Edinburgh's Baillie Gifford sees joint senior partner retire after four decades

Baillie Gifford has announced the retirement of its joint senior partner after almost four decades at the Edinburgh-headquartered investment firm.

Charles Plowden joined Edinburgh-based Baillie Gifford in 1983.
Charles Plowden joined Edinburgh-based Baillie Gifford in 1983.

Charles Plowden is set to retire at the end of April 2021 to be replaced by Malcolm MacColl as joint senior partner.

Plowden joined Baillie Gifford in 1983 and has become one of the most experienced figures in Scotland’s equity investment community. He was an investment manager in the UK equities team for more than 20 years, helping to develop the firm’s institutional UK equity capabilities and latterly leading the team.

He has worked in the “Global Alpha Strategy” since its inception in 2005, and became joint senior partner the following year, with responsibility for the firm’s investment department. In 2015, Plowden was made manager of the popular Monks Investment Trust.

Andrew Telfer, fellow senior partner, said: “Charles joined Baillie Gifford 37 years ago and has been at the heart of the firm’s growth, notably in the UK equities team, the Global Alpha Strategy and as a leader of the whole investment department.

“This is a remarkable achievement in today’s age. Most importantly, during this period, he has generated excellent investment returns for clients.”

He added: “We are announcing Charles’s retirement a year in advance, to ensure a considerable period of transition before Malcolm takes up his new governance role as the firm’s joint senior partner.

“This exemplifies well-organised succession planning, a key strength of Baillie Gifford’s partnership model which makes it possible for us to take a long-term approach.”

Plowden said: “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 will manage the Global Alpha Strategy, the Global Alpha Growth Fund and Monks until 30 April 2021, after which Spencer Adair will step up to become the lead manager of Monks. MacColl will continue as both manager of the Global Alpha Strategy and deputy manager of Monks.

MacColl joined the firm in 1999 and has worked in both the UK small cap and North American teams. He became a partner in 2011 and deputy manager of Monks four years later.

As part of the transition, Helen Xiong will join the Global Alpha Strategy at the end of this month. Xiong, who was recently promoted to partner at Baillie Gifford, has worked closely with the strategy for eight years.

Baillie Gifford employs some 1,300 people and has assets under management and advice of £198 billion.

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