Scottish Mortgage ousted director complains to FCA

Amar Bhidé

Amar Bhidé, the director who said he was removed by a vote of the board at the £13.4 billion Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, has revealed he has taken his “concerns” about the giant fund to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Scottish Mortgage, Baillie Gifford’s flagship fund, on Tuesday announced big changes to its board following the claims of Bhidé.

Justin Dowley, the company’s current senior independent director, will succeed Fiona McBain as chair with effect from the 2023 AGM, subject to being re-elected by shareholders.

Departing director Bhidé clashed with McBain over the process to appoint two new board members and over his assessment of the risks posed by the giant fund’s investments in unquoted companies.

In a social media post, Bhidé wrote: “I believe I fulfilled my duty to stockholders by attempting to make public my concerns about the director selection process to the FT.

“This was a last resort after numerous private attempts I made to rectify, going back several months, failed.

“I have presented my concerns, whose manifold aspects could not obviously be explicated in the FT’s piece, to the Financial Conduct Authority.

“I hope the Authority looks into the concerns carefully — I have provided evidentiary back up (the ‘paper trail’) to the Authority and will be speaking to them shortly. Having fulfilled my duty to shareholders, having done what I believe is right, I will have nothing more to say. The Trust’s and BG’s overall philosophy of backing very high potential companies is laudable. BG is an honorable, capable organization. I wish them well.”

Baillie Gifford declined to comment.