Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Baillie Gifford 'committed' to Scotland

Edinburgh skyline Image copyright PA
Image caption Baillie Gifford was founded in Edinburgh in 1909 and is still headquartered in the city

The investment management firm Baillie Gifford has said it is "committed" to Scotland whatever happens in the independence referendum.

The Edinburgh-based firm employs more than 760 people in the city, and manages more than £100bn of assets.

One of the firm's senior partners told a conference in Edinburgh that he believed investment trusts would "thrive" whichever way the vote goes.

The referendum on Scottish independence will be held on 18 September.

Voters will be asked the Yes/No question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

Andrew Telfer, a joint senior partner at Baillie Gifford, said the company does not take a "political stance" on independence.

But he said it was was "committed to staying in Edinburgh whatever happens in the referendum".

Speaking at Baillie Gifford's 2014 investment trust conference, Mr Telfer said the referendum raised "a bit of uncertainty", and there would be "operational issues" to consider in the event of a "Yes" vote.

But he added: "I really don't want to be flippant about this but investment trusts have survived through world wars and depressions and so I am sure they will thrive after September no matter what the results."

Baillie Gifford's approach is similar to that taken by Aberdeen Asset Management.

But Standard Life and Alliance Trust have previously said they have made contingency plans to move parts of their business to England in the event of a "Yes" vote.

A Scottish government spokesman said: "We welcome this confirmation from Baillie Gifford that they are fully committed to Scotland, whatever the nation's constitutional future.

"It follows similar commitments from other businesses, all of whom can be assured that an independent Scotland will be a very good place in which to do business and to invest in."

A spokesman for Better Together said: "As the interventions by some of Scotland's largest employers, like Standard Life and RBS, have made clear, if we leave the UK then it would cost jobs.

"With uncertainty over what would replace the pound and a separate Scotland's membership of the EU, Alex Salmond's obsession with breaking up the UK creates huge risk and uncertainty for Scottish employers.

"As part of the UK we can have the best of both worlds - a strong Scottish Parliament, with more powers for Scotland guaranteed, backed up by the strength, security and stability of being part of the larger UK economy."

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