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Scottish Mortgage IT’s James Anderson to retire from Baillie Gifford

After nearly four decades at Baillie Gifford, it’s been announced today that James Anderson will leave the firm and step down as joint manager of Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC on 30 April 2022.

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.”

James 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. James also chaired the International Growth Portfolio Construction Group from its inception in 2003, until two years ago. He has been manager of Scottish Mortgage since 2000 and, since 2015, joint manager with Tom Slater.

Tom will continue as manager of Scottish Mortgage when James retires and as the next step in the long-term transition plan, Lawrence Burns will become deputy manager of the trust with immediate effect (19 March 2021). “I have huge admiration for Tom and Lawrence,” said James Anderson. “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.”

Commenting on James’s outstanding contribution to the trust, Fiona McBain, chair of Scottish Mortgage, added: “his 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.

“James and Tom constantly seek to observe, learn and improve. This has resulted in an investment philosophy that will continue to evolve. I and my fellow directors look forward to working with James, Tom and Lawrence over the coming year, and with Tom and Lawrence after that.”

On 29 April 2021, James will be nominated to stand as non-executive 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. If appointed, James would recuse himself from any investment discussions and decisions about Kinnevik and its underlying investments, while he remains a Baillie Gifford partner. James is also a trustee of Johns Hopkins University, chair of the Panmure House Prize Panel and a benefactor of academia, the arts and football.

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