Naomi Dodds


Naomi Dodds

Project Accountant

Baillie Gifford & Co

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Joined Baillie Gifford in 2020

Joining during Covid

I joined Baillie Gifford on the first day of the lockdown, which means my whole experience here has been virtual. Baillie Gifford sent me a laptop, an extra screen, a desk and a chair, so I had everything I needed. I had a comprehensive induction with the other new joiners in the firm, and there have been loads of networking events to help me get to know everyone. There’s a coffee catch-up every month and a ‘speed-dating’ type system where you can organise short meetings with people around the firm. There are also monthly social events like wine tastings and cocktail evenings, which are great fun.

A varied role

I’m a project accountant, which is a unique role within the department. I’m currently involved in about four different projects. One is looking at how we set up a new structural entity. These are the vehicles the firm uses to sell our investments to clients. I’m part of the team that deliberates on how we account for the new entities and ensure that everything complies with the wider regulations and reporting requirements. I really enjoy my role because I will often sit in four or five teams across different projects. I also help with the Business Operations graduate training program by, organising the trainees’ placements and making sure they reach their goals.

Project management

One of the highlights of my role so far has been a large piece of work that I ran by myself. The Finance department uses a lot of different vendors to provide its systems and services. I set up a vendor management oversight group to ensure we managed our supplier contracts as effectively as possible. I started by working with the firm’s Third-Party Oversight team, who look after the firm’s main contacts. I learnt about their best practices and the lifecycle of oversight. It was then about adapting these processes to the Finance department.

Vibrant culture

Before joining Baillie Gifford, I was lucky enough to attend one of the firm’s Dinner & Dance events as a guest. This year the event was online, and I didn’t think it would compare, but I don’t think they could have done it any better. We had a four-course meal delivered to our home, a cocktail before dinner and wine. Then we were all able to log into live entertainment especially booked for the event. The firm made an effort to find entertainers who have been out of work because of lockdown. They do it because it’s the right thing to do, not because they want to publicize it. I really like that.

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