Scottish Mortgage revamps board following criticism

Chair Fiona McBain announces intention to retire from role a week after director Amar Bhidé raised concerns over the length of her tenure

Scottish Highlands photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash


Scottish Mortgage Investment trust chair Fiona McBain is set to exit the trust after 14 years, alongside non-executive director Paola Subacchi.

The pair will remain in their respective positions until the outcome of the Baillie Gifford trust’s AGM in June. Meanwhile, director Amir Bhidé has left the firm with immediate effect.

The news follows Bhidé’s criticism of the board last week. On 17 March, he told the Financial Times  he had disagreed with McBain over the process to add two new members to the board as well as the risk posed by the trust’s investments in unquoted assets.

He was also concerned by the length of her tenure, share price performance and the size of Scottish Mortgage’s discount.

Number of board changes

In an announcement to the stock exchange, the £13.4bn trust also confirmed that senior independent director Justin Dowley will succeed McBain as chair.

Dowley said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Paola (Subacchi) for her substantial contributions during her nine years as a non-executive director.

“I would also like to thank Fiona for her 14 years of loyal and exceptional service to the company, in particular over the last few years (and at the request of her fellow directors) providing essential continuity, reassurance and leadership during the extraordinary circumstances of Covid-19 and through a period of transition on the board and with the managers.”

See also: Scottish Mortgage managers admit mistakes on China

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