Navigating A Pathway Through Emerging Markets Equities

Thomas de Saint-Seine, Senior Systematic Equity Fund Manager, RAM Active Investments


Rising U.S. rates, a strengthening dollar and lingering trade tensions left emerging markets nearly defenceless, paving the way for a difficult year for equity investors in 2018. Against this backdrop and considering the extreme valuation differences between developed and emerging-markets equities, choosing the right approach to investing in the region will be critical in 2019. In this presentation, we evaluate a dual approach to investing in Emerging Markets; utilising a disciplined all-cap systematic stock selection engine, selecting the best stocks based on fundamentals. Our beta-neutral, defensive, high-quality-focused approach could also offer investors a compelling alternative if market volatility continues, by also identifying the worst stocks. Thomas de Saint-Seine (CEO & Senior Equity Fund Manager) provides some detailed insight into how we can navigate what will be an fascinating year ahead for EM.

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Global Equity: Capturing the upside, lowering the downside

Klaus Petersen, Portfolio Manager, Macquarie Asset Management


In the aftermath of the financial crisis, global equity markets generated exceptional returns. Where do markets go from here? Market timing is a challenging endeavour. Missing out in strong markets, or suffering from falling markets, is critical to returns. The ValueInvest Global Equity strategy offers a fully invested, long-only strategy for all market environments. Over its 20-year track record, the strategy lived through several market downturns and delivered a substantial outperformance attributed to low downmarket capture. Losses - incurred in years with negative portfolio returns - are recovered more quickly. Klaus Petersen will explain how a structured bottom-up stock picking approach can provide attractive long-term returns.

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Japanese equities: An understated buying opportunity

Christopher May, CFA, Product Specialist, Tokio Marine Asset Management


Despite recent macro headwinds, we believe that Japan's recovery from decades-long stagnation remains on the right track. We continue to see a gradual improvement in the domestic economy owing to tighter labour market conditions and private sector capital spending. In addition, Japan benefits from a stable policy environment which is supportive of positive change. From an equities standpoint, valuations are cheap and corporate earnings growth is solid. Structural trends, such as ongoing governance reform, are pushing companies to make more efficient use of capital and increase ROE. Shareholder return in the form of dividends and share buybacks is also expected to maintain its upward trajectory. In this session, Chris, Product Specialist for Japanese equity strategies, will discuss the attractive opportunity set for investors in Japan.

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Navigating the Strong Tides of Emerging Markets

Jason Williams, Portfolio Manager/Analyst, Lazard Asset Management


Emerging markets have broadened considerably in the last 3 decades and returns, over the long run, have been strong. However the asset class still presents a myriad of risks beyond what needs to be managed in developed markets. In this presentation we will provide some context to this history, before outlining what the risks and opportunities are for active managers. To navigate this asset class we will emphasise the importance of a sophisticated approach to ESG, strong risk controls and a style neutral methodology in order to deliver the most consistent results for investors.

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The case for Emerging Market Equities

Tim Love, Investment Director, GAM Investments


We believe that emerging market (EM) equities are likely to prove a popular investment option this year, following a tumultuous 2018. While there could be further volatility given the crowded political agenda ahead, EM equities are currently under-owned and looking, in our view, very reasonably valued vis-à-vis their developed market equity counterparts. GAM's Emerging Markets Equity team is headed by portfolio manager, Tim Love. The team believes EM equities present frequent mispricing opportunities due to regulatory, political and geopolitical changes that occur as emerging markets grow and mature. The strategy seeks consistent alpha with strong risk-adjusted returns through investment in a diversified portfolio of long only emerging markets stocks.

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Global Equities with a long-term growth approach

Zak Smerczak, Analyst/Portfolio Manager Global Equities, Comgest


While 2017 was characterised by record-low volatility, synchronised global growth and upward earnings revisions, 2018 saw the return of volatility due to a variety of factors: significant divergence in economic growth across regions; the beginning of downward earnings revisions; rising market concerns on the US-China trade war and an unwavering US Federal Reserve on its path of quantitative tightening. At Comgest, we believe that our "quality growth approach" is a key element to overcome this year's challenges. Our rigorous process is based on a bottom-up investment approach combined with ESG criteria integration and results in high-conviction, concentrated portfolios with the aim of delivering long-term growth even in today's competitive and increasingly volatile markets.

