20VC: The Most Powerful Investor You Might Not Know | Why The Distinction Between Public vs Private is BS | The Misalignments Between GPs and their LPs | Portfolio Construction 101: Diversification, Capital Concentration, Loss Rates with Peter Singlehurst @ Baillie Gifford

Posted on 15th July 2022 by Harry

Peter Singlehurst is the Head of Private Companies at Baillie Gifford. As of 31st March 2022, funds under Baillie Gifford’s management and advice totaled £277bn. The firm is owned and run by 51 of its senior executives who operate as a partnership, a structure that has endured for over a century. As for Peter, he has been with Baillie Gifford since graduating from Durham University 12 years ago and has backed some astonishing breakouts such as Wise, Grammarly and Zymergen to name a few.

In Today’s Episode with Peter Singlehurst We Discuss:

1.) Entry into Venture:

  • How Peter landed his role with Baillie Gifford straight out of university?
  • Why does Peter and Baillie Gifford prefer to hire young people without backgrounds or studies in finance? Why do they tend to be better investors?
  • What does Peter believe are the basic building blocks that can be taught in investing? What cannot be taught and needs to be learned with experience and time?

2.) The Biggest Misnomers and Misalignments in Venture:

  • Why does Peter believe the distinction between public vs private markets is BS?
  • Why does Peter believe it is an advantage to invest at the same time in both public and private markets?
  • Why does Peter think there is an inherent misalignment in venture between GPs and their LPs?

3.) Baillie Gifford: Constructing a Portfolio with £277BN:

  • How does Baillie Gifford approach portfolio construction today?
  • How many lines do they want to have in their portfolio? What is the right level of diversification?
  • How does Peter think about sizing each position? How does Peter think about capital concentration across rounds vs first check being the largest?
  • How does Peter approach outcome scenario planning? How does Peter think about downside protection and loss rates?

4.) Peter Singlehurst: The Investor:

  • How has Peter’s investing style changed over the last 10 years? What has gotten easier? What has gotten harder?
  • What is Peter’s biggest miss? How did it change his approach?
  • What is Peter’s biggest hit? What did he learn and take from this?
  • How did the crossover funds change and impact the way that later stage venture was conducted?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Peter’s Fave Book: The Myth of Sisyphus

Peter’s Most Recent Investment: Grammarly

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