Working at Baillie Gifford

Case study: Lyndsay Cooper

Investment Operations Director

Lyndsay Cooper stood in the Baillie Gifford office.

What were your motivations for changing roles?

My time in internal audit was always limited from a regulatory perspective. After seven years, the regulator recommends that the head of audit be replaced to maintain independence. After five years in this role, I began to consider my options: either look internally for another role or find a chief internal auditor role in another company.

The Baillie Gifford ethos of being long-term, brave and curious is something that resonates with me. I decided to look for another opportunity within the firm. I like to be challenged and try new things, so I thought about my skills and how I could use them to make a difference elsewhere. I asked myself: why stay with what you’re comfortable with when you could grow through learning something new?

What have you gained from your experience?

I would say that making a bold move is not for the faint-hearted. Where you don’t have the technical knowledge or all the skills you may need in your new role, you need to trust in your abilities and believe that you can and will add value to something new. I’ve learned very quickly that you can gain a much stronger understanding of other parts of the business and the value chain by working somewhere else.

I have enjoyed getting to know my new team. No two teams are the same or work in the same way. There are many experienced individuals at Baillie Gifford, and people are happy to share their knowledge with you. The Client Administration Team works closely with the Clients Department, so I have been able to learn by working with new colleagues and broadening my network.

What support have you been given?

The best support is when others trust you have the knowledge and skills. A number of partners have supported my transition into this role and helped me understand how my new department fits into the overall organisation.

Everyone has appreciated the fact that it is going to take a while for me to get up to speed. I have a mentor within BG who has been through a similar experience in the past. Being able to bounce ideas off them and get their guidance has been invaluable.

Do you have tips for others considering an internal move?

We can often become very comfortable in our role, no matter what that role is. We make great working relationships and friendships and know how to do the job well. But if we always stand still, we might miss new opportunities. I would say embrace new things, whether moving roles, building new relationships, joining a network, or even having that first conversation with someone about a project or task. I’m at the start of my new journey and am very much enjoying it. If you think that your skills could be applied to something else, then go for it and have that chat with your manager. The key to success is having open, collaborative conversations. We are lucky that Baillie Gifford encourages people to move and experience different roles, so do take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

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