Applications have now closed for the 2022 intake
We’re not looking for graduates with a particular degree. Instead, we look for people who are curious about the world and what the future could look like. We’re just as likely to hire a musician, a doctor or a politics graduate, as we are a mathematician.
As a trainee, your role will be primarily research-based. As you progress, you’ll become more self-directed, and we’ll encourage you to pursue your own ideas and creative thinking. We want you to question what’s in front of you and develop your own viewpoint. Working alongside people who have generated world-class investment returns, you’ll have support through structured learning, professional qualifications and dedicated mentors.
During the programme, you’ll rotate through a series of year-long placements in autonomous investment teams. You’ll find that each team has its own distinct approach and investment philosophy, but all have the same purpose – to drive positive returns for our clients. Whether those are councils, pension funds or governments, we’re dedicated to helping them meet their income and savings goals.
“At Baillie Gifford you gain a wide range of knowledge about many subjects, but not from textbooks or newspapers. You meet people who change the world. We want people with an original perspective who can explore, question and come up with fresh ideas.”
There are two distinct career paths for our Investment Research trainees – the Equities Stream or the Multi Asset & Income (MA&I) Stream. Both opportunities offer permanent, long-term roles from the moment you join us.
Whichever stream you choose, in your first year of the programme, you’ll work towards the IMC (Investment Management Certificate) followed by the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1 professional qualification. We’ll give you our full support, covering all fees and materials, as well as providing experienced tutors and generous study leave.
There’s also the opportunity to travel both within the UK and internationally to attend conferences, visit companies and speak to global experts, which continues throughout the Investment Research Programme and beyond.
We encourage and support every one of our colleagues to continue their professional development throughout their careers here. Upon completing the programme, there’s the opportunity to progress into managing portfolios or to develop expertise in a particular industry or investment area. Your future with us is for you to shape. Baillie Gifford is owned by 47 partners, the majority of whom started on the Investment Research Programme. You could be the next one to follow in their footsteps.
Our Equities teams research and imagine the long-term prospects for companies, industries, and society. Trainees will work in their team to identify companies with the potential to grow significantly over three, five or even ten years. You will spend most of your day reading, analysing information and speaking to experts, management teams and your colleagues about your chosen area of focus. One month you could be looking at a biotechnology company, the next a luxury fashion business or a cement company. Within the first year of the programme, you may even have the opportunity to meet CEOs and the founders of some of the world’s leading businesses.
On this stream, your first four months focus on learning more about Baillie Gifford and our approach to investment. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of what the firm is looking to achieve for clients, get an overview of our key investment concepts and an introduction to our culture of continual learning and improvement. This will be a mixture of self-directed learning through discussion, a broad range of reading and structured training.
Choose this stream and you’ll become a specialist in equities investing. Plus, as an established part of the company, Equities gives you the chance to benefit from the knowledge of industry-leading teams and newly developed ones.
Multi Asset & Income Stream (MA&I)
In MA&I, we consider how economic trends and government policies could affect the potential of countries, companies, commodities, and infrastructure. If you choose this stream, you’ll rotate through three teams: Credit, Emerging Market Debt or Global Rates & Currencies, and Multi Asset. During these rotations, you’ll explore a wide spectrum of assets, including fixed income bonds, equities, infrastructure, and commodities. This approach will see you develop generalist knowledge, as each year, we’ll introduce you to new asset classes and new ways of investing.
From the moment you join this stream you’ll be working within a team, with each week split between training days and delivering research. After three years, there’ll be the opportunity to spend longer in a particular area to increase your knowledge or to begin to specialise in an asset class.
MA&I is a relatively new part of our business and, as such, is growing and developing its teams and specialisms. This is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of that growth.
We encourage applicants from any degree subject to apply for our Investment Research Programme, as there’s no one type of person we’re looking for at Baillie Gifford.
You possess an appetite for learning and are interested in a wide range of subjects, even those you know little about. You are open to new ideas and have the humility to know how much you don’t know.
You pride yourself on your ability to spot trends and opportunities before others do and know how to distinguish the short-term noise from what really matters. Research comes naturally to you, and you’re imaginative about where you find your sources of information and inspiration.
