB. During his time as Chief Executive Graeme was the driving force behind much of the Group’s transformation as it moved from an accountancy business based in Aberdeen to a tech enabled critical business services group with teams and offices across the UK, Island of Ireland and USA. Graeme’s leadership and determination kick started the incredible journey the Group is on, and he continues to play a key role on the AAB Group Board and ultimately helping to deliver the Group’s ambitious strategic growth plan.

Graeme works closely with the Board, C-Suite, and the senior Leadership Team to harness the power of people and technology across AAB to build strong foundations for future growth and development of the Group. His expertise includes strategy, leadership and building high performing teams.


“I truly believe in harnessing the power of our people across all our locations, so it’s important we continue building and supporting high performing teams to enable us to attract and retain the best talent. I continuously strive to make sure that happens by articulating the AAB story and getting people excited about the future of the Group.

Private Equity backing means we’re able to scale more rapidly, as we have been doing since 2021. We moved to this model to not only ensure we could fast-track the growth of the Group, but to also ensure we could continue to invest and develop our people by opening up huge opportunities for them to grow their careers at AAB. I’m dedicated to helping our people perform at their best and to go above and beyond for our clients.”


“You may not think of the business services sector as EXCITING but the relentless pursuit of opportunities and the desire to do better tomorrow than you did today means that life at AAB is incredibly exciting. Whether it’s working with clients on their exciting journeys or driving the growth of the Group organically or through acquisition, no two weeks are the same.

For me personally, I’m still constantly learning and because of our rapidly changing environment, our growth, and the growth of our clients. I thrive on change and having to adapt my thinking. My ability to build strong relationships, my strategic vision and resilience are the strengths I bring to the Group. But to succeed, I’ve needed a strong team around me, and I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have great people that have and continue to support me.”


“I am extremely proud of the progress we’ve made at AAB Group. It’s not all about growth, when I became Chief Executive, I wanted to create a business that was in a better place than when I took on the role, and I truly believe it is, and that the direction of the group will enable us to continue to build on that success for our team and our clients. Leading AAB Group was an absolute privilege and helping to build the Group with such talented people is something I am very proud of, and an area I enjoy being involved in my role as Group Executive Director.

Looking ahead, there’s still so much to achieve. There is never a desire to stop or stand still at AAB. It’s about recognising the opportunities that will drive us to do more, whether it’s additional services or wider geography.

We have achieved so much together to date, but we’re not done yet.”

Vikki Venerus


Everyone within the Wealth team.


Recruitment. People Training and Development. Operations. Compliance.

“My passion is people.”

Vikki Venerus is Head of Operations and Compliance for Wealth. She has been a part of the company since day one, when she joined as an Administrator. So has seen it blossom from nothing, into the successful business it is today.

Based in Aberdeen, Vikki oversees the day-to-day operations, while taking responsibility for compliance – a crucial task in such a highly regulated sector. But undoubtedly the part that she enjoys the most, is growing and developing the team – a role which takes in recruitment, training, mentoring, coaching and wellbeing. She’s dedicated to bringing on the next generation of financial planners – and it looks like nothing will stop her.


“Culture is always at the front of my mind, especially when I’m recruiting. I see plenty of people who are really interested in numbers, analysis and the tax side of what we do. But that’s not enough. In a job like this, you also have to be a people person.”

Yes, the numbers are important. But I always think the most important factor is how that helps clients – because ultimately that’s our end goal. Building relationships, delivering sound financial advice and giving clients peace of mind. That’s what it’s really all about.”


“Whatever my team need, I’m there for them – whether that’s guidance, support, direction or empowerment. I don’t expect them to check in with me on everything – they can just get on with the job themselves. But I’ve put strong systems and controls in place to make sure that nothing falls through the net.

Having said that, I always make sure I check in with my team. Just to make sure they’re ok. Wellbeing is so important, if we don’t get that right, there’s no way we can do a good job for our clients. And it’s really important to me that everyone feels like they have a voice. Because in a team, everyone’s views are important.”


“A big challenge in our industry has always been the technology side. Getting tech speaking to tech. But compared to a lot of other financial planning firms I think we’re very progressive. In fact, you could say we’re early adopters. If there’s anything coming down the track, we’re always open to finding out more, especially if it will lead to more efficient ways of working. Anything that makes our clients’ journey a little bit smoother, like being paperless or using tools like MS Teams or DocuSign, is worthwhile.”


“I came into the business as an administrator many years ago. But soon I wanted to know the ‘Why’. Why was I doing what I was being asked to do? That’s what drove me to study, do my exams and became a qualified Chartered Financial Planner. Now my mission is to give that opportunity to other people.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing people grow and progress. In fact, nearly everyone on my team is studying for one qualification or another. Being able to bring good people through from your own talent pool and see the future open up for them is just incredible.”

Andrew Dines


Individuals. Business Owners. Oil and Gas Executives.


Financial Planning. Wealth Planning. Legacy Planning.


Andrew Dines is Head of the Wealth team. Based in Aberdeen, his role is two-fold. Firstly, he is part of the leadership team, providing strategic direction to help the business reach its objectives.

