Scottish Mortgage’s Burns: Radical innovation always matters

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust's (SMT) shareholders have had a rollercoaster ride in recent years. The trust's share price has more than halved since its peak last November, following a spectacular run throughout most of 2020 and 2021. It’s now the UK’s second largest investment trust with net assets of £13.7bn.

In this interview, the trust’s deputy manager Lawrence Burns explains why he and lead manager Tom Slater are sticking to their philosophy of trying to own high-growth long-term winners, despite changing macroeconomic conditions. 

Speaking with the IC’s Mary McDougall, he talks through how he approaches valuing companies, the earnings and cash position of the portfolio’s holdings and whether the valuation of the trust’s private companies might have grounds for concern.

He also explains how the team’s thinking has evolved in relation to its Chinese holdings, what he has been buying and selling recently and which long-term themes he’s most excited about.  

Burns joined Baillie Gifford in 2009 and has been deputy manager of Scottish Mortgage since March last year. 

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