You can cope with uncertainty, as it may be many years before you know whether your investment decisions are right. You know that mistakes happen, but that’s okay. At Baillie Gifford, we support you to learn from the things that go wrong and help you develop as an investor.
To get started, you need to complete a short online application form, answer two questions, and attach your CV. You can choose to apply for our Equities Stream, our MA&I Stream, or if you’re unsure, both.
If selected, you’ll be invited for a first interview with one of our senior investors and a member of the HR team. We will discuss the academic and professional choices you’ve made so far and your thoughts on topical issues of the day, as well as your interests. If you didn’t express a preference for either Equities or MA&I in your application, we will allocate you to a stream after this stage.
This stage is more in-depth. Along with additional meetings with senior investors from your stream, you’ll have the opportunity to meet different members of the teams you might join – from experienced analysts to trainees who were recently in your position. We’ll be open and honest with you, at each stage, so you get a clear idea of what it’s like to work at Baillie Gifford.
Universities of Warwick and Cambridge, Economics
The learning curve at Baillie Gifford is continuous and multi-dimensional. As you start out, you will learn to identify great businesses and discover that intellectual development is a never-ending process. In your third or fourth year, there is an opportunity to mentor new trainees joining the programme. This chance to grow your people skills will provide another dimension to your development. You’ll also gradually become more involved with the client-side, developing your presentation and influencing skills. To have an impact as an analyst, you must bring other people along in your thinking.
Becoming partner wasn’t something I consciously worked towards. My focus has always been on becoming a better investor whilst maintaining my sense of self. When I look back at how I’ve developed, I’ve become more radical in speaking my mind and less afraid to be wrong. The firm is always tolerant of bad outcomes. That’s because the magnitude of a right outcome could easily outweigh all the bad ones.
My work has been my hobby, and I’ve not consciously separated the two. However, priorities change, and since I’ve had a family, things are different. I’ve experimented with various working patterns to find what works for me, and I now do four days a week spread over five. I can now pick my children up from school and hear their stories first-hand. Working part-time certainly hasn’t affected my progression in the firm, coming a long way with diversity and inclusion. It’s great to see policies like the equalising of parental leave, several of my male colleagues have taken six months of parental leave, setting a great example for others.
When I interview candidates for the Equities stream, I‘m not looking for any particular skillset. I’m looking for a mindset. It’s not about what you know or who you are today, but what you believe in and who you could become. I’m looking for people with a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval, people who are constantly trying to challenge and stretch themselves. When you’re trying to imagine the future, there’s a high chance you might be wrong. Feedback cycles can be very long, not knowing the outcome of your decisions for five or more years. You have to learn to deal with these things. You also have to be someone who’s self-motivated and enjoys the process of research and learning.
London School of Economics, Public Management & Governance MSc
After finishing my undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Criminology, I applied to law school in Canada before deciding to take a year out for grad school at LSE. Grad school opened my eyes to other career options that included the intellectual stimulus and debating characteristics I found most attractive about a legal career. When I joined Baillie Gifford, there was all of that and more. The quality of the debate here is far-reaching, very challenging and always stimulating.
At Baillie Gifford and in the Equities stream, there is no goal to turn you into one particular type of investor. My peers are far more interested in the reasoning process than my stance which is quite liberating as it gives me significant freedom to explore alternative hypotheses. This is as true today as it was when I joined in 2016. I’m also encouraged to imagine what the ‘blue sky’ scenario is, rather than just finding a company's faults.
My responsibilities have changed throughout the graduate scheme. We’re all analysts at first, but the role broadens towards the end of the programme by incorporating portfolio management and client interactions. In my fourth year, I did a secondment with the Clients department, which helped me grow my commercial awareness and allowed me to speak directly with the clients we support. Typically, towards the end of your fifth year, you might have a sense of your own investment philosophy and have the opportunity to join a team or contribute to an existing investment strategy that aligns with your approach.
I find the most interesting and the most challenging components of this job are often related. One example is our time horizon. In Equities, we’re thinking about how the future might unfold and the factors that might contribute to a company’s success. We get the chance to engage with the people that spend a lot of time thinking about and often creating the future, whether that’s founders, experts or academics. Our time horizon requires significant patience. You could be making 6-12 decisions in a year, but waiting more than five years to see how that decision plays out.