Secondly, as a financial planner, Andrew works directly with individuals, discovering what their own aims and ambitions are. Then he helps them create a plan to live their desired lifestyle, without fear of running out of money. He’s a people-person who likes nothing better than working with clients and doing his bit as part of a team.


“I work with a wide range of different clients. They come to me because they want to sell their business, have money to invest or want to start drawing down income from their pensions. Some are just looking for a better place to grow their cash.

Whatever the reason, it’s essential that the relationship works and feels like a comfortable fit. Potentially, we’re going to meet up every six months for the rest of our life. So it really helps if we actually like each other! And of course, having trust is absolutely crucial.”


“My clients are mostly in their 50s. They’ve forged their career and probably built up some capital, but they’ve still got a lot of things going on – weddings, grandchildren, retirements, travel. So what they want to know is whether they can do all the things they want to do without fear of running out of money.

So fundamentally, my work is all about offering support through life changing events – and all the tax planning, legacy planning, and investment management that goes with it. And that’s a difficult thing to put a tangible cost or value on. So when clients want to introduce me to their family or friends, that’s a really big compliment. And actually, the main way we’ve grown our business.”


“Often I’ll suggest something to one of my clients – perhaps something they’ve never even considered before. And seeing them act on that, and thrive because of it, is something that really makes me happy. Sometimes, they might be thinking about leaving a legacy for loved ones and I’ll say why don’t you do it now? To actually see people get the benefit of the money, often when they need it most, is so much more fulfilling than sticking it away in a trust until after you’ve gone. It’s helping make things like that happen that’s really satisfying for me.”


“The norm for most financial advisers is to take their client’s money and invest it. Then in a year’s time see whether it’s gone up or gone down and move it around a bit. I don’t work like that. I believe it’s better to make a plan and stick to it – and let the markets do the work. If you keep your costs low, remain disciplined and diversify, that will allow you to have a successful investment experience.

Anyway, I don’t want to base my relationship with a client on getting a certain return in a year. Because the moment you don’t achieve it, that’s the moment when the relationship starts to break down. My approach is to focus on things you can control. Focus on what you want to do, how much you want to spend, what you want to spend it on. And then come up with a plan to make it all work.”

Ian Campbell


Private Individuals. Business Owners. High Net Worth Individuals.


Wealth Planning. Cash Flow Modelling. Financial Planning. Pension Planning. Investment Planning. Cascading Wealth.

“I help people achieve their goals.”

Ian Campbell is a Head of Financial Planning within our Wealth team. Calm and level-headed, he works with clients to build their own unique financial plan. One that will help them discover how to build their wealth, plan for retirement and cascade their wealth onto loved ones.

Based in our Aberdeen office, his aim is to become a trusted adviser, building lasting relationships that often extend decades – or even into the next generation. And his ultimate goal – to help his clients get the most out of life.


“Professional but fun. That’s the type of relationship I want to build with my clients. I want us to enjoy each other’s company. To get on well. And of course, I want them to trust in the advice that I give.

I’ve worked with some of my clients for over a decade and I hope I’ll be around to help them for many more years to come. And hopefully, even move on to support their kids in future years too. I’m not in this just to provide my clients with a one-off bit of advice and then disappear. I want to be by their side as they take each important step in life.”


“I don’t think many of my clients come to me because they want to build a financial plan. Their call is usually triggered by another event. That could be retirement, an inheritance, or a company sale. But once we start talking, they soon begin to realise that this one event is actually part of a much bigger picture. And that’s when they start to see the benefit of building a financial plan and all the peace of mind that can bring.

There’s nothing better than helping someone see that they can achieve their goals. Or retire even earlier than they thought. I’ve never had someone come back and say, ‘Oh, I wish I was still working.’ And brilliantly, I often see them a year on after ditching their stressful job and I can actually see they look so much healthier and happier. So that’s immensely satisfying.”


“At AAB, we’re progressive and very entrepreneurial. Maybe because we’ve got quite a young team compared to others in our industry. I’m always ready to embrace new technology. Like using online client portals instead of clients having to bring in sheets and sheets of paper. Or the way I identify clients for anti-money-laundering purposes. I send them a text and they upload a selfie – then our software matches them to their passport or driving licence just to prove it’s them. Stuff like that helps me provide a service that’s totally efficient and makes the client experience as enjoyable as possible. You probably wouldn’t get that from your traditional IFA.”


“There’s no greater accolade than clients wanting to refer you. And yes, it’s great if they mention you to colleagues, but even more powerful if someone says, ‘Would you mind speaking to my dad’, or ‘can you help my son’. If someone introduces you to a family member, it’s a pretty big sign that they trust you to provide a good and honest service. I talk a lot about bringing confidence, giving reassurance and peace of mind, but that’s really hard to quantify. But a client once said to me, ‘I’m always worrying, but after I come to see you, I always feel so much better – because I know that everything is going to be ok.’ I think that speaks volumes.

Reviews and Ratings for Financial adviser Ian Campbell, Aberdeen