In a nutshell Baillie Gifford has fostered a culture based on partnership, rigorous research methods and an investment philosophy that focuses on growth over the long term.
From our Edinburgh base, we have been able to harness this intellectually curious yet rigorous approach – where the sharing of ideas and robust debate between our investment teams is central to our investment process.
The result is a successful business that continues to grow organically. We now have £173.3 billion under management and advice in specialist equity, fixed income and multi-asset portfolios for a global client base.
FOCUS ON CLIENTS
We would be nothing without our clients. That may seem obvious, but can easily be overlooked. All too often the financial sector will chase new business to the detriment of existing clients.
At Baillie Gifford, existing clients’ interests are paramount and we frequently close our products to new business to ensure that the integrity of our strategies and the quality of service are maintained. This commitment to professional excellence ensures clients receive our full attention.Thanks to our partnership structure we are free to focus entirely on our long-term vision to deliver the best results for our clients without the distraction of short-term shareholder demands.
This single-minded approach has enabled us to enjoy relationships with clients that have spanned generations.
Today we manage money on behalf of some of the world’s largest professional investors. We manage international portfolios for US and Canadian clients and have a blue chip client base covering corporate, public and foundation assets. We have had Asian Clients since 1989 and we manage funds for some of Continental Europe’s leading pension funds and financial institutions. Our broad geographical exposure also encompasses professional investor clients in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Korea, the Middle East and South Africa.
A lot has happened in the world. But let's focus on the last 109 years.
Since 1908 when Baillie Gifford was founded as an investment partnership, the firm has been wholly owned by the people who invest for and look after our clients.
Through each successive generation of partners, our singular focus on generating superior long-term investment results for our clients has been the bedrock of our own growth. Baillie Gifford today is wholly owned by its 44 partners – all of whom work within the firm. Growth has been organic, with no mergers or acquisitions, and we are committed to remaining independent.
This partnership style is rare among large investment management companies and creates one key advantage; with no external shareholders demanding short-term gains, we can focus solely on what we do best, seeking out long-term investment returns for our clients.
The organisational stability created by this ownership structure means that we can recruit and retain some of the best people in the industry.
Partnership encourages personal responsibility, creating a strong culture of questioning, debate and respectful trust in which the finest investment minds are nurtured and thrive.
This, in turn, means we can continue to find the best long-term investment opportunities. It’s a virtuous circle that has served us well for over a century.
Baillie Gifford are long-term investors, not speculators. Our investment philosophy focuses on growth while our universe is global. In equities, our belief is that sustained growth in company profits leads to higher share prices over time. In bonds, we take a differentiated investment approach, which focuses on long-term prospects rather than the potential for short-term price movements.
Our rigorous process of fundamental analysis and proprietary research, combined with a depth of expertise, are core to a successful, long-term, bottom-up investment approach. This allows us to exploit global opportunities over periods of, typically, five years or more. It’s a philosophy that has guided our investment strategy for 110 years, so no one can say we don’t practice what we preach.
Passive investing versus active investing. No competition.
We actively manage specialist equity, fixed income and multi-asset portfolios for a global base. As at 31 December 2018, we have £173.3bn under management.
In markets seduced by complexity, we believe in keeping things simple. We invest in what we believe to be the most competitive, innovative and efficient growth companies.
Over a century of global investment experience has taught us that patience is vital, so we build long-term, committed portfolios that aim to anticipate the next decade, not the next quarter. Most importantly, we love what we do and we don’t invest by rote or by numbers alone. Our analysts conduct rigorous, qualitative, fundamental analysis to determine whether to invest. We know that the equity markets may not agree with us, and that’s okay; it’s more profitable to lead than to follow, and we never stop questioning or challenging the status quo.
We are different. We are truly active investors, looking to construct focused portfolios of long-term investments. With a global opportunity set, we invest in government bonds and currencies, emerging market bonds, investment grade and high yield. Our highly experienced investors undertake rigorous proprietary analysis focused on fundamental investment characteristics to identify attractive opportunities around the world. We recognise that the asymmetric nature of bonds, with capped upside, makes risk management key to achieving our investment objective and it is integral to our approach.
We don’t believe in limiting our investment opportunities. Listed equities, property, high yield credit, commodities, emerging market government bonds and insurance linked securities – these are just some of the asset classes we invest in. It is our core belief that diversifying across asset classes can reduce risk without significantly reducing returns. Maximising our investment opportunities raises the likelihood of finding individually attractive asset classes and also helps us to achieve a balanced and well-diversified portfolio. We focus only on absolute risk and absolute return, considering an asset class for its ability to enhance returns or reduce volatility. We offer our clients access to a broad mix of asset classes through the convenience of a single actively-managed portfolio.
We are not interested in following fads and fashions or pursuing short-term performance. We are active investors, driven to deliver value-added performance after fees, over the long term.
In short, we’re curious about the world. And we truly believe that the best investment ideas spring from thinking about future possibilities, not short-term probabilities.
We appreciate of course that the world is complex but we believe that the way to generate long-term returns for our clients is to focus on the deceptively simple task of identifying and investing in those companies which have the potential to grow at a faster rate, on a more sustainable basis, than their peers.So we conduct rigorous qualitative research to establish whether prospective investments have the competitive, financial and strategic advantages to deliver on that potential. And we love to share our insights.
Our investment ideas are discussed and debated across our investment teams, from those of the most junior analysts to partners of the firm. We are always looking for that novel insight, offbeat observation or penetrating challenge to help round out the investment case and enhance our collective knowledge.
And because there are no enduring right answers in investment, we never stop asking questions.