Is it time to ditch Scottish Mortgage, UK's top investment trust?
At the end of this month, Scottish Mortgage, the country's biggest stock market-listed investment trust, will hold its annual meeting at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh.
Although trust annual meetings, like other events at the college granted a Royal charter in 1681, are not normally rowdy affairs, this one could be rather fiery.
Baillie Gifford, the Edinburgh-based investment manager of the trust, and members of the fund's board, are expected to face tough questions from shareholders over the fund's wretched recent performance. Investors will demand to know what has gone wrong and more importantly what the future holds. Is there worse to come or is the future brighter?
There won't be Just Stop Oil-style protests, for sure, but it will not be a normal tepid annual meeting where most shareholders primarily turn up for a free drink and a few cheese and pickle sandwiches. It could get spiky.
Shareholder concern is understandable. In the financial year to April, the 9.7 billion trust saw its share price fall by a third as its focus on tech growth companies came unstuck against a backdrop of rising inflation and higher interest rates in the US and UK. The dire performance prompted Baillie Gifford's Tom Slater, lead manager, to admit the past 12 months had been 'painful for shareholders'.