InvestmentsMay 1 2013

£2.6bn Scottish Mortgage chairman hits out at AIFMD

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ByEleanor Lawrie

Scottish Mortgage investment trust chairman John Scott said its comparatively low expense ratio was under threat from the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

The chairman of the £2.6bn trust said it was in the process of complying with the EU-wide directive, which he said did not seem to fully comprehend how an investment trust works.

“This has been conceived by legislators in Brussels with, on the one hand, an agenda to bash hedge funds, but, on the other, with a limited understanding, at best, of how an investment trust operates - is Scottish Mortgage really an alternative investment’, Mr Scott said in the preliminary annual results.

The chairman also questioned the benefits of the directive to investors and suggested it could increase the investment trust’s charges, which currently stand at a competitive 0.5 per cent.

“The AIFMD will, in your board’s opinion, provide little additional investor protection, yet it stands to add significantly (and in our view unnecessarily) to our annual cost base,” he said.

Scottish Mortgage is managed by James Anderson on behalf of Baillie Gifford. In the year to March 31, the trust’s share price rose by 16.2 per cent and the net asset value per share by 11.6 per cent, compared to 13.8 per cent for the FTSE All-World benchmark index.