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Baillie Gifford reshuffles managers as trio of stalwarts announce retirement

Baillie Gifford’s head of the Japanese equities Sarah Whitley is to retire from the firm after 37 years.

Whitley has managed the Baillie Gifford Japan trust since 2001 and also runs the £1.8bn Baillie Gifford Japanese fund with co-manager Matthew Brett. Following her retirement at the end of April, Brett will take over as lead portfolio manager of the trust, supported by Praveen Kumar as deputy portfolio manager.

Brett will also continue to manage the Baillie Gifford Japanese fund. Donald Farquharson will assume Sarah’s responsibilities as head of the Japanese team and continue to manage the Japan Growth strategy.

Brett joined Baillie Gifford in 2003 while Praveen Kumar joined the firm in 2008 and is portfolio manager of Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon.

Meanwhile fixed income partners Stephen Rodger and Ken Barker will also retire after 17 years and 16 years with the firm respectively. Gregory Turnbull Schwartz will assume lead responsibility for all investment grade portfolios and Robert Baltzer will continue as head of high yield. Torcail Stewart will remain manager on the Baillie Gifford Corporate Bond fund, which he has co-managed alongside Rodger since 2010.

Andrew Telfer, joint senior partner at Baillie Gifford, says: “Sarah has generated excellent returns for clients over more than three decades and built a significant Japanese equities client base. We would like to thank her for her remarkable dedication to the firm.

“Our sincere thanks also go to Stephen Rodger and Ken Barker for their significant contributions over many years within our fixed income business.

“These retirements are part of the natural evolution of Baillie Gifford’s independent private partnership.”

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