University of Durham, History
When I joined Baillie Gifford, I met so many interesting people within the investment teams. Deep, analytical thinkers with insightful conversations but also humble and interested in what I had to say. I spend 80% of the time researching and looking for the right inspiration. By posing the right questions, we often get compelling answers that have the power to unearth significant opportunities.
My first placement in the Japanese Equities team focused on producing reports every few weeks. I started my first report in my second week and presented it to my colleagues three weeks later. I also had my first meeting with a CEO in my third week. The training is ongoing, but colleagues are always available to help. For example, I struggled at first with a small part of a report, valuing a stock. After my presentation, a team member offered to talk it through. Within a couple of hours, we’d solved the problem together.
At Baillie Gifford, you get access to so many new experiences. In my first year, I went to Utah to do a course on investment processes. I took a two week trip to Japan, where I met with CEOs and other company management whilst also having the opportunity to explore a place I’ve never visited. It’s fantastic to have these opportunities within months of joining. I also went to a trade fair in Munich with some graduate trainees to look at Robotics. Having an informational edge over competitors is crucial in this business, so meeting companies that work on robot prototypes really helped our work.
I’m now in my fourth year with the firm and have completed placements in MA&I and Equities teams. I chose to come back to Equities and currently work within the Global Discovery team. We look at smaller global companies that have the potential to disrupt their respective industries. The aim is to buy a stake early in these companies’ development and hold onto them for a long time. Almost all the equities investment analysts are generalists, and I’ve been researching ecommerce, video conferencing and medical devices in this team.
I’m currently the Chair of the Baillie Gifford LGBT+ Network. It’s part of the wider culture here, as senior people always actively listen to and help us implement our ideas. They are genuinely interested in diversity and inclusion – it’s not just a tick box exercise. My managers have been very supportive of my involvement and the work we do to advance inclusion. It’s fantastic to be backed in this way and work somewhere where I feel empowered to be myself and make a difference.
University of Oxford, History & Politics
When I came to the end of my studies, I looked for a graduate role with a good salary to support my family. During my second year at university, I started a business but needed funding to help it succeed. I realised I wasn’t sure how to go about this, so I thought it would be a good idea to get a job where I could learn about business. Baillie Gifford was actively looking for people studying humanities, and it was the second interview that really made me want to work for the firm. They asked thought-provoking and philosophical questions, making me think it would be a stimulating place to work.
After my first year rotation in an Equities team, I joined the Multi-Asset team in the MA&I stream. It was a different style of work and more fast paced. As they take less of a position on each investment, there’s more opportunity to act on the research, so I felt I was having more of an impact. At school I started an economics A-Level but didn’t enjoy it as they were teaching the subject as if there was one set answer, rather than looking at all the different factors at play. There was no space to think critically. At Baillie Gifford it’s different. You have the chance to question ideas and to explore your thinking.
I’ve stayed within the Multi-Asset & Income stream, moving into Emerging Market Debt for two years, which is about investing in countries to help finance their development. You get to analyse the potential of countries and think about big questions. I have family in Sudan, so questions like ‘why is one country wealthier than another?’ and ‘what has led to that growth?’ are particularly interesting. My degree has also been helpful. In Emerging Market Debt, you’re thinking about the actions of governments and economic history. It’s fascinating.
The Multi-Asset & Income stream (MA&I) is a relatively new part of Baillie Gifford’s business. There’s scope to create your role around something you’re interested in, and, as they’re still working on their processes, you have the opportunity to help shape how things are done. One of my highlights has been working with academics and thought leaders. I’ve helped to organise talks with Mariana Mazzucato and Yuen Yuen Ang. Meeting and talking with Mariana was a real honour, as I’ve read so many of her books and articles.
I spend a large part of my day researching the economic models and governance of different countries to estimate fair value for their bonds and currency, and I’ve recently completed a report on Sri Lanka. I’ve also produced research reports on interesting one-off questions, like the impact of election results in Albania and the implications of a shift to electric vehicles for Central and Eastern European countries. Another of my daily tasks is to monitor current investments. We have a long-time horizon for our research in Equities, but we need to keep on top of price moves. For example, if a bond price is high relative to our fair value estimate, then we might sell it and repurchase it at some other point.
