Baillie Gifford replaces Edinburgh Partners on £335m investment fund

Edinburgh Partners has been removed from a £335 million investment fund for European Investment Trust PLC and replaced by Baillie Gifford.

The European Investment Trust PLC (EIT) said the company had underperformed the benchmark for Edinburgh Partners’ preferred ‘value’ investment style - buying of stocks in established companies with a record of long-term income.

Instead, the Trust will now target a new strategy through the growth style, with the fund renamed Baillie Gifford European Growth Trust PLC.

The Trust’s board said Baillie Gifford’s European equity team had a strong track record through managing assets of around £3 billion, as part of a company which manages a total of about £44bn of European investments.

Being a closed-end fund, the EIT was in a position to buy into less-liquid unlisted investments and BG managers would be able to do so up to 10% of the portfolio. it added.

The EIT board said: “The board notes that the company’s investment performance has lagged its benchmark (the FTSE All-World Europe ex UK Index) since the appointment of Edinburgh Partners on 1 February 2010, and over the three and five years, to 30 September 2019.

“In addition, it has lagged the MSCI Europe ex UK Value Index, which more closely reflects Edinburgh Partners’ value investment style, over three and five years. Further, the company’s share price has experienced a persistent and wide discount to its net asset value per share, notwithstanding the use of share buybacks.

“Accordingly, the board has concluded that, in order to provide an improved investment outcome for existing investors and to position the company to attract new investors, it should make the change to introduce a new investment approach managed by Baillie Gifford, an established manager of investment trusts with a long-term track record in achieving capital growth from European equities.”

The EIT’s portfolio will be co-managed by Stephen Paice, who has co-managed the Baillie Gifford European Fund since 2011, and Moritz Sitte, who has co-managed it since 2014.

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