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Stagecoach chair donates more than £100m to charity

24 Oct 2019 News

Brian Souter, Stagecoach

Stagecoach’s chair, Sir Brian Souter, has donated £109m to a charity he set up.

Souter, 65, set up the transport company with his sister Ann Gloag and has given the money through shares of his investment firm to Souter Charitable Trust

He established the trust alongside his wife, Elizabeth, in 1992. It has given more than 13,000 grants worth more than £98m over the past 13 years.

The businessman announced that he was making the donation as a result of the success of his investments in recent years. 

The bequest is reportedly the largest donation to good causes by a Scot since 19th century industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who donated an estimated $350m during his lifetime.

He said: “Given the excellent performance of Souter Investments, I have today gifted 28 per cent of its shares to The Souter Charitable Trust. I estimate that the value of this shareholding is £109m.

“The Souter Charitable Trust has donated more than £98m to 13,000 worthwhile causes over the last 13 years and this gift will allow it to continue this important work.

“Our total portfolio, excluding Stagecoach, increased in value by 9 per cent per annum over the 12 years ended March 2019. This compares against a 5 per cent annual return on UK quoted equities over the same period.

“Although this does not sound like much of a difference, the compounding effect means that the value of our portfolio is 55 per cent higher than it would be if we invested solely in the UK stock market.

“Despite the uncertain political and economic times facing us all, our portfolio is in good shape and Souter Investments has the liquidity to continue investing through the cycle.

“I remain positive in the ability for canny investors to find value in the coming years and hopefully Souter Investments can continue to be one of those investors,” he said.

Some of the projects it supports include Tearfund, Against Malaria Foundation, Christians Against Poverty, and a number of other faith-based charities, given that the couple are described as “committed Christians”.

The businessman previously donated money to the SNP, during the lead up to the Scottish referendum.

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