Baillie Gifford 

Baillie Gifford US trust has 10% in unlisted companies

Baillie Gifford US trust has 10% in unlisted companies

The managers of the £255m Baillie Gifford US Growth investment trust, which launched in March 2018, have invested 10 per cent of the vehicle's capital into unlisted investments.

For the period from the first day of trading for the trust, to January 18 2019, the most recent date disclosed by the trust, the investment vehicle had just less than 10 per cent of its capital in companies not listed on any stock market.

In total nine unlisted companies are held in the portfolio.

The trust has "mirrored" many of the investments held in the bigger Baillie Gifford American fund, which has many of the same managers.

As a business, Baillie Gifford believe that technological change means companies will wait longer before listing on a stock market, so investors seeking returns must be increasingly willing to invest in unlisted companies.

Gary Robinson, who is one of the managers of the trust, was recently elevated to the rank of partner at the firm.

The trust modestly underperformed the S&P 500 index in the initial months of existence. The board urged investors to be patient and judge the performance of the fund over a five-year time period.

It is not uncommon for newly launched investment trusts to underperform as the vehicle will hold cash it is trying to invest, and cash returns zero, while its more established peers will have equities, which should be rising.

The chairman of the trust, Tom Burnet, said: "The portfolio will consist of holdings in listed securities and unlisted securities in up to a combined maximum of 90 holdings, typically with 30 to 50 listed security holdings.

"The maximum amount which may be invested in unlisted securities shall not exceed 50 per cent of the total assets of the company, measured at the time of investment.

"The company will, at all times, be invested in several sectors.

"While there are no specific limits placed on exposure to any one sector, the company will at all times invest and manage the portfolio in a manner consistent with spreading investment risk."

david.thorpe@ft.com