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Investment Research. Your future.

Help us imagine the future and you’ll see how far yours can go too.

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About the programme

When imagining a role in the investment industry, you may picture a traditional financial position filled with mathematical analysis and number-crunching. But instead, let’s imagine a role where your creativity and curiosity are held in higher esteem than your numeracy skills. At Baillie Gifford, we like to see things differently. For us, it’s not about looking for graduates from a particular degree. Instead, we look for particular graduates – people who are inquisitive thinkers who have the vision to see what the future could look like. That’s why we are just as likely to hire a musician, a doctor or a politics graduate, as we are a mathematician.

What we do is so much more than just buying stakes in companies. We think about a company’s potential to grow significantly in the next five to ten years, which is often influenced by many diverse and conflicting factors. Our work is a million miles from that stereotype of investors who constantly track markets looking for short-term gains.

Instead, our focus is on developing a deep understanding of the underlying drivers behind potential investments. That means questioning everything that happens around us and anticipating the consequences of local, regional and global events. In other words, we try to imagine what the future holds.

As a graduate trainee, 80% of your time will be spent researching. And for us, inspiration can come from anywhere. You’ll have to cast your net far and wide to collect information and create your own unique viewpoint. This will enable you to spot investment opportunities that others may have missed.

It takes creativity to look at the world and imagine how it could change in the next five to ten years. It takes skill to identify the direction of corporate culture, how industries may evolve and the sways of our society. You’ll have to explore politics, socio-economic conditions, and current affairs. It’s challenging, but it’s also incredibly intellectually rewarding.


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“We are trying to consider probability and possibility adjusted outcomes for (often) revolutionary business models a decade ahead. We could term it ‘imagining the future’. Creativity not analysis is our calling.”

James Anderson, Partner,
History, University of Oxford

Career Development

The beginning of your time here at Baillie Gifford is as important as it is inspiring. You’ll begin with a structured induction, which will take you through the basics of investment analysis, introduce you to the firm and give you an overview of the clients we work with.

Within your first year, you’ll start to work towards CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1 and IMC (Investment Management Certificate) qualifications. We’ll give you our full support by paying for your registration, tuition and materials, as well as the time you need to study. You’ll spend time with one team, learning about its specialism in detail before rotating to the next.

In years two and three, you’ll have the option to continue with CFA Levels 2 and 3, again with our full support. You’ll also rotate each year to a new team, gaining a broad view of the different investment areas and geographical regions we work in. There’s the opportunity to travel both within the UK and internationally to attend conferences, visit companies and speak to experts.

The annual rotation will usually involve placements on both equity and non-equity teams. While our equity teams spend most of their time trying to identify companies with the potential to grow significantly over the next five or ten years, we also have income teams that invest primarily in bond markets (where we try to identify particular companies or countries to lend to based on their ability to repay that debt in the future), and multi-asset teams (where we take a more ‘top-down’ view on the attractions of a wide range of asset classes, including equities, bonds, property and infrastructure). The aim is to give you a broad understanding of how we invest, although we try to accommodate those with a desire to specialise in a particular area.

Your learning won’t stop there either. We support every one of our colleagues to continue their professional development throughout their time with us. As for the future, you could develop your career into an Investment Manager, Senior Analyst or Client Management role. You could even become a partner in the firm. In other words, your career potential is as abundant as your own.

Our requirements

We encourage applications from any degree background and there’s no one type of person we’re looking for at Baillie Gifford. However, there are some vital qualities that will help you to flourish.

An open-minded curiosity

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.

Independent thinking

You pride yourself on your ability to spot trends and opportunities before others do and know how to distinguish 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.

Resilience is key

You have the ability to cope with uncertainty, as it may be many years before you know whether your 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.

Application process

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To get started, you need to complete a short online application form, attaching your CV and covering letter. We’ll review your application to assess whether you have the skills, attributes and curiosity we’re looking for to make a good Investment Research trainee.

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You will be invited to our offices in Edinburgh for a first interview with one of our senior investors and a member of the HR team. We’ll discuss the academic and professional choices you’ve made so far, as well as your own interests. Together, we’ll also have a chance to discuss your thoughts on topical issues and the world around us.

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The final stage is more in-depth. Along with further meetings with senior investors, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet different members of the teams you might join – from experienced analysts to graduates who were in your position last year. At each stage, we’ll be open and honest with you, so you get a clear idea of what it’s like to work at Baillie Gifford.

Meet the Graduates

Tom Fenton Investment Research
Diane Esson Investment Research
Saad Malik Investment Research
Alice Stretch Investment Research
Remya Nair Investment Research
Mirbahram Azimbayli Investment Research

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