IN FO­CUS: ILLUMINA ‘ IT’S BE­HIND A REV­O­LU­TION THAT WILL LAST FOR DECADES’

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - INVESTING -

Illumina is one of our big­gest hold­ings. The firm makes se­quenc­ing ma­chines, which help de­ter­mine the way hu­man DNA is con­structed. This in­for­ma­tion is then used to help cre­ate medicines and ex­tend our knowl­edge of hu­man bi­ol­ogy.

Our in­vest­ment in this com­pany shows how we think about the long term.

The first hu­man genome was se­quenced in 2003 and it cost $2.7bn, but since then the price of gene se­quenc­ing has fallen sub­stan­tially. To­day it costs about $1,000 to se­quence a hu­man genome and by 2022 this is ex­pected to fall to $100.

Our un­der­stand­ing of DNA is in­creas­ing at such a rapid rate. As in­vestors we must think about what these con­tin­u­ing ad­vances will mean for drug de­vel­op­ment and hu­man health.

Illumina is at the heart of this ge­nomic rev­o­lu­tion. It man­u­fac­tures gene­se­quenc­ing ma­chines and about 95pc of all hu­man genes ever se­quenced have in­volved the use of an Illumina ma­chine.

It is a huge com­pany that peo­ple may not have heard of. But we think this com­pany will be be­hind a rev­o­lu­tion that will last for decades. It is an unstoppable force.

What has been your big­gest suc­cess?

Grub­hub is the Amer­i­can equiv­a­lent of JustEat, a take­away or­der­ing and de­liv­ery app. Pen­e­tra­tion of these ser­vices in Amer­ica is way be­hind Bri­tain and Europe, and Grub­hub is by far the mar­ket leader there.

And your big­gest mis­take?

Un­der Ar­mour, the sports­wear brand, hasn’t done very well. There have been some man­age­ment is­sues and it has dis­trib­uted its goods to too many low-end re­tail­ers, which hasn’t helped the brand. It has lost its pre­mium edge some­what.

Do you have your own money in the fund?

The team has the vast ma­jor­ity of its wealth in Bail­lie Gif­ford funds.

How are you paid?

It is based on in­di­vid­ual, team and firm per­for­mance over five years.

What would you have been if you weren’t a fund man­ager?

An ar­chi­tect. I al­ways loved the artis­tic and cre­ative el­e­ment.

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