Baillie Gifford has launched an office in Shanghai, putting an investment team on the ground in China and laying the ground to launch funds into the market.
The office is the asset manager’s first outside Edinburgh to host its own investment team, and follows approval of the group to sell its products locally.
Baillie Gifford partner John MacDougall has relocated from Edinburgh to Shanghai to serve as chair for the Chinese subsidiary.
MacDougall said: ‘We have been investing for our clients in some of the most inspiring and influential Chinese companies for decades, providing long-term capital that enables them to innovate and grow for many years.
‘We are building a team based in Shanghai to provide devoted, local expertise to boost our research into these rising Chinese companies.
‘We hope that combining knowledge from the team on-the-ground with broader perspective from investment teams in Edinburgh will allow us to assess the opportunities with greater insight, in the search to find China’s future winners.’
Linda Lin, who grew up in China but previously spent six years with Baillie Gifford in Scotland, will serve as its first head of investment research. She is joined by investment manager Rio Tu, who also worked for five years for the firm in Edinburgh.
The company’s head of China, Amy Wang, was hired last year to build the team in Shanghai and develop client relationships.
She said: ‘This is an exciting time in China as the authorities open up the financial services industry to welcome overseas investment managers and increase opportunities in its domestic shares market.
‘Being registered as a PFM [private fund manager] allows us to build a client base of Chinese investors who share our belief that taking a long-term approach, investing over five to 10 years or more, will support the growth of Chinese companies and produce strong, consistent investment returns.’
The firm has also been recruiting locally for roles in operations, investment research, trading, compliance, business development and marketing.
Baillie Gifford launched its China Fund in 2008 and the firm has around £45bn invested in over 100 companies based in mainland China, about 17% of its total assets under management.
Managed by Citywire AAA-rated Sophie Earnshaw and Roderick Snell, alongside AA-rated Mike Gush, the China fund has consistently outperformed the market, returning 51.6% over three years versus a sector average of 29.1%