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12 Feb 2021

Keystone Investment Trust

Company Notes

Positive change approach under Baillie Gifford adopted

Baillie Gifford recently assumed responsibility for Keystone Investment Trust following shareholder approval to adopt an investment objective with two equally weighted objectives: generate attractive investment returns, as measured by a NAV total return exceeding the MSCI AC World Index by at least 2% p.a. over rolling five-year periods; and “contribute towards a more sustainable and inclusive world by investing in the equities of companies whose products or services make a positive social or environmental impact.”

Keystone is now managed by Kate Fox and Lee Qian of Baillie Gifford’s Positive Change team. The rationale for their investment approach is that free enterprise can have a positive impact on society. The approach is not simply an ESG strategy that attempts to filter out bad investments, but instead tries to back businesses that are meeting social challenges. Keystone’s portfolio will consist of 30 to 60 securities selected on a best ideas basis and will include both listed and unlisted securities. It is permitted to invest up to 30% of its portfolio in private companies, although this is not a target and the aim is to allocate between 5% and 10% within three years.