Baillie Gifford is one of the UK’s leading independently owned investment management firms. As at 30 September 2016 Baillie Gifford had c. USD21.6 billion (¥2.2 trillion) invested in Japanese equities. We have been investing in Japan and engaging with Japanese company management since the 1960s. During the 1960s, Baillie Gifford became one of the first European investment firms to explore the Japanese market. Our first specialist Japanese portfolio, The Japan Trust, was launched in 1981 and is the longest established existing Japanese investment trust. Our second investment trust, Shin Nippon, was launched in 1985 in order to capitalise on the investment opportunity available among companies too small and illiquid for Japan Trust. We now also run segregated and public funds on behalf of institutional clients in Europe, Asia, Australasia and The Middle East.
As a long-term investor in Japanese companies, we value strong corporate governance and effective boards which helps to protect and enhance long-term shareholder value, and also benefit the companies and its stakeholders. We support the work of the Board Director Training Institute and its focus on training boards on issues such as company law, corporate governance theory and practice, risk management, and finance. We believe that all board members should be fully aware of their legal duties and responsibilities to the company’s stakeholders.