Four has worked with Baillie Gifford since 1999, during which time assets under management have grown from £8 billion to over £180 billion.

Objectives

Baillie Gifford is one of the UK’s largest independent investment management firms, founded in 1908 and based in Edinburgh. The first external PR agency employed by the firm, Four has developed and evolved the communications strategy over several years mirroring the growth and increase in influence of the firm. Our role has facilitated an enhanced awareness and reputation of Baillie Gifford as a highly successful active manager which selects growth stocks for a long term investment strategy.

Planning and thinking

We have worked closely with the firm to develop key messages, prepare and implement a communications strategy to raise the awareness and reputation of the firm. Key messages reflect the culture and ethos of the firm including: active management will add value over the long term; putting its clients’ interests ahead of its own; its partnership structure is a key strength; supporting society as a whole.

Implementation

We have progressively built the firm’s profile by encouraging senior management and its fund managers to lead debate on topics such as active management, ESG and management fees/research costs. This has been achieved through a comprehensive media engagement programme, encompassing meetings with US, Asia, and continental Europe media titles.

Adapting

On a tactical basis we have assisted the firm with special situation PR, e.g. Scottish devolution, corporate M&A activity, usually on a background-only basis, achieving notable successes. In addition, we have targeted profile opportunities around key themes, in national, consumer personal finance and trade media.

Learning

We organise a twice annual journalist roundtable, arranging for national and trade journalists to visit Edinburgh for fund manager briefings.

In 2016, Four launched the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, formerly the Samuel Johnson Prize, the UK’s leading non-fiction award.