Robeco wins Best Megatrends Paper 2020
Savvy Investor's ''Megatrends'' Award category considers papers that are written about significant secular trends; those with the capabilities to create structural change in the environment or investment landscape. Primarily, these are trends that are technological, demographic, societal, geographic, or environmental in origin. Although trend and thematic investing usually has a longer-term focus, the COVID-19 crisis has unquestionably accelerated several pre-existing trends. Robeco’s winning paper focuses on three megatrends, elaborates on what they think makes a trend investable, and offers helpful insights for investors searching for structural winners.
WINNING PAPER: ROBECO
Robeco's paper explores the rationale behind trend and thematic investing, which has become increasingly popular with investors in recent times. They identify three megatrends whose effects the world is already grappling with and which will last for decades. The authors note that megatrend investing may be viewed through an evolving sustainability lens. Some have described the recent boom in sustainable investing as a trend itself. Finally, they illustrate several of the non-standard tools that may be used to help find the structural winners of tomorrow.
HIGHLY COMMENDED PAPERS
This paper by NN Investment Partners suggests that there have been three distinct responses to the COVID-19 crisis. The U.S. “shareholder first” model, the European “stakeholder” approach, and the “stateholder” method favoured by the Chinese. They explore each approach in detail and then offer suggestions as to which one might be the most successful when implemented in a post-pandemic world.
PGIM‘s paper taps into the investment expertise available across the firm, outlining the different responses to COVID-19 from governments, consumers and companies. The paper's primary focus is how companies might react to changing circumstances during and after the COVID crisis because the decisions they make affect both corporate equity and debt valuations, which make up the majority of institutional investment portfolios.
This paper from EY notes how the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated many existing trends, devastating some business models, while transforming others overnight. The authors argue that an understanding of the likely impact of these megatrends on businesses helps companies better plan and adapt to a post-COVID-19 world.
McKinsey & Company's collection of papers highlights the variety of approaches that businesses and management teams have adopted when contending with the transformational effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many companies were already adopting elements of a digital makeover before COVID-19 set in, whilst others hastily responded. A key focus of this collection is the increasing demands made on business by cybersecurity.
This article from the World Economic Forum looks at a number of novel technologies that have the potential to revolutionize healthcare and spur societal and economic progress by the disruption (or outperformance) of conventional ways of addressing tasks. A range of technologies – including carbon capturing cement, photocatalysts and spatial computing – are highlighted in this piece.
This thoughtful piece, from Baillie Gifford's James Anderson, draws on a range of contemporary and historical views and opinions to help inform thinking about the state of the world and the challenges it faces, particularly post COVID-19. He muses on how the pandemic will function as a catalyst for change, while additional insights help to influence the investment decisions he makes.
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