**Cryptocurrency or Money Transfer Concepts**: Baron FinTech Fund Shareholder Letter Reveals 6.33% Increase in Performance- What’s Next for the Fund?

New York, NY: The quarter ended on March 31, 2024, saw the Baron FinTech Fund outperforming the FactSet Global FinTech Index, but trailing the broader market, as defined by the S&P 500 Index. The Fund rose by 6.33% for Institutional Shares, compared to a 3.60% gain for the Benchmark. Since its inception, the Fund has achieved a 10.58% annualized rate, outperforming the Benchmark at 2.27%.

Performance figures as of March 31, 2024, indicate that three out of seven themes contributed positively to relative performance, including Tech-Enabled Financials, Payments, Capital Markets, and Information Services. On the other hand, performance was impacted negatively by the Digital IT Services, Enterprise Software, and E-Commerce themes.

One of the standout performers during the quarter was the Tech-Enabled Financials theme, with companies like The Progressive Corporation, Nu Holdings Ltd., and Apollo Global Management, Inc., reporting strong earnings growth and positive outlooks on future opportunities. The Payments theme also saw double-digit gains from companies like Mastercard Incorporated and Fiserv, Inc., driven by robust quarterly financial results and optimistic guidance for the year ahead.

Offsetting the positive performance was the disappointing showing in the Digital IT Services and Enterprise Software themes, with companies like Endava plc and Globant S.A. facing challenges in revenue growth and margin expansion. However, there is optimism for future growth as these companies navigate the current market conditions.

Looking ahead, the Fund aims to invest in competitively advantaged, growing fintech companies for the long term, conducting independent, fundamental research and maintaining a diverse portfolio across different market capitalizations and geographies. As of March 31, 2024, the Fund held 44 positions, with the 10 largest holdings representing 41.5% of net assets.

In conclusion, the Fund’s outlook remains positive, with a focus on balancing exposure to macro risks through diversification across fintech themes, stable Leaders, and higher-growth Challengers. The Fund’s proactive approach to managing interest rate exposure and focusing on well-managed, competitively advantaged businesses positions it well for long-term growth and success.