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Top 10

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Data as at 30 November 2021


The Top 10 holdings in the LF Blue Whale Growth Fund make up approximately 50% of the total value of the fund.

In picking our Top 10, we employ what we internally call ‘The Beautiful Companies Concept’. That is picking those companies which fulfil several important criteria that, we believe, makes them ‘beautiful’. They represent our highest conviction picks within the portfolio and offer, we believe, a significant upside to the current share price.

Here we take a look at each of our Top 10 holdings and explain why they feature in top positions within our portfolio. 

Please note that the Top 10 is provided for information only and the views we express on holdings do not constitute Investment Recommendations and must not be viewed as such. The sectors stated are Blue Whale's proprietary classifications which may differ from the standard industry classifications referred to on the Factsheet.

Supplying the best creative software, benefitting from the world’s shift to digital content

Company: Adobe

Sector: Media & Entertainment

Initial Investment: Sep-17

Company Size: £240bn

Adobe has more than 50% of the digital content creation software market. Whenever you view an image, video, website, magazine, or even an app, there is a good chance it was created using its software. We believe Adobe will be a major beneficiary of continued explosive growth in this market, as ever-richer digital content is consumed across devices. Meanwhile, Adobe’s pioneering transition to a subscription model is unlocking international growth opportunities and helping to combat software piracy. 

There’s more in store for the world’s most ubiquitous search engine, map, and email service

Company: Alphabet

Sector: Media & Entertainment

Initial Investment: Sep-17

Company Size: £1,423bn

The first internet company whose name turned into a verb, Google has become synonymous with finding answers online. Branching out into maps and email, the company now provides services that are so embedded in our lives that we can’t imagine life without it.

Capitalising on its near-monopoly in online search, the company is reinvesting its profits from digital advertising into the platforms of the future - including driverless cars and augmented reality - which we see fuelling its journey to a multi-trillion dollar company.

Enjoys a near-monopoly on the tools required to make semiconductors for smart devices

Company: ASML

Sector: Technology

Initial Investment: May-21

Company Size: £247bn

ASML is the dominant manufacturer of machines used to make semiconductors that put the “smart” in “smart devices”. These semiconductor chips are currently used to power iPhones and datacentres but will go on to define the next stage of technological innovation from self-driving cars to augmented reality devices and super-connected cities. 

Only ASML has overcome the extraordinarily complex engineering challenge required to manufacture machines that make leading edge chips, making it exceptionally well-positioned to benefit disproportionately from the almost 25% expected yearly growth in demand for smart and connected devices going into the next decade.

Helping businesses plan, execute and accelerate the development of apps of the future

Company: Atlassian

Sector: Technology

Initial Investment: Dec-20

Company Size: £71bn

Atlassian owns the de-facto collaboration tools used in developing the world’s most popular apps and software. Its flagship products, Jira and Confluence, enable software developers to communicate, share and plan new products and updates in a seamlessly efficient way with non-technical parts of the business, accelerating the pace of overall product improvement and new launches. 

We are excited about Atlassian’s ability to extend its presence beyond tech companies as more businesses embark on the journey of digital transformation. Furthermore, by using its own products, the company has accelerated the creation of new tools for its die-hard userbase of developers. We are optimistic about these products contributing meaningfully to the company’s value over the long term. 

Leading accounting software helping millions of small businesses stay on top of their finances

Company: Intuit

Sector: Financial Services

Initial Investment: Feb-18

Company Size: £139bn

Intuit is the company behind both QuickBooks, the leading accounting software for small businesses globally and TurboTax, the leading tax-filing software for individuals in the US. This niche focus and an excellent management team that embraces ‘self-disruption’ have helped Intuit to thrive across various technology era’s (DOS, Windows, Web and Mobile) since its founding in the 1980s.

While accounting and tax may sound ‘boring’, Intuit enjoys myriad growth opportunities. The majority of small businesses still don’t use any accounting software and the majority of US citizens still pay professionals to help file their taxes. Technology is helping to change both. For example, QuickBooks Online, the web and mobile based version, allows receipts and invoices to be captured in seconds using a smartphone camera and automatically matched to bank statements. QuickBooks Online has grown its subscribers from 700k to 3.4m in just 3 years – impressive, yet still only a fraction of the hundreds of millions of small businesses globally, that Intuit targets.

