There’s no one type of person we’re looking for to become a Client Manager. From parents returning to work to professional rugby players to those with backgrounds in academia, the charity sector and law, we see potential in a wide range of candidates. Financial services experience isn’t necessary, but there are three key attributes that will help you to flourish here:
Relationships – that’s what this role is all about. You’re a people person who can build rapport easily with both clients and colleagues alike. It’s more than just being friendly; you have the skills to build credibility and gain trust throughout your role. You thrive on teamwork and relish the opportunity to collaborate with internal teams to achieve client goals. You know how to make clients feel in safe hands. You pride yourself on your ability to listen and fully understand client requirements, whilst also communicating solutions effectively.
You will be a confident communicator who has the ability to distil complex information and convey this succinctly to clients in an interesting fashion. You will be able to determine how each client prefers to be communicated to and adapt accordingly. You will have strong attention to detail and the ability to create engaging pieces of content, both written and recorded, for various audiences.
Curious about our world and excited by the thought of continually learning, you are fascinated by the ever-evolving nature of our investments and clients’ requirements. You will demonstrate intellectual curiosity and an interest in learning about investment management and the investment products we offer to our clients. You’re looking for a culture that’s open to new ideas and always searching for better ways to do things. At Baillie Gifford, we’re motivated by our aim to deliver client service excellence and expect our Client Managers to be the same.
Manager, Investment Specialist Clients Department
I discovered my interest in the investment management industry while studying for my MBA. When I started talking to contacts about potential careers, it wasn’t long before people started recommending Baillie Gifford. The firm genuinely seeks people from different professional backgrounds. I used to be a Royal Naval Officer on Trident submarines, helping to deliver the nuclear deterrent, so the very highest levels of professionalism and leadership were expected. These skills are just as important in my Client Manager role at Baillie Gifford, as we’re asking clients to trust us with significant investments that are important to their future.
The Client Manager programme is both generous in its resourcing, and patient in its approach. It’s not uncommon for businesses to hurry training. But here you’re given around two years to build your understanding of the firm and industry, and clients and their investments. Our clients are helping to finance things like people’s retirements and important charitable work, so we’re dealing with some very sophisticated organisations. They need to trust Baillie Gifford, and it’s my role to help us earn that trust.
There are two distinct Client Manager streams at Baillie Gifford – generalists and specialists. Generalists look after the relationships with our clients and are typically organised on a regional basis. I work on the specialist stream, where we have expert knowledge on the firm’s different investment strategies, and we help to deliver this knowledge to clients. I’m part of the International Equities specialist team with particular responsibility for our International Concentrated Growth (ICG) strategy. ICG is a newer opportunity for clients to invest in, and I feel lucky to have the chance to help develop a strategy.
Every day in this role is different. I could be briefing colleagues on developments in the strategy or overseeing the design of a new client presentation. There will be meetings to update clients, and the opportunity to meet with potential new investors. Most of the clients I help to service are in North America, so prior to Covid, I was visiting the USA five to ten times a year. But I’m really enjoying home life in Edinburgh too, having moved here for the role. My wife and I hope to start a family, and we’re looking forward to taking part in the firm’s family activities. These include a Children’s Christmas party and trips to Edinburgh Zoo.
Client Service Manager
Before I joined Baillie Gifford, I was a barrister and legal advisor in London and Turks & Caicos. I worked in commercial law and became increasingly interested in how investing in companies that are solving the problems of today and tomorrow can affect social change. So, when I saw the Client Manager Programme was open to people from different backgrounds who have an interest in finance, I decided to apply.
My last role was in quite a traditional culture, so I love that I have a great deal of autonomy as a Client Manager and can just be myself at work. This enables me to really show up and truly enjoy building long-term relationships with new and existing clients. The firm’s culture is about working hard but also being able to enjoy the fruits of your labour. There are opportunities for hybrid working, and a typical day here is the equivalent of nine to five.
It’s also a culture of continual learning, where we’re encouraged to get involved in projects or expand our knowledge by attending relevant conferences and webinars. A few months after starting, I joined the Multi-Cultural Network that celebrates the different cultures of Baillie Gifford’s employees. Through the Network I’ve contributed to the firm’s commitment to meaningful diversity and inclusion by organising some successful ‘Let’s talk about race’ workshops.
Baillie Gifford is different to many other financial services firms, as it is wholly owned by its partners who work in the firm every day. For us this means the opportunity to interact with the owners of the business on a regular basis.
On any given day you might end up sitting next to a partner hotdesking in the department, who will genuinely be interested in getting to know you and hearing your thoughts on how we can continue to be better as a company. I would describe the business as one that is open to fresh ideas, trying new things and being different from the norm.
Originally from Turks and Caicos, I’d originally spent most of my time in the UK in London, so the move to Edinburgh was an exciting opportunity. I enjoy living in Edinburgh as it’s a smaller city. It has all the amenities you’d expect from a capital, but there’s also a sense of community that reminds me of home.
Client Service Manager
Before I joined the Client Manager programme I had been a stay at home mum for several years. The time was right to head back to work, and when I started looking for opportunities, Baillie Gifford’s openness to recruiting from a variety of industries and experiences stood out. Throughout the application process I was impressed by the diversity of people in the Clients department, with backgrounds ranging from the armed forces to professional sport. I’ve found it makes an interesting work environment that’s full of stimulating conversation.
Prior to starting a family, I worked in financial services in London and Singapore, but I still found going back to work challenging both professionally and emotionally. Baillie Gifford provide lots of training to support the transition, and I was assigned a line manager from a similar background, who helped me adjust back to the professional environment. My role is to provide Baillie Gifford’s clients with the best possible service, and they must come first. However, the firm are very supportive of family life, and understand if one of my children is sick or I need to attend a school concert. It’s an ongoing journey as my family’s needs change and my career evolves.
