Baillie Gifford Japan Trust PLC
Rated Fund 2015-2018. Run by renowned Japanese equities team
This trust won Money Observer's Best Japan Trust award in 2015 and was highly commended in 2016 and 2017. Sarah Whitley, Baillie Gifford's longest-serving partner, has helped manage the trust since 1991. She will retire in April 2018.
She has led the trust during a period in which the country struggled with the collapse of a property bubble and enduring deflation, and has massively outperformed Japan's Topix stock market index. Her long-term performance is also streets ahead of rivals.
On the basis that Whitley has successfully mentored new talent within her team over the years, we are keeping faith with this trust. Matthew Brett, her deputy on the trust, will become its lead manager, with Praveen Kumar, manager of the smaller company Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon, supporting him as the second manager.
The trust invests in 40 to 70 companies, predominantly medium and smaller-sized, and holdings are purchased on a three- to five-year time horizon. The team is based in Edinburgh but visits Japan regularly and conducts around 500 company meetings a year. The managers' confidence in the Japanese stock market at the end of 2017 was highlighted in their full use of a 12 per cent gearing facility.
In Baillie Gifford Japan, investors can get access to Baillie Gifford's Japan desk, recognised as one of the best in the business. However, shares in the trust traded at a premium to net asset value for most of 2017. The board can issue shares to help reduce the premium and the shares have traded close to par at times, so investors should time their entry carefully.
Narrative and ratings content all as of 01 January 2018.See all Money Observer rated funds
|SoftBank Group Corp||6.15 %|
|SBI Holdings Inc||3.96 %|
|Inpex Corp||2.72 %|
|Rakuten Inc||2.70 %|
|CyberAgent Inc||2.59 %|
|M3 Inc||2.52 %|
|Sony Corp||2.46 %|
|Sysmex Corp||2.44 %|
|Kubota Corp||2.41 %|
|Zozo Inc||2.40 %|
|Consumer Cyclical||18.88 %|
|Financial Services||9.42 %|
|Communication Services||8.48 %|
Matthew graduated BA (Hons) in Natural Sciences (Psychology) from the University of Cambridge in 2003 and holds a PhD in Psychology from Bristol University. He joined Baillie Gifford in 2003 and is an Investment Manager in the Japanese Equity Team. Matthew is a co-manager of the Japanese All cap strategy and is a CFA Charterholder.
Praveen Kumar joined Baillie Gifford in 2008 and became an investment manager on the Japanese Equities team in 2011. He graduated BEng in Computer Science from Bangalore University in 2001, and has an MBA in Finance from Cambridge University in 2008. He previously worked for FKI Logistex before joining Baillie Gifford in 2008.
Data provided by Morningstar.
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