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Baillie Gifford to soft-close £1bn emerging markets growth fund

Baillie Gifford is to soft-close its emerging markets growth fund in April, after it recently passed the £1 billion barrier in size.

Richard Sneller, the fund’s manager, says that liquidity has become a problem, making it necessary to take significant positions in smaller companies.

The fund, due to close on April 6, will see the full initial charge of 5 per cent applied for class A shares and 1 per cent for class B shares. It will remain on platforms subject to the application of the full initial charge.

It is second quartile in the Investment Management Association global emerging markets sector over three years, having returned 32.3 per cent compared with the sector average of 27.5 per cent.

Baillie Gifford director of marketing and distribution James Budden (pictured) says: “This product has been closed for institutional investors for some time, and while we have been able to hoover up some marginal liquidity in the retail space, we felt it was time to soft-close the fund, which effectively means there will be no discounts for investors.

“We believe the Emerging Market Leading Companies fund, which is managed by the same investment team, offers a valid alternative for investors.”

The £375m Baillie Gifford Emerging Market Leading Companies fund, managed by Will Sutcliffe, was launched in November 2005. It has returned 20.3 per cent over three years, ranking it 24th out of 32 funds in the Global Emerging Markets sector. Sutcliffe briefly co-managed the Emerging Markets Growth fund before taking sole charge of Emerging Market Leading Companies in February last year.

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