Statement from Eilidh Mactaggart: Former boss explains why she left Scottish National Investment Bank

The former Scottish National Investment Bank chief executive has released a statement explaining why she abruptly quit the job.

Throughout the week, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon faced questions about why Eilidh Mactaggart left office.

During Prime Minister’s Questions, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross (below) claimed the timing of the resignation was “suspicious” given the announcement of the national strategy for transforming the economy on Tuesday.

But Sturgeon declined to address the reasons for Mactaggart’s resignation, which comes 18 months after his appointment, citing his right to privacy.

The premier told Ross, “Everyone in the chamber will understand that I’m not going to go into the confidential details of anyone’s employment status here in the chamber.

“This is not the business of ministers in the Scottish Government, it is the business of the board of directors of the Scottish National Investment Bank – ministers have not contributed to this, although we told us earlier in February that the managing director would be leaving the bank imminently.”

And after the Prime Minister’s Questions, Liberal Democrat MSP Willie Rennie said that if Mactaggart is leaving for personal reasons, MSPs should be told.

READ MORE: Kate Forbes won’t say why Scottish National Investment Bank boss Eilidh Mactaggart quit

On Friday afternoon, Mactaggart released a statement saying his departure was for “personal reasons”.

She described her time at SNIB as a “privilege” and said she looked forward to spending time with her young family.

The National:

The Scottish National Investment Bank was launched by Nicola Sturgeon in January 2020

The statement read: “My decision to step down as Chief Executive of the Scottish National Investment Bank was a difficult decision to make, but ultimately it was made for personal reasons.

“I am immensely proud of everything I accomplished as the bank’s chief executive, including: launching a bank in the midst of a global pandemic while working remotely; define its investment strategy; and establish its investment portfolio.

“I am of course very proud of the incredible team of talented people the Bank now has in place, all linked by a common goal of providing investment to Scotland-related businesses and projects to support the Bank’s missions. .

“It has been a privilege to take on the challenge of starting Scottish National Investment Bank and serving as its first Managing Director and I wish the team I have built all the best for the future. number of opportunities and I look forward to spending more time with my young family in the meantime.

READ MORE: Nova Innovation secures £6m from Scottish investment bank

On Thursday, Ross sought to draw links between the chief executive’s resignation and SNP politics, noting that his departure came “just days before the SNP launched its own economic strategy – a very thin, disappointing and watered-down strategy. by the Greens.

The strategy, at the launch of which the finance secretary promised Scotland would be ‘radical and bold’, received a mixed response when it was released on Tuesday.

Several business groups, including the Scottish Retail Consortium and Scottish Chambers of Commerce, have welcomed it, while businessman Sir Tom Hunter has called for the plan to be more business and consumer led. STUC general secretary Roz Foyer – who was a member of the group that advised the government on the plan – said it was a “missed opportunity”.

READ MORE: These are the three main aims of the Scottish National Investment Bank

The Prime Minister told the Scottish Conservative leader: “Yes, it’s a coincidence and it’s clear.

“On the issue of the former chief executive – the former chief executive of the Scottish National Investment Bank is an individual.

“She has chosen to step down as the bank’s chief executive – she is entitled to the duty of care and confidentiality that anyone else in her situation is entitled to.

“It would be completely wrong – and I think most reasonable people would agree – that it would be completely wrong for me in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament to breach that confidentiality.”