Ellie Lewis

Joined in 2020 after studying Economics and Finance at the University of York

Ellie Lewis stood leaning against the back of a sofa whilst clutching a notepad.

Exploring opportunities

I’m from a working-class family and wasn’t sure what I could do with my degree. During my studies, I did some public service internships, but struggled with the culture. For me, everything moved so slowly in government where you could get lost in the machine. So when some of my friends recommended looking into investment research, I discovered Baillie Gifford, a bit of an outlier in the financial services industry. They have a long-term approach and are concerned about making a positive impact on society. The interview process was different too. Other firms expect you to have quite a lot of macro and market knowledge, but Baillie Gifford asked me what I’d read recently and why I chose the qualifications I did.

Looking for growth

I work on the High Yield Credit team in the Multi-Asset & Income stream (MA&I), looking for companies that will provide a return on our investment. We analyse the competitive environment and whether a company has any unique strengths, innovation or durable edge that will allow it to succeed and grow over the period we lend to it. We’re also really interested in their sustainability, environmental, social and governance goals. The bonds we research can be new issues, whereby companies are looking to raise new finances, or refinance, where they want to extend the life of existing bonds. Alternatively, other opportunities can come from individual analysts prospecting in industries they’re responsible for or have a personal interest in.

Selecting bonds

As someone new to the team, fund managers will often suggest new issues or past bonds for me to look at, although we’re also encouraged to come up with our ideas ourselves. For the new issue bonds, the first part of the research process is to attend a company presentation, and then arrange calls with the company’s management. Once a new bond is issued, the decision to buy can be relatively quick. Typically issued at the beginning of the week, we then discuss our initial reports as a team on Wednesdays. Then, if the fund managers want to buy, they’ll take a small position by the end of the week. After new issues, we usually do further write ups, building up a more detailed profile for the bonds.

Supportive atmosphere

There is a real collegiate feel at Baillie Gifford. My mentor has been great and I’ve met with him every week. All graduate trainees get allocated a mentor. They could be someone who completed the graduate programme, an experienced investor hired directly to the team or even a partner in the firm. They teach you how to do the technical aspects of the job and take you through all the basics of the firm.

Investment research caught your eye?

Learn more about this exciting graduate programme.