1. Overview

    The Baillie Gifford Japan Trust aims to pursue long-term capital growth principally through investment in medium to smaller sized Japanese companies, which are believed to have above average prospects for growth.

    The value of investments and any income from them may go down as well as up and you or your client may not get back the amount originally invested.
  2. About the Trust

    The Trust is the longest established existing Japanese investment trust, having survived the ebb and flow of corporate activity in the Japanese sector over the last 30 years. The first specialist Japanese investment trust was launched in the early 1970s, as Japan, undergoing rapid economic expansion, eased its restrictions on foreigners owning shares. Several other trusts were launched over the next few years and by the time the Trust was listed in December 1981 there were five Japanese investment trusts in existence.

    The Trust’s policy is to pursue long-term capital growth rather than income. The Trust’s investment portfolio is actively managed and asset allocation at any point in time will reflect the Manager’s and the Board’s views.

    The neutral policy is for shareholders’ funds to be fully invested. The Trust will typically consist of around 40 – 70 stocks. The size of the holding will normally reflect the conviction we have for the stock.

    The investment trusts managed by Baillie Gifford & Co Limited are listed UK companies. The value of their shares, and any income from them, can fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the amount invested.

    The Baillie Gifford Japan Trust is an investment company within the meaning of section 833 of the Companies Act 2006. Registered in Scotland. Registered number: SC75954. Registered office: Calton Square, 1 Greenside Row, Edinburgh, EH1 3AN.

  3. Meet our Trust Managers

    Matthew Brett
    Matthew Brett - Manager

    Matthew is an Investment Manager in the Japanese Equities Team. He is manager of the Japanese All Cap Strategy and Lead Manager of the Japanese Income Growth Strategy. He is also a member of the Global Stewardship Portfolio Construction Group. Matthew joined Baillie Gifford in 2003 and became a Partner in 2018. He is a CFA Charterholder. Matthew graduated BA (Hons) in Natural Sciences (Psychology) from the University of Cambridge in 2000 and holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Bristol.

    Praveen Kumar
    Praveen Kumar - Deputy Manager

    Praveen joined Baillie Gifford in 2008 and is an Investment Manager in the Japanese Equities Team. He previously worked for FKI Logistex. Praveen graduated BEng in Computer Science from Bangalore University in 2001 and gained an MBA from the University of Cambridge in 2008.

  4. Actual Investors see people’s aspirations.

    Not assets under management.
    Find out more
  5. Meet our Directors

    Keith Falconer - Chairman

    Keith Falconer was appointed a Director in July 2014. He became Chairman of the Audit Committee in November 2014 and Chairman in December 2019. He was with Martin Currie Investment Management Ltd from 1979 until his retirement in 2003 and between 1982 and 1987, he headed up the Japanese Equity team. He is Chairman of Impax Asset Management Group plc and Adelphi Distillery Ltd. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

    Martin Paling - Director

    Martin Paling was appointed a Director in 2008 and is the Senior Independent Director. He was an investment director of Bentley Capital (Europe) Ltd between 1996 and 2008. From 1993 to 1996 he was deputy chief investment officer of Baring Asset Management (Asia) Ltd in Hong Kong. Prior to that he worked for James Capel & Co, where he was chief international investment strategist and James Capel (Far East) Ltd in Hong Kong where he directed institutional sales. Previously, he was a partner and head of Singapore/Malaysia sales at Montagu, Loebl, Stanley & Co.

    David Kidd - Director

    David Kidd was appointed a Director in 2015. He has over 25 years' investment experience in the City, mainly in the role of chief investment officer. For the past ten years he has been a director of The Law Debenture Pension Trust Corporation PLC where he is an independent professional trustee. He is also a director of The Golden Charter Trust and Mid Wynd International Investment Trust PLC.

    Joanna Pitman - Director

    Joanna Pitman was appointed a Director on 28 June 2018. She read Japanese Studies at Cambridge University and speaks Japanese. She was Tokyo Bureau Chief of The Times from 1989 to 1994 and for the past eight years she has worked as a corporate research analyst focused on Japan. She is vice chair of the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Advisor to the UK Japan Young Science Workshops, a director of the John Kobal Foundation and UK Chair of SAIDIA. 

    Sharon Brown - Director

    Sharon Brown was appointed to the Board on 3 October 2019 and will be appointed Audit Chair following the AGM in December. She is a Director and Audit Committee Chairman of Fidelity Special Values plc, BMO Capital & Income Investment Trust plc, McColl's Retail Group plc and Celtic plc. She is also a Director of Jupiter European Opportunities Trust plc.

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    The Trust is the longest established existing Japanese investment trust, having survived the ebb and flow of corporate activity in the Japanese sector over the last 30 years.
  7. Objective

    The Baillie Gifford Japan Trust aims to achieve long term capital growth principally through investment in medium to smaller sized Japanese companies which are believed to have above average prospects for growth, although it invests in larger companies when considered appropriate.
  8. Investment Policy

    The Company’s holdings are generally listed in Japan although the portfolio can also include companies listed elsewhere whose business is predominantly in Japan as well as unlisted companies. From time to time, fixed interest holdings, or non equity investments, may be held.

    The portfolio is constructed through the identification of individual companies which offer long term growth potential, typically over a three to five year horizon. The portfolio is actively managed and does not seek to track the benchmark, hence a degree of volatility against the index is inevitable.

    In constructing the equity portfolio a spread of risk is achieved by diversifying the portfolio through investment in 40 to 70 holdings. Although sector concentration and the thematic characteristics of the portfolio are carefully monitored, there are no maximum limits to deviation from benchmark stock or sector weights except as imposed by banking covenants on borrowings.

    On acquisition, no holding shall exceed 5% of the portfolio at the time of purchase and any holding that as a result of good Directors’ Report performance exceeds 5% of the portfolio is subject to particular scrutiny. A holding greater than 5% will only be held where the Managers continue to be convinced of the merits of the investment case.

    On acquisition, no more than 15% of the Company’s gross assets will be invested in other UK listed investment companies.

    The Company may use derivatives which will be principally, but not exclusively, for the purpose of efficient portfolio management (i.e. for the purpose of reducing, transferring or eliminating investment risk in its investments, including protection against currency risks).

    The Company recognises the long term advantages of gearing and has a maximum equity gearing level of 30% of shareholders’ funds.

    Borrowings are invested in securities when it is considered that investment grounds merit the Company taking a geared position. Gearing levels, and the extent of equity gearing, are discussed by the Board and Managers at every Board meeting.