Working at Baillie Gifford

Case study: Rachel White

Compliance Manager

Rachel White stood in the Baillie Gifford office clutching a notepad.

Tell us about your career at Baillie Gifford.

My first role was in the Investment Trust Marketing Team as a direct marketing coordinator. My responsibilities included building up our retail client database by attracting private investors to Baillie Gifford via national press and direct marketing campaigns. I then had the opportunity to move to the Clients Department as a client service assistant. I was focused on our institutional business, working alongside the client service managers and directors. This gave me the opportunity to meet and present to our clients. I then joined the Transitions and Mandate Compliance Team as a senior analyst.

I also took some time out to have children, returning to a role in the Central Information Management Team with data management responsibilities spanning both our retail and institutional client databases. I was promoted to assistant manager, which was my first time managing people.

What prompted the move to Compliance?

I moved into Compliance around five years ago. I didn’t have any direct experience within a compliance department, but I felt I had transferable skills. Pushing myself outside of my comfort zone was daunting, but it has been rewarding. I now manage the Compliance Learning and Development Team. We work on the creation of the compliance training programme for all staff, as well as learning and development initiatives for the department.

I think the benefit of moving around is that I have learned a lot about different parts of our business and broadened my internal network. It has been interesting to experience how different departments and teams operate. Every role has shaped how I approach things and helped my personal development.

Has it been easy to move around the firm?

Although it has been fun, I wouldn’t say it has always been easy. I approach moving roles or teams by thinking about how I can bring a fresh perspective and new ideas. At times it has taken courage to try different things, which, in the long run, has helped me to determine what really motivates me and plays to my strengths.

What have you enjoyed about having a varied career?

I have enjoyed meeting and working with different people and personalities. I have watched the business grow from 400 people to almost 2,000. I like to share my knowledge about different parts of the firm with others, as well as help to carry our culture.

I am also motivated by the creative aspect of my roles. For example, thinking about new, engaging, and effective ways of delivering our compliance mandatory training programme.

What’s been a career highlight?

I was recently promoted to compliance manager in recognition of what I have achieved during my time in the Compliance Department. I have worked hard and acted on feedback. I think you should always keep trying to grow and develop in your career.

What have your biggest challenges been?

I have had to learn to be patient to get to where I want to be. I have also learned to adapt my working style. It is important to have self-awareness to ensure you get the best from people. We have a range of skills at Baillie Gifford, and moving around has taught me what different departments can offer.

What are your top tips for others considering an internal move?

Firstly, I’d recommend doing some research. If you have a team you are interested in, find out what it is like to work in that area and speak to people. I’d also encourage everyone to have a career discussion. Think about where you want to be and what is going to get you there. Setting a long-term view of your career isn’t easy, but it can be helpful to chat with someone to gain a different perspective. I’d also recommend taking advantage of the different opportunities available at Baillie Gifford, such as coaching and mentoring. If you can think about what skills you have, it is easier to plan how you can continually develop.

I have learned that you are in control of where you are headed, and it is up to you to drive that.

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