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Anglo-Scottish corporate boutique Dickson Minto had what senior partner Alastair Dickson terms “a fantastic year” in 2010-11, with the firm’s private equity client base finally regaining some lost confidence.
In broad terms the firm is run by London-based Dickson and Edinburgh-based managing partner Bruce Minto, both of whom are full-time fee-earners. Dickson Minto takes an informal approach to management, eschewing partner meetings and votes.
Thirteen of the firm’s 16 partners are in the equity. There is no expectation for them to contribute capital as soon as they attain equity status, although they are obliged to do so by year two.
By far the firm’s biggest expense in 2010-11 was the fit-out of its new premises in London’s landmark Broadgate Tower, where it signed up for the unpopular 13th floor - although the costs will be written off over the 10 years of its lease. The firm negotiated a three and a half-year rent-free period and will also have its rent capped at £45 per sq m at its five-year review.
Profit shares are decided by Dickson, Minto and one other partner in the May following the financial year-end. They are then paid out once a year in arrears in June. Dickson Minto also operates annual and deals-related bonuses, which can boost remuneration by around £50,000 a year.