Baillie Gifford expands further in North America

Baillie Gifford

Edinburgh investment giant Baillie Gifford has announced two key appointments as part of plans to expand its North American business and its commitment to US financial intermediaries.

Katie Shepardson joins Baillie Gifford as client relationship director, based in Phoenix, Arizona, while Connor Warren joins as client relationship manager, based in Denver, Colorado.

Warren will support clients across the central and west regions of the US and Shepardson will focus on client relationships in the west.

They report to Joseph Stellato, a client director based in New York City.

Baillie Gifford has built a significant business in North America over five decades. Currently, 45% of its assets under management are from clients in the US and Canada, invested mostly in international, private and emerging market growth equities.

Baillie Gifford has 1,846 staff and assets under management of $291 billion. It has offices in Edinburgh, New York, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Krakow, London, Shanghai, Toronto, Amsterdam and Zurich.

Since taking on its first US client in 1983 Baillie Gifford has built on its experience in the institutional space to offer a suite of mutual funds, separately managed accounts (SMAs), model delivery, collective investment trusts (CITs) and subadvisor relationships to a wider range of financial institutions.

“Following significant growth in recent years, Baillie Gifford’s U.S. intermediary business is $57 billion AUMi (including subadvisor relationships),” said the Edinburgh firm.

“This has more than doubled from $26 billion since April 2017, when the firm initially launched share classes for the intermediary landscape.”

Stellato said: “Expanding our relationship management team across the U.S. brings us closer to intermediary clients.

“This helps build stronger partnerships so we can support each firm’s unique goals. Katie and Connor bring local knowledge and experience partnering with gatekeepers and advisors.

“They understand the needs and challenges for those who work with end clients, as well as research teams carrying out due diligence. Both are critical elements for a successful long-term partnership between an asset manager and wealth manager.

“When backing the big winners of tomorrow, you need to invest for five to ten years or more, to allow a company’s innovation to reach financial success.

“In our myopic industry, a longer time horizon is rare, but our private partnership structure allows us to invest without pressure from outside shareholders.

“We have already built relationships with intermediaries who share that long-term mindset – Katie and Connor will continue that progress.”

Shepardson has 14 years of financial services experience, joining Baillie Gifford from Polen Capital where she was a senior relationship manager.

Prior to this, she was vice president at Marsh & McLennan. She has a BS in Accounting and Finance from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Northwestern.

Warren joins from GQG Partners where he was a director of business development. Before that, he was an internal wholesaler at Jackson National. He graduated from the University of Richmond with a BS in Political Science and Government.