Can Scottish Mortgage survive the tech wreck?

Logo Daily MailDaily Mail
2023-03-24 21:50:19  • 4 mins

The chairman of the biggest and best-known investment trust suddenly quits.

Her exit follows the outspoken comments of a fellow director who questions whether the trust's managers have the capacity to monitor its controversial stakes in private unquoted companies.

Naturally, some investors are alarmed by this disagreement and by the sharp descent in the trust's share price.

But other investors are buying, evidently persuaded that this bust-up in the normally sedate investment trust sphere could deliver change.

This may sound like the outline of the plot of a Netflix boardroom drama.

But these are some of the latest real-life events at Scottish Mortgage, the FTSE 100 trust where lenders are not the focus, despite the name.

Established 114 years ago to fund Malaysian rubber plantations, the 13.2billion trust today specialises in innovation, owning shares in US and Chinese tech giants like Netflix and the biotech specialists Illumina and Moderna.

These businesses have been brought to earth by the passing of the era of near-zero interest rates. Does their fate bring to an end the glory days at Scottish Mortgage, which was among the first backers of Jeff Bezos at Amazon and Elon Musk at Tesla?

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