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Baillie Gifford star steps down from Edinburgh Worldwide trust

Baillie Gifford star steps down from Edinburgh Worldwide trust

Citywire + rated Mark Urquhart is to step down as manager of the £242 million Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust.

Baillie Gifford is proposing AA-rated John MacDougall and small-cap star Douglas Brodie as Urquhart's replacement.

MacDougall (pictured) currently runs the top-performing Baillie Gifford Japanese Smaller Companies and Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon funds, and has been Citywire rated every month since May.

Brodie headed the Baillie Gifford British Smaller Companies between 2007 and September, during which time he generated a top-decile return of 83% while the FTSE All Share gained 31%.

The news comes as the trust proposes change of investment policy. In 2003 Edinburgh Worldwide chose to differentiate itself by committing to a concentrated portfolio for the long term. Today the top 10 holdings account for almost half of the fund’s assets, and there are just 38 positions in total.

Over the past decade this has delivered a total return of 323%, better than the average of 280% from its Global Growth sector. Edinburgh Worldwide is similarly ahead of the peer group over one and three years.

However, the trust has now expressed concern about the decline in the liquidity of its own shares and its greater discount volatility as its highly concentrated approach has become more common and therefore less appealing.

Its board has therefore opted to focus the portfolio more on global smaller companies, drawing on MacDougall and Brodie’s expertise in that area, and is seeking shareholders’ approval for the changes.

Urquhart will continue to manage the open-ended £843 million Baillie Gifford Long Term Global Growth fund, which has returned a top-decile performance of 42% over the past three years versus 28.5% by the global equity sector average.

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