Enabling half of all card transactions globally? Priceless.

Company: Mastercard

Sector: Financial Services

Initial Investment: Oct-17

Company Size: £233bn

Mastercard is a high quality business benefitting from the structural shift of payments away from cash to mobile, online and contactless transactions. At its core, Mastercard runs BankNet, a global payment network connecting major banks for verifying and processing card payments. Mastercard is able to process hundreds of millions of transactions per day due to its superior technology. Looking ahead, Mastercard is seeking to build on its successes in consumer payments to business-to-business transactions (much of which is still made manually by cash or cheque) and we are confident in their ability to navigate and execute on this multi-decade opportunity.

Powering businesses and home computing around the world is not enough for the world’s largest software company

Company: Microsoft

Sector: Technology

Initial Investment: Sep-17

Company Size: £1,871bn

Microsoft’s products; Windows, Office, server operating systems and developer tools, are part of the foundation of almost every enterprise. But history is littered with examples of companies in such enviable positions that abuse their power over customers and fail to adapt to a changing world.  We believe Microsoft is a rare exception. 

Since taking over as CEO in 2014, Satya Nadella has reinvigorated Microsoft by pursuing a more ‘open’ strategy (Office 365 works on Apple iPhones - unthinkable previously), overhauling internal culture to attract the best talent and focusing attention firmly on the future of technology (Microsoft is one of the top contributors to open source software and artificial intelligence research). 

Accelerating the evolution of artificial intelligence with silicon chips that power the next phase of computing

Company: Nvidia

Sector: Technology

Initial Investment: Jun-21

Company Size: £616bn

You may not have heard of Nvidia but chances are, you’re already a regular user of one of the many services their silicon chips enable, including video recommendations on TikTok, grammar checks in Word online, and augmented-reality shopping experiences on Facebook.

Nvidia’s premium processors were initially used for graphics-heavy computer games but their ability to accelerate the speed of data processing was quickly discovered by the major cloud service providers (Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure) and has now become the gold standard for running apps and processes in the Cloud.

We believe Nvidia’s opportunity lies at the confluence of three major secular trends over the next decade – artificial intelligence, augmented reality and 5G – all three of which drive increasingly higher demands on processing power, something Nvidia is well-positioned to supply.

Driving the transformation of medicine production from brute chemical processes to organic biologics

Company: Sartorius

Sector: Healthcare

Initial Investment: Jun-21

Company Size: £37bn

Sartorius represents one of the only publicly available pure-play investment opportunities in the growing bioprocessing industry. The bioprocessing industry is attractive because the business model and regulatory approval requirements mean that 75% of Sartorius’s revenue is repeatable consumables revenue that is locked-in for the lifetime of the biologic – a type of medicine that is made not from chemicals but from organic matter. Moreover, Sartorius is benefiting from two secular shifts; the increasing prevalence of biologics (currently 30% of drugs sold and growing) and a shift from stainless steel technologies to single-use technologies. The combination of these two factors means that Sartorius has a long and sustainable growth runway. 

Accelerating the discovery and availability of lifesaving drugs

Company: Veeva

Sector: Healthcare

Initial Investment: Jun-18

Company Size: £33bn

Veeva develops software specifically for the life-sciences industry and was founded in 2007. A relentless focus on innovation and delighting its customers led Veeva to become the largest software vendor to the life-sciences industry just 10 years later.

Veeva has a dominant market share in pharmaceutical CRM software. We are optimistic about significant growth in the future as Veeva leverages its customer relationships, technology platform (Veeva Vault) and focus on innovation and customer surplus into many other niches within the life-sciences industry. And there are many; from the software used to manage vast amounts of data generated by clinical trials, to the software for a global pharmaceutical company to manage compliance with myriad regulations in the hundreds of countries in which it operates. Longer term, Veeva also has its sights on other industries that share some similar characteristics such as chemicals and cosmetics.