Grant Thornton appoints Nicola Thomas and Vikki Macleod to its Growth 365 team

Business advisory firm Grant Thornton has expanded its Growth 365 service in Scotland with the appointment of two senior industry experts Nicola Thomas and Vikki Macleod.

Vikki Macleod and Nicola Thomas

Nicola Thomas is a food and drink industry expert who joins Grant Thornton with 20 years’ experience of advising and mentoring management teams. She will help the firm to fast track its international growth and tackle the pain points they face when expanding overseas.

Ms Thomas is a director of the UK Food & Drink Exporters Association and was recognised as one of the UK’s top 5 SME Export business advisers by Enterprise Nation in 2018.

Nicola has supported many Scottish companies on their export journeys, helping them to maximise the commercial opportunities on offer at Showcasing Scotland which is the country’s largest biennial international food and drink trade event. Part of this included the co-creation of an export skills e-learning programme to support cohorts of manufacturers looking to break into overseas markets.

Her previous roles have included a spell as head of food and drink sector for Santander UK and European marketing director of Christian Salvesen Food & Consumer Division.

Vikki Macleod has considerable experience in the technology, marketing and financial services sectors.

During her 30 year career, Vikki has advised the c-suite of globally-operating listed blue chips including Virgin Money, Tesco and HSBC, on their digital transformation and customer engagement strategies.

Ms Macleod has also worked at board level with the dynamic SMEs and has expertise in applying data insight and deploying technology-enabled marketing tools.

She is currently a non-executive director with security video specialist IndigoVision and was previously on the board of Zonal Retail Data Systems, a market leader in electronic point of sale technology in the hospitality sector.

Aimed at ambitious CEOs and entrepreneurial leaders of mid-sized businesses, the Growth 365 service has received healthy interest since being rolled out across its Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen offices last year.

Businesses accessing the service benefit from access to bespoke insights, trend analysis and connection to an international network of fellow CEOs and entrepreneurs.

Scottish companies currently signed up include specialist wine distributor, Alliance Wine, funeral plan provider Golden Charter and innovative digital display experts, Pufferfish.

Neil McInnes, partner at Grant Thornton, said: “The strategic counsel and global connections offered by our Growth 365 service have been incredibly well-received in Scotland.

“Adding the sector specialist expertise and connections of Nicola and Vikki strengthens this offering in F&B, digital and e-commerce respectively. These are key industries for both Scotland and the UK in general. Ambitious entrepreneurs and owner-managers leading dynamic businesses operating within them can now depend on a deepened knowledge-base and expanded international network to support their growth plans.”

Ms Thomas added: “The food and beverage sector has always been a real strength for Scotland with many of its exports in demand across the globe. Despite the current climate of uncertainty, there are still substantial international growth opportunities for forward-thinking mid-market businesses. The Growth 365 service provides a great platform to unlock them and I’m incredibly pleased to join the team.”

Ms Macleod said: “Grant Thornton rightly has a reputation as the go-to firm for growth for mid-market businesses and the G365 offering is a perfect fit for the innovators leading technology scaleups that I’ve advised for most of my career. I look forward to working with GT’s existing client base – and to taking the service to a new raft of leaders across Scotland.”

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