Now in my fourth year with Baillie Gifford I’m part of a generalist team with responsibility for clients in Southeast Asia. I enjoy being part of a firm that is researching and investing in companies which are changing the world and shaping all our futures. Our investment teams never stand still and are constantly searching for the next insight or idea. It’s our role to communicate these developments to our clients, which makes Baillie Gifford an exciting and dynamic place to work.
Client Service Manager
I studied Physics at university, then initially went on to work for a large global investment bank. Part of my role there was speaking to investment management firms, and I quickly realised I wanted to be on the other side of the conversation. Initially, I joined the Client Administration department at Baillie Gifford, but decided I wanted to work more closely with the investment teams so moved to a Portfolio Implementation role. This experience cemented the idea that I wanted to become a Client Manager, so I applied for the programme.
Baillie Gifford aim to hire the best people but also recognise they may not want to stay in the same place for their whole career, so internal opportunities are made as accessible as possible. Hard work is recognised and there’s plenty of scope to explore different opportunities to progress. The Client Manager programme’s focus on continuous improvement really appealed to me.
There’s lots of autonomy in this role, especially with the flexible working available. At the moment my day might start with client calls in the morning, which I can choose to do from home if that suits me. Then I might do a couple of hours of learning before going into the office for my afternoon meetings. Typically, my work involves sourcing information for clients, sending emails, checking reports and writing commentary – it’s very varied. Your tasks will be led by the clients you work with, which means no one Client Manager role is the same. There’s plenty of time to find the right fit for you and I’m still in that process in my second year.
I’m currently on my second placement with one of the investment specialist teams. As I’m quite new to the team I still spend a lot of the day reading and getting up to speed with portfolio holdings and trends that are relevant to our clients. It took some time to realise that, when it comes to this role, reading and research is just as important as answering emails and dealing with client requests. It’s our job to give clients the most informed answers to their questions, so we need to keep up with what’s happening in the world.
Client Service Manager
Before joining the Client Manager programme, I worked in the charity sector for ten years. I had an open mind about my next career move and the programme at Baillie Gifford was a great opportunity to learn something new. Although my past role seems very different, relationship building is one of the most important skills needed to be a successful fundraiser. It’s about more than just delivering good customer service, you’re trying to anticipate your donors’ needs and gain their trust. This is also true when working with clients at Baillie Gifford.
As part of the application process you are required to write a short essay, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to think creatively. From there, the interviews are managed in a very personal way. Beforehand, I was sent a pack that told me exactly who would be interviewing me and information on their background. The focus was on getting to know us, having a conversation, and seeing how we interacted with other candidates.
The programme starts with an eight-week induction and all the new joiners are sat together in the office. This was a great way to build relationships and a close support network. The training has been comprehensive and included an inspiring meeting with Joint Senior Partner, Andrew Telfer. There were sessions to introduce us to the financial services industry, to the firm itself, and to several of Baillie Gifford’s different investment strategies. We also met with representatives from many of the internal teams we’ll be working with.
I had very little knowledge of what investment management entailed until I discovered Baillie Gifford. Initially I was worried that it might be too corporate, but here the exact opposite is true. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and areas of expertise, which makes it an interesting place to work. People are curious and read a lot around their work, so I’ve had some fantastic book and podcast recommendations! The firm doesn’t feel hierarchical, we’re all encouraged to learn and grow, and everyone is genuinely down-to-earth and approachable.
Client Service Manager
Prior to joining Baillie Gifford, I was working as a Senior International Relations Manager at the University of Nottingham. I was attracted to the Client Manager programme because they were actively seeking people from outside the investment industry. Obviously, when you join this means there’s a bit of a knowledge gap at first, but no one expects you to have investment expertise straight away. There’s a lot of value put on your existing skills, and everyone is encouraged to bring their previous experience to the table. For example, I was asked to share my opinions in a stock discussion about why some companies are more successful in breaking into the higher education industry than others.
The first year of the job is largely spent developing your understanding of the firm, investment management and Baillie Gifford’s clients. Coming from a role where I had a lot of responsibility, it was challenging to adjust back into a learning mindset. However, the firm provides lots of support. There are in-house courses for the formal exams that you sit over two years, and you also receive wide-ranging skills training, such as writing and presenting workshops. Day-to-day, you’ll start by shadowing client meetings and gradually this evolves into more responsibility. My line manager has been instrumental in helping me build internal networks by introducing me to lots of different teams, and I also have a dedicated mentor, who’s on hand to answer any questions.
Our Client Service teams are currently divided into two streams – one has responsibility for working closely with our clients and the other specialises in gaining an in-depth understanding of the firm’s investment strategies. I spent my first year in a client facing team, working with one of Baillie Gifford’s biggest clients. Now in my second year, I’m gaining experience as an Investment Product Specialist. We meet with the clients regularly to answer their queries and provide quarterly and half-yearly updates. They are often interested in finding out about topical news stories, what’s in the pipeline and what trends we think are interesting. It’s our job to keep them abreast of what our investment teams are doing and why.
Before I relocated, I had only visited Edinburgh ten years ago as a tourist. Luckily, Baillie Gifford work with an excellent relocation service. They gave me information about each neighbourhood in the city so I could find the right fit. Then helped with the whole renting process – from liaising with agencies to setting up the utilities and getting the keys. Edinburgh is a brilliantly compact city and I was surprised by how much is happening throughout the year. Baillie Gifford also has an annual programme of social events for employees and their families, which is a great way to meet new people.
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