University of York, Economics & Finance
I’m from a working-class family and wasn’t sure what I could do with my degree. During my studies, I did some public service internships, but struggled with the culture. For me, everything moved so slowly in government where you could get lost in the machine. So when some of my friends recommended looking into investment research, I discovered Baillie Gifford, a bit of an outlier in the financial services industry. They have a long-term approach and are concerned about making a positive impact on society. The interview process was different too. Other firms expect you to have quite a lot of macro and market knowledge, but Baillie Gifford asked me what I’d read recently and why I chose the qualifications I did.
I work on the High Yield Credit team in the Multi-Asset & Income stream (MA&I), looking for companies that will provide a return on our investment. We analyse the competitive environment and whether a company has any unique strengths, innovation or durable edge that will allow it to succeed and grow over the period we lend to it. We’re also really interested in their sustainability, environmental, social and governance goals. The bonds we research can be new issues, whereby companies are looking to raise new finances, or refinance, where they want to extend the life of existing bonds. Alternatively, other opportunities can come from individual analysts prospecting in industries they’re responsible for or have a personal interest in.
As someone new to the team, fund managers will often suggest new issues or past bonds for me to look at, although we’re also encouraged to come up with our ideas ourselves. For the new issue bonds, the first part of the research process is to attend a company presentation, and then arrange calls with the company’s management. Once a new bond is issued, the decision to buy can be relatively quick. Typically issued at the beginning of the week, we then discuss our initial reports as a team on Wednesdays. Then, if the fund managers want to buy, they’ll take a small position by the end of the week. After new issues, we usually do further write up, building up a more detailed profile for the bonds.
There is a real collegiate feel at Baillie Gifford. Even though we’re all working remotely, it’s easy to message someone on Teams and go for a walk or meet online for a chat. My mentor has been great and I’ve met with him every week. All graduate trainees get allocated a mentor. They could be someone who completed the graduate programme, an experienced investor hired directly to the team or even a partner in the firm. They teach you how to do the technical aspects of the job and take you through all the basics of the firm.
King’s College London, Political Economy
I’m currently working on the Credit team that is part of the MA&I stream. This year, I have researched companies across auto manufacturing, clothing, mining, airports, entertainment, and education. This year I’m new to looking at companies’ debt rather than shares, and my team is very experienced and eager to share their knowledge. Credit has many different facets and brings together different ways to understand the world – from competitive resilience to macroeconomic trends and market analysis. Companies move quickly to issue bonds, so the work is also at a faster pace. Even though I’m new to this type of analysis, my team value my fresh perspective on company discussions and complex issues.
All the graduates bring different experiences and the learning curve is steep for the first five years. Nevertheless, there’s a genuine belief in cognitive diversity, only furthered by being exposed to new areas via conferences, graduate feedback sessions, partnerships with academia, or consultants teaching us about the industry and thinking frameworks. Baillie Gifford also invites many fascinating speakers to the investment floor, where we can learn from their experiences and viewpoints. I’ve attended talks by Helen Sharman (the first Briton in Space) and by Serhii Plokhii (author of Chernobyl).
During our induction we received an introduction to the firm and investment management. We then progress to the first of our teams, rotating to a new team each year. There is a real focus on encouraging our creativity and breadth of thinking. For example, there is a project in our second year where we research an area of healthcare that we think will see dramatic disruption or innovation over the next five to ten years. A year later we have a placement in the Client Services Department and, in our fourth year, we get the opportunity to do a three-month project. Previous trainees have used this project to meet companies whilst travelling the Silk Road or work at a food app start-up.
My preconceptions meant the investment world did not appeal to me initially. I didn’t grow up knowing people who worked professional jobs and investment seemed a world away from what I had known. I received maintenance grants and worked thirty-hour weeks to support myself throughout university, but Baillie Gifford is unique and welcomes you into its culture. Here it is not about ‘fitting in’ but seeing what you can bring to the table, whilst keeping up the enthusiasm to learn. Through networks such as Women in Banking and Finance, Future Asset and the Social Mobility Foundation, I have received support from Baillie Gifford to talk to cohorts of people from similar backgrounds and share the experience of starting a career here.