Baillie Gifford adds manager to top-performing £2.3bn European fund

Baillie Gifford has named Josie Bentley as a co-manager on its £2.3bn European fund.

She joins as the fourth manager on the fund, working alongside the AAA-rated duo of Stephen Paice and Moritz Sitte, as well as Chris Davies.

Bentley (pictured) joined the Edinburgh-based investor in 2016, working across several strategies including international growth, UK equity and high yield bond, before joining the European equities team in 2019.

Baillie Gifford European was one of the 10 bestselling funds of 2020 after investors poured in £1.2bn of cash over the year.

It currently ranks second in its sector over three years, having returned 59.9% versus the peer group’s 13.4%. The fund is top over five years, up 139.5% compared to a sector average of 55.8%.

The fund’s returns were boosted by the performance of its top two holdings, German online fashion retailer Zalando, a 5.5% position, and Dutch internet company Prosus NV, a 4% holding. The companies share prices rose by 122% and 33% last year, respectively.

James Budden, director of retail and marketing distribution at Baillie Gifford, said: ‘Josie has quickly established herself as part of the European equities team and has contributed significantly to idea generation.’

He added: ‘The fund has proved very popular, and Josie’s appointment will both diversify the management team and enhance its investment proposition.’

The asset manager has been on an extraordinary run after its growth stock holdings caught a massive wave of momentum.

Last month, its £6.6bn American fund knocked Fundsmith Equity off the top spot of Interactive Investor’s in December for the first time since 2018.

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