Baillie Gifford’s £2.7bn Monks fund hires directors

Baillie Gifford's current Edinburgh HQ

Baillie Gifford’s £2.7 billion Monks Investment Trust plc announced the appointments of Randeep Singh Grewal and Stacey Parrinder-Johnson as non-executive directors of the company, both with effect from March 1, 2024.

“Randeep Singh Grewal has been chairman of BB Healthcare Trust plc since July 2019, having served as a non-executive director on that board since December 2016,” said Monks.

“He is also a non-executive director of the Global Smaller Companies Trust plc. Having read Medicine and Computer Science at Jesus College, Cambridge, he trained as a vascular surgeon before transferring his skills in healthcare and technology to working as an analyst and portfolio manager with Tudor Capital in 1998.

“He was a senior portfolio manager at F&C Asset Management with responsibility for Thames River European Absolute Return Fund from 2010 to 2012 and portfolio manager of Trium Multi-Strategy Hedge Fund and senior portfolio manager of Trium Opportunity Equity Fund from 2015 to 2019.

“Since then, he has been closely involved with healthcare and technology businesses in various capacities, with a particular focus on start-ups and early-stage private companies.”

Parrinder-Johnson was, until September 2023, chief investment officer of Investec Wealth & Investment UK, where she was also a member of the executive management committee, chair of the investment committee, and a member of the executive risk management committee.

“Stacey brings twenty years of experience in asset selection, portfolio management, and manager analysis across UK and international mandates, and has particular strength in investment trust governance, sustainability and risk issues.

“She has previously served as a pension trustee and has been a governor of the University of Portsmouth since November 2023.

“She owns 3,250 shares in the Company as at the date of this announcement.”

Monks chairman Karl Sternberg, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to secure two directors with such high-quality, relevant investment industry experience to join our Board, with particular regard to adding new perspectives, and to ensure that a good succession plan is in place as directors retire.”

The appointments are subject to ratification by shareholders at the Monks AGM to be held in 2024.

In December 2023, Monks Investment Trust said it had continued with “a run of poor relative returns that began two years ago” in what had been “a bruising period performance-wise.”

Announcing the fund’s results for the six months to October 31, 2023, Monks chairman Sternberg said it produced a net asset value (NAV) total return of -3.3% compared to +2.1% for the comparative index (FTSE World in sterling). 

The fund’s share price total return was -7.3%, as its discount widened from 8.7% to 11.6%.