Baillie Gifford takes over running of China investment trust



Leading Edinburgh finance house Baillie Gifford has taken over the management of an investment trust which will now be renamed the Baillie Gifford China Growth Trust.

The investment management partnership has taken over what was formerly known as The Witan Pacific Investment Trust.

The trust’s investment objective is to produce long-term capital growth by realigning the portfolio into a ‘best ideas’ strategy consisting of between 40 and 80 listed and unlisted Chinese stocks from across the market capitalisation spectrum.

The trust’s assets under management currently stand at £236m.

It will be managed by Sophie Earnshaw and Roderick Snell, both members of Baillie Gifford’s emerging markets team, who bring significant investment expertise and experience in China.

Earnshaw is currently co-manager of Baillie Gifford China Fund alongside Roderick, who also manages the Baillie Gifford Pacific Fund and is deputy on the Pacific Horizon Investment Trust.

Baillie Gifford has a long and strong track record of investing in China. At the end of June 2020, the firm had over £44.6bn invested in both Chinese public and private companies through its global and regional funds and trusts, and now has a local presence through a research centre in Shanghai.

Baillie Gifford China Fund, the firm’s open-ended Chinese equity strategy, has achieved top quartile performance over one, three, five and ten years.

Differing from the open-ended strategy, the Baillie Gifford China Growth Trust plc will have the ability to access exceptional growth opportunities in private companies.

Baillie Gifford director of retail marketing James Budden said: “The Baillie Gifford China Growth Trust sits snugly within our retail offering alongside the successful open-ended Baillie Gifford China Fund.

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“We believe the realignment of the portfolio from Witan Pacific’s Pan Asia mandate to invest in our best Chinese growth ideas together with Baillie Gifford’s access to private companies should enhance the appeal of the trust and attract new investors over time.

“As a firm we see China as a compelling opportunity and a region that increasingly cultivates great companies with incredible franchises domestically and internationally.

“Our newest trust gives another option to those investors keen to allocate directly to Chinese equities.”



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