Monday, 19 January 2009
South Wales Anarchists’ revelations about the Welsh arsembly pension fund’s manager, Baillie Gifford Life Ltd, last week can only be adding to the woes of the Edinburgh-based partnership.
In 2007 the thirty-three partners who own the company were sitting pretty on investments worth £55 billion. By September 2008 that amount had plunged to £46 billion with one of its flagship funds, Scottish Mortgage Fund, losing nearly half its value. Baillie Gifford lost a further £200 million when Northern Rock collapsed. And the international investment markets are only set to get worse.
While the bankruptcy of such a disreputable organisation could potentially be good news, we think it could spell even more of a disaster for the environment. This is what Edward Hocknell, one of the partners had to say recently:
“We think what will get us out of the hole will be infrastructure spending,” Hocknell said. “It won’t be a consumer recovery but an industrial one.”
This strategy has led Baillie Gifford managers to continue betting on companies such as the Brazilian energy giant Petrobrás and Sweden’s Atlas Copco.
He went on: “We are very overweight in areas that are dirty and smelly-mining and engineering-because emerging markets have huge reserves to spend on their infrastructures.”
What Mr Hocknell means by that is in order to claw back profits for its clients, many of whom are UK local authority pension funds involving billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, Baillie Gifford are going to pump more money into some of the most polluting companies on the planet.
Don’t these people take any responsibility for their actions? Of course they don’t. Profits come before people: “We take a pragmatic and flexible approach to corporate governance,” say Baillie Gifford on its website. “Baillie Gifford recognises that it has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of its clients.” And if that means supporting Robert Mugabe’s murderous regime in Zimbabwe by investing funds in Anglo-American mining corporation then so be it…
We CAN do something to stop these corporate cowboys.
Baillie Gifford is one of the largest managers of local authority pension funds in the UK. Not only does it look after the interests of Welsh arsembly members, Baillie Gifford manages the pension fund of the Scottish parliament and used to look after the pension fund of the Northern Ireland assembly.
If you work in local government, check on your pension fund with your employer. Baillie Gifford is creaming off billions of pounds from Orkney to Sussex.
Contact Baillie Gifford and express your outrage at what they’re doing.
We’re doing our best to track down the 33 partners. So far we’ve come up with:
Alex Callander – joint senior partner
Charles Plowden – joint senior partner
Ken Barker Elaine Morrison
Peter Hadden Anthony Tait
Edward Hocknell James Anderson
The company also boasts top Tory porker, lord Strathclyde, as one of its directors.
Head office address:
Baillie Gifford, Calton Square, 1, Greenside Row, Edinburgh EH1 3AN
Tel: 0131 275 2000
Or you can email them on: email@example.com
I’m sure Colin would love to hear from you…
And if you’ve got any more information on Baillie Gifford please tell us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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