Baillie Gifford names Japan smaller companies co-manager

Paul Schwerda will work alongside Praveen Kumar, who has led the strategy since 2015

James Budden, Baillie Gifford
James Budden


Baillie Gifford has promoted Paul Schwerda to co-manager of the £459m Japan smaller companies fund.

Based in Japan, he will lead the strategy alongside manager Praveen Kumar.

Schwerda joined Baillie Gifford in 2018 as an investment manager after completing a PhD in South Asian studies at Harvard University.

James Budden (pictured), director of retail marketing & distribution, said: “Praveen has been managing this fund solo since the end of 2015. Paul’s appointment will broaden debate and allow an increased focus on company research in what is an under researched area.

“Japanese smaller companies have a reputation as something of a ‘boom or bust asset’ class. This may be unfair, but returns do tend to come in cycles. Arguably, we could be in the foothills on one such ascent and Paul can now formally play a part in the progression of this fund.”

The fund was launched in 1983. For the year to 31 December, its total returns fell 20.3%, while the MSCI Japan Small Cap Index declined 0.6%, though the strategy clawed back 10.3 percentage points in the second half of the year.


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