Baillie Gifford’s flagship Scottish Mortgage Funding Belief has
introduced that its chair is stepping down simply days after a uncommon public bust-up over company governance.
Fiona McBain, who has been chair of the FTSE-listed Scottish Mortgage since 2017 and a director since 2009, will stand down after this yr’s annual normal assembly, the belief stated on Tuesday. She shall be succeeded by the corporate’s senior unbiased director Justin Dowley.
McBain’s exit comes lower than per week after Amar Bhidé, who had been a non-executive director of Scottish Mortgage since 2020, launched a blistering critique of company governance on the belief, together with how lengthy McBain had been chair.
The UK company governance code recommends a nine-year restrict for board chairs, from the date of changing into a non-executive. Scottish Mortgage stated the board adjustments have been the results of “succession planning” developed over the previous 12 months.
Early bets on Tesla, Amazon and Alibaba turned Scottish Mortgage into one of many savviest tech traders of the previous decade, powering a interval of stellar returns.
Nonetheless, the downturn in tech shares has soured its efficiency simply as James Anderson, the driving pressure behind its funding technique, departed. The belief’s share value has tumbled greater than 30 per cent over the previous yr.
Scottish Mortgage stated on Tuesday that Bhidé “has now left the board and is now not a director of the corporate”. Bhidé advised the Monetary Occasions final week that he had been requested to resign following what he stated was a disagreement over the appointment of recent board members.
Bhidé, a professor of enterprise at Tufts College in Massachusetts, stated final week that there have been disagreements concerning the standards for brand new board administrators and claimed that McBain was “long gone the purpose at which she had any independence”.
Because the dispute grew to become public, McBain stated final week that she had “full confidence” that the Scottish Mortgage board offered “strong governance and oversight”.
Dowley stated on Tuesday: “I’d additionally prefer to thank Fiona for her 14 years of loyal and distinctive service to the corporate, specifically over the previous few years (and on the request of her fellow administrators) offering important continuity, reassurance and management throughout the extraordinary circumstances of Covid-19.”
As a part of the overhaul, Professor Paola Subacchi, may also retire from
Scottish Mortgage’s board following the AGM, after serving 9 years.