Identifying a need

Thistle logoJames Dingwall launched Thistle Initiatives in 2012 after a successful career working in two of the top four management consultancies. During this time James recognised the challenges faced by financial services firms, and the mix of skills and expertise it takes to deliver effective solutions. His experience with blue-chip clients shaped his philosophy of combining high-level skills and experience with a personal, tailored approach. The Thistle Initiatives way focuses on interpreting regulations in the light of clients’ specific business models to deliver practical solutions that reflect their real needs.

The key to the growth of any business is the ability to attract great talent.

Growing the business

The key to the growth of any business is the ability to attract great talent. James was able to handpick his senior leadership team, with Michael Bellenger joining Thistle in 2013 and current Group Managing Director Sophie Long joining shortly after. Thistle’s success is a testament to the strong relationships that exist across James’s team.

Together, the team answered the need for a closer relationship between compliance consultants and clients, and Thistle has added commercial value to its clients’ businesses, without stymying growth or innovation. This offering has proved successful, with Thistle becoming an award-winning consultancy that has helped over 1000 clients to become authorised by the FCA since 2012.

Clients range from niche start-ups to longestablished global market leaders with expertise split into specialist areas, covering Investments, Payment Services, Financial Crime, Credit and General Insurance. The firm advises and supports firms in relation to compliance with FCA regulation, PRA requirements and other key legislation impacting the financial services industry.

Finding the right support for growth

Growing a business can be challenging and Thistle has, since inception, always relied on Goodman Jones as a trusted adviser.

Despite having a highly professional and competent internal team, we value what Cetin and Goodman Jones bring in terms of being a sounding board for our plans,

explains James Dingwall, Thistle’s founder and CEO.

The advice is always practical and commercial. We also really value the fact that we feel like they are there for us whether it’s a technical issue or a matter relating to the needs of our clients. The Goodman Jones philosophy of providing a personal and tailored service is clear and we enjoy strong relationships across the teams. We look forward to many more years of productive collaboration as we embark on the next phase in our journey.

Expanding the offering

In 2021 Thistle Group expanded its offering by creating an insurance brokerage called Absolute Cover. Insurers often see financial services firms as high-risk and want to charge high premiums to match - assuming they'll quote at all. With clients right across the financial services sector, Absolute Cover has a strong understanding of how businesses operate and can take the time to get to know the true risks businesses face before presenting these to underwriters in the best possible light. Specialising in high-quality liability insurance for FCA regulated firms, Absolute Cover can provide access to insurance products perfectly suited to each business.

Absolute Cover can help FCA regulated firms access business insurance including:

  • Professional Indemnity insurance (PI)
  • Cyber and Data insurance (Cyber)
  • Directors’ and Officers’ insurance (D&O)
Absolute Cover is a trading name of Resolution Compliance Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 574048).