Overview of Baillie Gifford
Colin Neilson, Director, provides an overview of Baillie Gifford.
Baillie Gifford is an independent investment manager with a long history and a distinctive investment philosophy. They specialise in investing in global companies with the potential to grow to many times their current size.
Their ability to find innovative future growth companies has seen Baillie Gifford deliver some very strong recent results, with their Long Term Global Growth Fund winning Money Management’s 2021 global equities Fund Manager of the Year award.
Despite such short-term success, Baillie Gifford’s investment approach is expressly long term – in fact, they think it’s easier in many ways to predict what will happen over ten years rather than two. Baillie Gifford never invests in a business because of what it is today, but because of what it has the potential to become.
“Only by embracing uncertainty and imagining what might be can we hope to find the really successful investments.”
Founded in 1908 and based in Edinburgh, Baillie Gifford is wholly owned by 47 partners, who all work within the company. This unique business model, with no sales targets and short-term demands from external stakeholders, means the team can focus on what it does best – seeking out long-term investment returns for their clients.
Colonial First State’s partnership with Baillie Gifford gives Australian retail investors the chance to invest in a portfolio of exceptional companies from around the globe that have the potential to achieve growth over the long term. Baillie Gifford has over AUD$626 billion in assets under management and advice as at 31 December 2021.
Willingness to maintain a true long-term view in an increasingly impatient industry.
Focus on finding the global household names of the future.
Baillie Gifford’s belief is that sustained growth in company profits leads to higher share prices over time. Their rigorous process of fundamental analysis and proprietary research, combined with a depth of expertise, are core to a successful, long-term, bottom-up investment approach.
The Baillie Gifford team are, in their words, ‘curious about the world’. They believe that the best investment ideas spring from thinking about future possibilities, not short-term probabilities. Their research process seeks to understand new technologies and the nature of disruption, an approach that sees them spending more time talking to academics and scientists than to brokers and analysts.
ACTUAL INVESTING, NOT ACTIVE INVESTING
Baillie Gifford describes what they do as being more than generically active investing: they prefer to call it ‘actual investing’.
Their ‘actual investing’ philosophy is based on three key principles:
A high-conviction global share fund that focuses on investing in exceptional companies from around the globe with the potential to achieve market-defying growth over the long term.
A concentrated global portfolio that combines the best elements of stewardship and specialist regional expertise to invest in growth businesses.