Alistair is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 30 years of professional and commercial operational experience.
He runs a niche accountancy practice that offers a client-focused approach to accountancy, tax and business planning. Alistair has held the Practising Certificate issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland since 1984.
Having combined running his own accountancy practice and serving on the Board of a number of companies whilst developing a family manufacturing and retail business, Alistair has gained a wide variety of hands-on commercial experience. This experience extends to sectors including manufacturing, farming, e-Commerce, retail and, more recently, renewable energy.
He served as a Board Member of Highlands and Islands Enterprise for six years and was involved in a wide variety of economic and community projects across the network. In August 2005 Alistair was appointed to the Board of the European Marine Test Centre with specific responsibility for finance. As part of the EMEC board, Alistair has gained a strong insight and knowledge of the policy framework and support mechanisms which have evolved over the past eight years in the renewable sector.
In 2006 Alistair became involved as an investor and founding director of Orkney’s largest (and many in the industry would say, Scotland’s most successful!) onshore wind farm - Hammars Hill Energy Limited. From early 2006 the board worked together to take the project through planning consent, project finance, construction and commercial operation. The project became operational in November 2010 and has been enormously successful, resulting in repayment of the project finance ten year term loan at the end of year three. Alistair took over as Chairman of the board in June 2014.
During 2007 Northwind Associates was established. Northwind is an independent multidisciplinary consultancy practice specialising in the onshore wind energy sector. To date the company has managed seven projects through project finance, construction and commissioning.
With such extensive accountancy, managerial, board member and financial experience in a broad spectrum of industries, Alistair is well placed to advise clients on a variety of issues facing their business.
Alistair likes to take a proactive role in his clients’ businesses, in some cases even acting as a mentor or quasi-director. He is committed to providing the best possible service to clients and is always on-hand for advice, no matter what time of the day.
Graduating with a First Class Honours degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Strathclyde, Nikki joined KPMG in 2007 as a Graduate Tax Assistant and became dual qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor by 2011. Based primarily in KPMG’s Edinburgh office, Nikki was part of the corporate tax team, providing both compliance and advisory services. She also completed secondments to Personal Tax, International Executive Services and Audit.
She became Tax Assistant Manager in 2010 and in 2012 was promoted to Manager. At KPMG she gained experience working across a range of industries, including renewables, oil and gas, construction and retail. As well as managing clients’ corporation tax compliance matters, she was often involved in providing detailed and complex corporation tax advice, on matters such as mergers and acquisitions and restructuring. In 2011, Nikki was selected from applicants throughout the UK practice to complete a three month secondment to KPMG’s Melbourne office, which provided her with the opportunity to learn about a new tax system.
Born and bred in Orkney, Nikki moved back home in 2012 with her husband Rob (one of Alistair’s sons) and their daughter Kitty. Since then Megan has arrived, so she is kept fairly busy between Gray Associates and family life!