Interactive Investor

Manager of Monks investment trust announces planned departure

The manager of Monks investment trust has announced his retirement, effective from April 2021.

7th May 2020 13:04

Tom Bailey from interactive investor

The manager of Monks investment trust has announced his retirement, effective from April 2021.

Charles Plowden, the manager of Monks investment trust since, is set to retire on 30 April 2021, being replaced by his current co-manager.

Plowden holds the title of joint senior partner at Baillie Gifford and has worked for the company for almost 40 years. He currently manages several funds for Baillie Gifford, including the hugely popular Monks investment trust, a Money Observer Rated Fund.

Plowden took over running Monks in 2015. Upon taking over the fund, he and his team (co-managers Spencer Adair & Malcolm MacColl) initiated a switch from a value approach focused on recovery stocks, to a growth focus, searching out the ‘best of the best’.

As Plowden previously told Money Observer, the trust “seeks out that rare subset of companies with the potential to grow to multiples of their current size”.

This change in management and investment style has served its investors well. Over the past five years Monks has returned 115% in terms of share price. In comparison, the global sector returned an average 56.1% while the trust’s benchmark, the FTSE World, returned 55.2%.

The investment style of the trust is unlikely to change much, with current co-manager Spencer Adair stepping up to become the trust’s lead manager.

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Plowden also manages Baillie Gifford’s Global Alpha Strategy and Global Alpha Growth funds. Malcolm MacColl will continue both as manager of the Global Alpha Strategy and as deputy manager of Monks.

In a press release, Plowden noted: “By next April I will have reached my 60th birthday and spent almost 38 years at Baillie Gifford, 15 of them as senior partner.

“While I have enjoyed every minute, it is time for me to move aside and allow others to step up. I am immensely proud of Baillie Gifford and have every confidence that the firm will continue to add significant value for its clients and build on its distinctive culture.”

Plowden’s departure will also result in several other  fund management changes at Baillie Gifford. Helen Xiong, joint manager of the Baillie Gifford US Growth trust, will join the Global Alpha Strategy fund at the end of May 2020.

Meanwhile, Dave Bujnowski, a senior analyst in Baillie Gifford’s US Equity Team, will replace Xiong as one of the four managers of the Baillie Gifford American fund in June 2020.

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Money Observer, which ceased publication in August 2020.

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