Interactive Investor

Baillie Gifford’s James Anderson to step down from Scottish Mortgage

19th March 2021 10:50

Jemma Jackson from interactive investor


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interactive investor comments as the fund manager prepares to step down after 21 years.

Today’s announcement that James Anderson is to step down from Scottish Mortgage (LSE:SMT) is the highest-profile investment trust fund manager departure in living memory, says interactive investor. Anderson will leave in April 2022.

It is significant because Scottish Mortgage is one of the most widely held investment trusts in the sector, and with total assets under management of around £18 billion, it is the heavyweight of the investment trust sector by a long way.

interactive investor, the UK’s second-largest direct-to-consumer investment platform for retail investors, rates Scottish Mortgage as an adventurous option within our flagship Super 60 list of rated investments.

On today’s news, interactive investor will be putting Scottish Mortgage under formal review, in line with our process when a key fund manager departs.

Tom Slater, who was made deputy manager in 2009 and has been joint manager of the trust since 2015, will become lead manager from that point. Lawrence Burns, who has co-managed the Baillie Gifford International Concentrated Growth Strategy since 2017, will become deputy fund manager with immediate effect. Burns has worked at Baillie Gifford since 2009.

Anderson has been portfolio manager of Scottish Mortgage since 2000, before becoming joint manager in 2015 with Slater.

Dzmitry Lipski, Head of Fund Research, interactive investor, says: “James Anderson has been a true visionary, and has helped produce spectacular returns for shareholder over two decades. Scottish Mortgage has become the poster child for active management at its very best – not bad for a 112-year-old investment trust. Its clear strategy began with James Anderson – and the significance of his departure cannot be overstated.

“Even so, this is a textbook case of excellent succession planning. Tom Slater became co manager of the trust in 2015 and will now become lead manager. This should be hugely reassuring for shareholders in the trust, who also have the benefit of a smooth transition, with Anderson co-managing the trust for another year. But we will be following due process and putting this trust under formal review. We will be looking to learn about the impact on the whole team of this change, and to learn more about Lawrence Burns.”

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