Baillie Gifford sees 'great opportunity' in China

Baillie Gifford sees 'great opportunity' in China
Credit: Reuters

Edinburgh-based fund house Baillie Gifford has dispatched one of its long-standing partners to manage its new office in China due to the “scale of the opportunity” it sees in the country. 

The Shanghai office was opened in 2019, and John MacDougall, who previously managed the Shin Nippon investment trust and has since 2015 worked as part of the global equity team, will be running it.

Speaking at an investor day in London yesterday (January 9) the firm’s head of US equities Tom Slater pointed to the “size of the opportunity in China” in terms of investing in companies there.

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Mr Slater said: “We also have had quite a number of very bright Chinese people working for us, and they wanted to move back there, so if we wanted to retain them, we needed to do this.

"And right now I think China has a considerable competitive advantage in the world and the opportunities there are so great that it demanded we set up this office.” 

Mr Slater jointly manages the £9.2bn Scottish Mortgage investment trust, which has considerable investments in China, including in technology companies Tencent and Alibaba.

He has long held the view that the west coast of the United States and China were where many of the most attractive growth companies in the world are.

But he feels the desire to innovate has become weaker among many US companies, while it continues to be strong in China.

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