Finance

Veteran Baillie Gifford fund manager James Anderson to retire from partnership

James Anderson, the veteran Baillie Gifford fund manager, is to retire next year after almost four decades with the Edinburgh-headquartered firm.

Anderson will also step down as joint manager of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust at the end of April.

Anderson, who joined Baillie Gifford in 1983 and became a partner four years later, led the asset manager’s European equity team before going on to co-found the Long Term Global Growth Strategy in 2003. He has been manager on the Scottish Mortgage — the UK’s largest investment trust managing £17bn — since 2000, co-managing the strategy with Tom Slater since 2015.

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Since 2000 the investment trust has delivered a 1,700% return, equivalent to turning a £1,000 investment into £18,000 compared to just £4,440 if invested in the FTSE All World benchmark over the same period.

Slater will continue as manager of Scottish Mortgage, while Lawrence Burns will become deputy manager of the trust with immediate effect.

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.”

He added: “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.”

Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolio at online platform AJ Bell, said: “News that James Anderson is stepping down as joint portfolio manager on the Scottish Mortgage investment trust will potentially cause some worry to the thousands of investors who have made fantastic returns over many years.

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“However, it’s important to remember how Baillie Gifford work with the investment process being firmly embedded in the team-based approach and experienced investor Tom Slater remaining at the helm. With Anderson not stepping back for over a year, this has been well planned with a clear handover process for Lawrence Burns to become deputy manager on the trust to support Slater.”

Anderson will be nominated to stand as non-executive chair of Swedish investment firm Kinnevik AB, which is currently held in Baillie Gifford client portfolios. If appointed, he will not take part in any investment discussions or decisions while he remains a Baillie Gifford partner.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email David Ricketts

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