Baillie Gifford, The Thinking Man’s Investment Management Firm

23 06 2021

Baillie Gifford is a partner-owned, partner-managed investment management firm based in Edinburgh. It has a great track record of making smart long-term investments, having invested early in Amazon and Tencent. It also has a long-term orientation that means that knowledge of economic and technological history is relevant to its decision-making. One of my current research projects has given me tremendous respect for how this firm and others in Edinburgh uses history in making long-term investment decisions. Here is a key passage from the profile of Baillie Gifford in today’s FT.

“Actual investors think in decades. Not quarters.” Before the pandemic, this sign hung over the door to Baillie Gifford’s Edinburgh headquarters, where the atmosphere is closer to a library than an adrenalin-charged trading floor. Investors are more likely to be reading an academic paper or browsing a history book than screaming orders down the telephone.”

I’m looking forward to getting back to Edinburgh and meeting some of these individuals. I’m also looking forward to visiting the Library of Mistakes, which is located in the heart of Edinburgh’s financial district and is designed to promote knowledge of financial history.


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