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EI Sturdza Strategic Europe Value Fund

Rosie Bichard, Senior Investment Analyst, Lofoten Asset Management


Investing in European large cap liquid stocks with a "quality value" bias seeking to buy high-quality businesses at a discount to their intrinsic value. Rosie will provide a view on how the team at Lofoten seek to identify companies that satisfy their "quality" criteria and how ESG considerations is incorporated within their process.

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The Revolution in Real Estate - How Data and Technologies Enable a New Investment Approach

Jorrit Arissen, Senior Portfolio Manager, Kempen Capital Management

Investing in REITs offers access to high quality property portfolios whilst providing liquidity and can therefore be a good tactical allocation alongside physical property. Jorrit Arissen will present Kempen's unique data driven real estate investment approach that makes use of large amounts of real estate data to assess the quality of over 200,000 properties globally within one consistent framework rather than leveraging unstructured and inconsistent real estate broker networks. They gather data from over 50 global data vendors to come up with a real time assessment of locations, competitive positions and the quality and sustainability of real estate. This data infrastructure has been developed in-house and helped deliver superior returns since inception.

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"Heads we win, tails we don't lose too much"

Robert Lancastle, Senior Fund Manager, J O Hambro Capital Management

Volatility in financial markets is reasserting itself. Who knows what happens next? The range of potential outcomes is very wide, and it is too heroic either to pile all in or hide under a rock. Investors need a strategy capable of surviving in all environments and thriving in many. That is why the mantra of the JOHCM Global Opportunities Fund is "heads we win, tails we don't lose too much". We advocate a more patient approach, with a strict valuation discipline complementing a strong quality bias. The result, since we launched in 2012, is above-average returns with below-average volatility. We aim to participate in rising markets, protect clients in falling ones and take advantage of volatility to put capital to work without taking inappropriate risks.

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Contrarian Investing. Benefiting from irrational human behaviour

Björn Esser, Portfolio Manager, MainFirst Asset Management

Björn Esser Fund Manager at Main First will present a short-term mean reversion concept, which exploits irrational human behaviour. This concept delivers good results especially when fear or greed leads to irrational behaviour of market participants. He will demonstrate how the addition of a short-term mean reversion strategy can make an investor's portfolio more robust.

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Extracting alpha from ESG data

Alexandre Duriez, Co-Head of Investment Management & Research, Ossiam

ESG metrics are now commonly used to complement traditional financial analysis and assess investment opportunities. However, academics and practitioners have yet to agree on whether ESG data could be used to generate outperformance. For most investors, ESG is a constraint and is assessed separately from their objective of performance. Ossiam's research showed traditional ESG filtering ("best in class") ignores most information contained in the multitude of ESG indicators. Machine Learning can however be used to analyze these large data sets and identifies companies which are likely to outperform and those particularly risky to invest in from their ESG profile. The model is used by Ossiam to build a global equity portfolio with ambitious ESG targets while delivering strong alpha to investors.

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Fiera Capital Global/US Equity - ROIC and concentrated portfolios - An antidote to short-termism

Laura Cohen, CFA, Global Equity Strategist, Fiera Capital

Long-term investing is somewhat of a buzzword nowadays. Yet few investors or companies are immune to the prevailing quarterly-reports culture. The Global/US Equity team at Fiera Capital believes that the team's long-term buy-and-hold strategy is one of its competitive advantages.
The philosophical underpinning of the team is predicated on the concept of finding quality businesses at an attractive price that can be held for 10 years or longer. Laura Cohen, Strategist will introduce the team's philosophy underpinning their success such as the proprietary "T.I.M.E" score used for grading companies. The team manages over $22bn in Global, US and International equity. The Fiera Capital Global and US Equity UCITS funds were launched in early 2018 and they follow Fiera Capital's Global and US Equity strategies which were launched in 2009.

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