Capital at risk

Investment strategy

Global Discovery

Global Discovery seeks ambitious companies looking to solve important, intractable problems. Smaller, nimbler businesses are often more adept at this. Using novel technologies, these promising companies offer solutions which are better and cheaper than those of their competitors. In doing so, they can challenge and displace today’s incumbents and shape our future.

Astronomical Observatory under the starlit sky filled with the milky way.

Unearthing transformational growth

Global Discovery seeks to invest in immature, disruptive companies experiencing exciting, formative growth phases. We then look to hold them for the long term as they scale.

While this approach can lead to individual stock and strategy volatility, we believe it also increases the chance of highly asymmetrical outcomes.

The strategy aims to outperform (net of fees) the S&P Global Small Cap Index, in sterling, by at least 2 per cent per annum over rolling five-year periods.

We consider opportunities below $10bn but believe immaturity, not size, is the best proxy for potential. We hold regardless of market cap if the company has desirable traits.

The performance target is aspirational and is not guaranteed. We don’t use it to compile the portfolio and returns will vary. A single performance target may not be appropriate across all vehicles and jurisdictions. We may not meet our investment objectives if, for example, our growth investment style is out of favour or we misjudge the long-term earnings growth of our holdings.

A unique pursuit

The portfolio is built from the bottom up, disregarding the benchmark. Thus, it has a very high active share. This differentiates us from others. 

We exist in a huge investible universe, but most companies don’t meet our specifications. So we place ourselves on the frontier of technological progress.  

The resulting portfolio varies by industry and geography. What unites it is immaturity. We define this as:  

  • Scalability  
  • Quality and ambition of management  
  • Innovation to solve problems and reshape industry  
  • Emerging competitive edge
We established the Global Discovery Strategy to capture the opportunity in the enduring supercycle of innovation.
Douglas Brodie

Meet the managers


Philosophy and process

Explore our investment philosophy and the processes around how the team constructs the portfolio.

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Strategy portfolio holdings

A list of the top 10 holdings that the representative portfolio invests in.

All figures up to: 30 April 2024

#Holding% of portfolio
1Alnylam Pharmaceuticals5.8%
3STAAR Surgical3.6%
4Axon Enterprise3.5%
8Exact Sciences2.9%

Strategy holdings by sector

All figures up to: 30 April 2024

1Health Care42.30%
2Information Technology30.20%
5Consumer Staples2.80%
6Real Estate2.50%
7Consumer Discretionary1.60%
8Communication Services1.20%
Total 100%

Strategy holdings by sector

All figures up to: 30 April 2024

Total: 100%

Please note

The information contained on this page is intended as a guide only and should not be relied upon when making investment decisions. All holdings information is unaudited. Source Baillie Gifford & Co. Please note that totals may not add due to rounding.

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Key articles, videos and podcasts relating to the strategy:



Viewing 8 of 8
  1. Global Discovery manager update

    Hear why investors’ confidence in the Strategy remains steadfast despite challenging times.
    March 2024
    Video46 minutes
  2. Why growth, why now?

    Tough times play to the partnership’s strengths: analysing what enables us to adapt and thrive amid rapid change.
    December 2023
    Article17 minutes
  3. Small caps: Beyond the myths

    Opportunities remain in small-cap investing, regardless of interest rates or market volatility.
    November 2023
  4. How Alnylam nips disease in the bud

    The US-based company’s technology promises to ‘silence’ genetic disorders and target some of the world’s biggest killers.
    October 2023
  5. Global Discovery manager update

    Investors discuss recent performance, holdings, and portfolio positioning for the Global Discovery Strategy.
    September 2023
    Video47 minutes
  6. Discovery: a view from the frontiers

    Baillie Gifford’s Global Discovery Team reflects on the lessons of turbulent times.
    June 2023
  7. A decade of discovery

    A focus on growth and innovation has led to exciting finds such as Tesla and Ocado.
    August 2022
    Video11 minutes
  8. Bricks and clicks

    With online companies currently dominating sales, it is widely expected that the need for tangible stores will continue to decrease, but Baillie Gifford has spotted a rise in forward-thinking companies who are utilising physical spaces to provide an innovative and interactive shopping experience.
    April 2019

Global Discovery manager update

Head of Global Discovery Douglas Brodie joins investment specialist Bill Chater to share observations on technological progress, the operational performance of portfolio holdings, and the market environment.

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Curious to learn more about our products and what we can offer you? Please get in touch.

Important information

The content of this website is intended exclusively for professional investors in accordance with MiFID legislation. ’Professional investors’ are potential investors who are deemed to have the status of “professional clients”, within the meaning of MiFID (2004/39/EC), as transposed in Ireland. It is not intended for retail investors.

Baillie Gifford Investment Management (Europe) Limited is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland (Reference number C182354) as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager and UCITS Manager to Baillie Gifford Worldwide Funds plc. Its registered office is 4/5 School House Lane East, Dublin 2, D02 N279, Ireland.

This website is informative only and the information provided should not be considered as investment or other advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a particular investment. Read our Legal and regulatory information for further details.