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Eyeing Brexit, Scottish fund firm Baillie Gifford to open Dublin office

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By Elisabeth O’Leary

EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Scottish fund manager Baillie Gifford said on Friday it will open a small office in Dublin to lead the expansion of its growing European business as Britain leaves the European Union.

Baillie Gifford, one of Britain’s biggest fund managers overseeing 193 billion pounds, is following Scottish peer Aberdeen Standard Investments which announced a Dublin hub in February this year.

Both firms have decided to create backstops for their EU business while the outcome of the Brexit negotiations for Britain’s financial services industry remains unclear.

Under EU rules, fund managers can be based in one member country and direct investments in a fund legally based in another, a mechanism known as “delegation”.

Some industry officials are concerned Britain will not find a way to replicate the arrangement as it leaves the EU.

Earlier this week, Britain warned European Union negotiators that EU financial firms will face obstacles to working in the UK after Brexit unless the City of London is allowed to operate in the bloc as it does currently.

Baillie Gifford’s non-UK European assets under management make up only 4.2 percent, or 8.1 billion pounds, of its total, but they have grown fourfold since 2013.

“We are committed to servicing our existing EU-based clients, as well as expanding further,” Andrew Telfer, joint senior partner of the privately owned partnership, said.

Baillie Gifford has around 1,000 staff who are primarily located at its Edinburgh headquarters. The new office will house less than a dozen staff but not fund managers, a source familiar with the situation said. The century-old firm has offices in London, New York and Singapore.

Compliance, auditing and oversight staff will take up their roles in the Irish capital once the green light from the regulatory authorities is given.

(Reporting by Elisabeth O’Leary; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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