Growth stocks hit

Baillie Gifford loses £113 billion in asset value

Tom Slater
Tom Slater: told a forum that last year had been humbling (pic: Terry Murden)

Baillie Gifford, the Edinburgh-based investment firm, saw its assets under management fall by a third as growth stocks that have underpinned its performance went into reverse.

The fall from £336 billion at the end of 2021 to £223bn at the end of last year was attributed to decreases in the value of its portfolio of investments. Net client outflows accounted for just £20bn, or 18%, of the loss in assets.

Baillie Gifford has built a reputation for identifying up and coming companies leading technology innovation and was an early backer of Amazon, Tesla and Alibaba.

However, the downturn in the global economy has led to a sell-off in tech stocks, notably loss-making early stage companies,which are considered particularly susceptible to rises in interest rates that diminish their potential returns.

Tom Slater, co-manager of Baillie Gifford’s flagship £12.9bn Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, told an investor forum in London last month that it had been a “humbling year”.

The trust last year lost more than £11.5 billion on stakes in previous high-flyer Tesla and Shopify after their share prices plummeted, making them two of Baillie Gifford’s worst-performing holdings.

In response, Baillie Gifford said it did not dispute the figures, but said that rather than losing £113bn it was back to it was at the beginning of 2020.

James Budden, director of marketing and distribution, said: “Things have been better of late and very short term performance has turned upwards so our assets are heading back to over £250bn.

“But all this does need to be seen in our long term timeframe of 5- 10 years where performance for clients remains strong.”

See also: Head of Abrdn’s GARS fund leaves after poor run

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