James Hughes

Chairman of the Board



I studied Economics at Cambridge University. With hindsight I probably spent too much time rowing and playing other sports instead of studying! I started my career in the City in the mid-1990s and became an equity derivatives trader – a job which eventually took me to Hong Kong where I settled for almost 15 years. As well as trading and investment banking, I’ve also done a couple of stints with private banks, and I also set up a wealth management business in London. I set up Buchanan Capital in 2016, which is a boutique advisor and venture investor in the financial services space. Black Swan Capital is one of our offspring.

My main task with Black Swan Capital is to keep an eye on governance, and assist David with business, strategic, and corporate financial planning. I also help to coordinate Black Swan Capital with the other businesses that I oversee.



I have five children – four sons and, finally, a daughter. So that takes up virtually all of my spare time! But when I do have some ‘me time’, I love equestrian sports. I ride, and I’m studying for my BHS level 2 exams. I’m also a novice polo player. One of my ambitions is to play with (or against!) Princes William and Harry. I also do quite a lot of trail running and adventure races, anything to get the heart racing and the adrenaline flowing.



  • The Queen
  • Dogs
  • Pubs
  • Pubs that let dogs in
  • Horses
  • Undisturbed sleep (with five children, I don’t get much of that)
  • Reading books (hardback)
  • Running in Hampstead Heath at night
  • Cold weather (living in Hong Kong has put me off hot weather)



  • Untidiness and disorder
  • Not having enough time to do everything I want to do
  • People who put the milk in before the tea bag. There’s just no excuse
  • Reality TV

Spotlight questions

Perfect weekend:

Climb a mountain in Scotland, then watch some rugby with friends and family in a great pub

Favourite Holiday Destination:

West coast of Scotland

Favourite song to play in the car:

Feel It Still, by Portugal, The Man

If I could be a fictional character I would be…

M (as in 007’s boss)

If I could turn an activity into an Olympic sport it would be:


When the dessert menu arrives, I’m looking for:

Rhubarb crumble and custard

Three qualities that draw me to new people:

Friendly, optimistic attitude, interesting to talk to

My pet peeve is:

The strange ‘fashion’ where people wear their trousers half way down

The best gift I received was:

A half-eaten sweet from my baby daughter, because I know how much she wanted it for herself

Three people at my dream dinner party:

Sir Winston Churchill, General Gordon of Khartoum, and Field Marshall Jan Smuts

Three small things that make my day better:

First class cup of tea, finding my favourite black socks without having to look too hard, my children (they are small)