Baillie Gifford  

Scottish Mortgage manager Anderson to leave Baillie Gifford

Scottish Mortgage manager Anderson to leave Baillie Gifford

The joint manager of the Scottish Mortgage trust will leave Baillie Gifford in April 2022 after more than two decades running the fund.

James Anderson has been the manager of Scottish Mortgage since 2000. Since 2015 he has shared the role with Tom Slater.

Slater will continue as manager after Anderson leaves and, as part of the transition process, Lawrence Burns will become Scottish Mortgage's deputy manager with immediate effect.

Burns joined Baillie Gifford in 2009 and since 2017 he has co-managed the international concentrated growth strategy.

Anderson said: "I have huge admiration for Tom and Lawrence. They are both thoughtful, dedicated and ambitious investors with a willingness to learn and an outstanding ability to partner with great companies. I couldn’t be happier than to have them as my successors."

The £16.5bn trust has consistently been among the top performers in its sector, the AIC Global.

Over the past five years it has returned 374 per cent while its sector has returned 107 per cent. Over the past year it has returned 146.6 per cent while its sector has returned 60.3 per cent.

Since 2000, when Anderson became manager, the trust has returned 1,572 per cent while the AIC Global sector has returned 440 per cent.

Its growth has been such that in 2017 it entered the FTSE 100 for the first time.

Andrew Telfer, joint senior partner of Baillie Gifford, said: James has been central to the strategic leadership and growth of Baillie Gifford. He has encouraged us to be ambitious as a firm and has instilled a long term, global and index-agnostic approach to our investing. And, most importantly, James has achieved remarkable investment returns for our clients.

"We are giving our clients a year’s notice that he is leaving the firm. Our transition process is tried and tested over generations, and we have developed talented successors in each of James’s teams in recent years."

More recently Scottish Mortgage has attracted attention for its large stake in electric car maker Tesla, which is the trust's biggest holding.

In 2017 Anderson admitted he had never made an investment for which he received as much criticism as Tesla.

Anderson has found himself having to defend the investment case for Tesla as well as - in one of the more bizarre episodes - write to its founder, Elon Musk, to protest at his tweets on the rescue of children from a cave in Thailand.

Fiona McBain, chair of Scottish Mortgage, said: “[Anderson's] approach of identifying and holding transformational growth companies has helped drive economic progress and delivered exceptional returns for shareholders.

"James has also pioneered our investments in private companies, one of the trust’s most important strategic initiatives to date."

Anderson joined Baillie Gifford in 1983 and became a partner four years later. He led Baillie Gifford’s European Equity team and after this co-founded the long term global growth strategy in 2003.

Next month Anderson will be nominated to stand as chairman of the Swedish investment company Kinnevik AB, a company quoted on the Nasdaq Stockholm Stock Exchange, which is currently held in Baillie Gifford’s client portfolios.