Fund Profile


This is a non-independent marketing communication commissioned by Baillie Gifford. The report has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on the dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

Identifying companies which are small relative to their potential size...

Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust (LON:EWIT) has a global growth mandate, and is managed by the Global Discovery team at Baillie Gifford.

The trust sits in the AIC Global Smaller Companies sector, with Douglas Brodie at the helm of the portfolio. Douglas looks to identify companies which are small relative to their potential size, rather than small in terms of their capacity for growth.

The managers do not seek to replicate the benchmark index, and the trust has an active share of 99%. As such, EWIT can – and does – experience volatility, although the manager attempts to limit this as much as possible through diversification, currently holding 115 holdings and always having exposure to a minimum of six countries and 15 industries at any one time.

Douglas took charge of EWIT in January 2014, and performance has been strong during his time managing the portfolio. In particular, the last three years have seen the trust drastically outperform with returns of 68.2%, compared to returns of 21.2% and 25.3% from the AIC Global Smaller Companies sector and the benchmark index respectively. In comparison to the (arguably more suitable) peer group the AIC Global sector, the trust’s returns are equally impressive, outperforming by 33.3% over the same period.

Currently EWIT is trading on a discount of 0.5%.

Analyst's View

Douglas Brodie and his team at Baillie Gifford have a differentiated approach to looking at global equities. Their focus on immature companies, combined with their long-term investment horizon and willingness to hold on to winners, complements Baillie Gifford’s other global growth Trusts.

EWIT, over the longer term, is the standout trust in the AIC Global Smaller Companies sector. The trust has outperformed every peer over three and five years, in fact offering 20% greater NAV total returns than the second-strongest performer in the sector over three years. This being said, the AIC Global Smaller Companies sector is made up of only six trusts, many of whom could be considered rather idiosyncratic. As such, it is perhaps more relevant to compare performance relative to the global sector, which offers a greater number of perhaps more comparable trusts, albeit investing in much larger companies. In comparison to the global sector, the story remains largely the same and EWIT would sit in the top three (out of 17) of the strongest performing trusts over three and five years (Source: Morningstar).

Given the volatile nature of the high growth potential small cap companies in the portfolio, some might question the attractiveness of the trust’s approach to having structural gearing. However, over the long term we believe that structural gearing – eliminating the risks associated with market timing – is appropriate in the context of a growth trust aiming for the maximum long-term effect. EWIT certainly justifies its place in higher risk portfolios. The shares currently trade close to NAV (discount of 0.5%); should we see the shares slip to a wider discount, it could be an attractive entry point for a long-term investor.

bull bear
Exceptional record over three and five years Not suitable for short-term or more cautious investors who are wary of volatility
Low OCF relative to peers Trading very tight to NAV
Highly differentiated investment approach Gearing will exacerbate portfolio volatility
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Fund History

05 Apr 2024 Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust’s vision on pioneering technologies
Discover how the Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust navigates the complexities of the modern investment landscape, embracing the challenges and opportunities presented by emerging technologies and market shifts...
16 Feb 2024 Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust: manager insights
Baillie Gifford’s Douglas Brodie, lead manager of the Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust, provides an update on recent performance, observations on the market environment and why the team is optimistic about future returns...
22 Dec 2023 Growth companies shaping our tomorrow
Citywire’s Richard Lander chats with Baillie Gifford’s Douglas Brodie, manager of the Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust, about his approach, businesses in the portfolio, opportunities and emerging themes such as artificial intelligence...
08 Dec 2023 How Alnylam’s gene-silencing technology nips disease in the bud
A proven success against rare diseases, Alnylam’s technology is now poised to take on the big global killers, as Douglas Brodie, manager of Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust, tells Linda Geddes...
17 Mar 2023 Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust: Manager Insights
Baillie Gifford's Douglas Brodie, lead manager of the Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust, reflects on the challenges of the past year, the current investment environment and how the portfolio is positioned for future opportunities...
29 Apr 2022 Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust: Growth companies shaping our tomorrow
Douglas Brodie, investment manager of the Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust, outlines his thoughts on the portfolio’s holdings and why he believes they represent uniquely differentiated and scalable technology-led opportunities over the coming decade and beyond...
04 Feb 2022 Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust - Manager Insights
Fund manager Douglas Brodie discusses new stakes in ‘green hydrogen’ equipment maker ITM Power and software development tool provider JFrog, as well as existing holdings including private company investments...
05 Jan 2022 Kepler’s top-rated trusts for 2022
We unveil the winners of our ratings for 2022 in the Growth, Income & Growth and Alternative Income categories…
14 Jul 2021 Grade inflation
We look at how our discounted opportunities portfolio has done in the first half of the year and update on the performance of our long-term rated funds…
10 Mar 2021 Spring Conference '21
Audio and presentations from 21 of the UK’s leading investment trust managers…
05 Mar 2021 Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust – Manager Update
Douglas Brodie, investment manager of the Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust, reflects on the past year, gives some insight into the current positioning of the portfolio and sheds some light on what could be some exciting opportunities in the future. Capital at Risk.
04 Mar 2021 Slides and Audio: Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust
Download the presentation and listen to the audio from our 'Ideas for your ISA' Spring Conference on 03 March...
20 Jan 2021 Kepler's top-rated investment trusts for 2021
We update our annual quantitative ratings for investment trusts…
12 Dec 2019 Regime change: how manager changes impact performance
Does a change in manager result in improved trust performance?
03 Dec 2019 Electric Medicine
The oncology firm Novocure is extending survival rates by attacking brain cancer with electric fields. Svetlana Viteva, deputy manager of Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust, talks to Linda Geddes about the implications...
27 Nov 2019 Fund Analysis
Identifying companies which are small relative to their potential size...
22 Nov 2019 Space: the final investment frontier
12 Oct 2017 Roaring back…
We analyse the drivers behind the significant outperformance of global active managers in 2017, following what was a very poor year for them in 2016...
05 Oct 2017 Winners and losers from tomorrow’s world
We highlight a subsection of managers and strategies which aim to identify and profit from innovative disruption in the global economy...
05 Oct 2017 Fund Analysis
A global trust with a bias towards smaller companies and those which own and are producing disruptive technologies...
18 Sep 2017 Business as usual
We meet the new managers of Baillie Gifford's Scottish American Investment Company and find that they have much in common with former boss Dominic Neary...
03 Feb 2017 Analysis: What next for European ITs?
Our analysis shows that European investment trusts have in recent years delivered strong returns to investors from their current discount, but risks abound in 2017...
17 Nov 2016 Fortune favours the brave
Our analysis shows that in relative terms technology trusts have generated significantly better risk adjusted returns than their more broadly diversified global growth cousins...
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