Meet the team

Get to know the professionals in our investment team and our board of directors 


Alan Gauld

Senior Investment Director, aPEOT Lead Investment Manager

Alan is an Investment Director in the abrdn Private Markets team. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing private equity investments, including primary fund investments and co-investments. Alan has a strong network and extensive experience with leading private equity funds, particularly pan-European and Iberian GPs. As such, Alan sits on a number of LP advisory committees across Europe. He joined the company in 2014 as part of the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) transaction. Prior to joining SWIP in 2013, Alan worked for Lloyds Banking Group in its private equity team. Alan holds a BSc (Hons) in Genetics from the University of Edinburgh and is a qualified chartered accountant.  

Patrick Knechtli

Head of Secondaries, aPEOT Investment Manager

Based in Edinburgh, Patrick heads up the secondaries team of abrdn and is involved across the private markets activities of the firm. He joined predecessor firm SL Capital in 2009, which then merged with the company’s private markets business in 2017. Prior to joining, Patrick spent eight years at Coller Capital in London, where he worked on numerous secondary portfolio transactions. His early career consisted of seven years in investment banking, first at Baring Brothers and then at ABN Amro Corporate Finance. Patrick has a MA (Hons) in Modern Languages from the University of Exeter and is fluent in French and Spanish.  

Mark Nicolson

Head of Primary Investments, aPEOT Investment Manager

Mark is based in Edinburgh and joined the company in 2007. He is responsible for making investments across the private equity spectrum (Primaries, Secondaries and Co-investments) as well as having overall responsibility for abrdn’s Primary Investment business. Mark is a member of abrdn’s Private Equity Operating Committee and Investment Committee. He also sits on the Advisory Boards of a number of leading private equity funds. Prior to the merger of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life Investments in 2017, Mark was a Partner and Head of Primary Investments at SL Capital Partners where he joined in 2007. Before this, Mark spent seven years working as a lead adviser in the corporate finance teams of EY and KPMG, focusing principally on buyouts. Mark is a Chartered Accountant and has BA (Joint Honours) degrees in Accounting and Economics from the University of Strathclyde. Mark is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.  

Simon Tyszko

Portfolio Director

Simon is a Portfolio Director at abrdn. Simon joined abrdn in 2014 as an Investment Analyst in Private Equity and has subsequently held positions as an Investment Manager and his current role as Portfolio Director. He is responsible for the investment team's portfolio management function, implementation of new systems and technology and development of processes. He leads abrdn's Private Equity Research function. Simon is a CFA Charterholder and has a First Class MEng (Honours) in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Glasgow.  

Ramone Moody

Senior Investment Analyst

Ramone is a Senior Investment Analyst in the abrdn Private Equity team. Based in Edinburgh, he is involved in the sourcing, evaluation and execution of private equity investments, with a particular focus on secondaries investments. Ramone is also responsible for maintaining and developing GP relationships across Central and Eastern Europe and the Iberia region. Ramone joined the abrdn Private Equity team in 2017, having initially joined the firm in 2015 as part of the graduate programme working across a range of asset classes. Ramone holds an MA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Edinburgh and is CFA Charterholder.  
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Alan Devine


Alan Devine was appointed on 28 May 2014, and assumed the role of Chairman on 22 March 2022. Alan holds an MBA and is a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers in Scotland. He was formerly CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland Shipping Group and has a wide background of knowledge and over 40 years' experience in both commercial and investment banking. Alan is a Non-Executive Director of Irish company Capitalflow Holdings DAC where he is Chairman of the Remuneration and Audit Committees. Alan is also Chairman of the private equity owned Irish based cash logistics company known as GSLS.  
Diane Seymour-Williams

Diane Seymour-Williams

Non-Executive Director

Diane Seymour-Williams was appointed on 7 June 2017. Diane is a Non-executive Director of Mercia Asset Management PLC and PraxisIFM Group Limited, and is a Director of Acorn Capital Advisers Limited. Diane worked at Deutsche Asset Management Group (previously Morgan Grenfell) for 23 years where she held various senior positions, including CIO and CEO of Asia. More recently, she spent nine years at LGM Investments, a specialist global emerging and frontier markets equities manager, where she was Global Head of Relationship Management. She is a pro-bono member of the Investment Committees of Newnham College, Cambridge and the Canal & River Trust.  
Calum Thomson

Calum Thomson

Senior Independent Director

Calum Thomson was appointed on 30 November 2017, and assumed the role of Senior Independent Director on 22 March 2022. Calum is a qualified chartered accountant and was an audit partner with Deloitte LLP for over 21 years. Calum is a Non-executive Director and the Audit Committee chair of the Diverse Income Trust plc, the AVI Global Trust plc and Baring Emerging EMEA Opportunities plc. He is also a Non-executive Director and Audit Committee chair of BLME Holdings Limited and Bank of London and The Middle East plc.  

Dugald Agble

Non-Executive Director

Dugald Agble was appointed on 1 September 2021. Dugald holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London and has over 20 years direct investment experience in Private Equity. He started his career at Nomura Principal Finance Group, which later evolved into Terra Firma Capital Partners. More recently, Dugald has been involved in investing in emerging and frontier markets at Helios Investment Partners and 8 Miles. Dugald is a Supervisory Board Member at FMO, the Dutch finance institution.  
Yvonne Stillhart

Yvonne Stillhart

Non-Executive Director

Yvonne Stillhart was appointed on 1 September 2021. Yvonne was a co-founding Senior Partner and member of the Investment Committee of Akina AG, a Swiss based specialised private equity manager which merged in 2017 with Unigestion S.A. She has over 30 years senior executive experience in business building, transformational leadership, private equity and infrastructure investment, finance, banking as well as risk- and investment management across broad industries and geographical regions. 

Yvonne serves currently as a non-executive Director and member of the Audit and Risk committee at UBS Asset Management Switzerland Ltd., and is the Chairperson and member of the Social and Ethics committee of the South African EPE Capital Ltd. She is also a non-executive Director of Integrated Diagnostics Holdings plc and is a member of both the Audit and Remuneration committees. 

Yvonne holds a Director Certificate from Harvard Business School and the ESG Competent Boards Certificate. She is fluent in German, English, Spanish and French.