Global thematic opportunities is the seventh fund in Alliance Trust Asset Management’s fund range. It covers both developed and emerging equity markets using an unconstrained thematic approach.
Lead managers Ilario Di Bon and Juergen Lanzer, who are head of global equities and senior investment manager respectively, will fill the portfolio with around 50 to 55 stocks that are likely to benefit from a number of themes. Examples of themes are emerging middle class healthcare spending, changing Asian consumption, sustainable transportation, energy efficiency and agricultural productivity.
Prior to Alliance Trust, Di Bon was head of institutional global equities at Fidelity International, where he managed the Fidelity global opportunities fund. Lanzer was previously a global financials sector specialist at Schroders and was lead portfolio manager for the global demographic opportunities fund. Both managers worked together while at UBS Global Asset Management.
The new fund will contain stocks held on a long-term view. Being able to invest anywhere for the longer term means the team can take advantage of short-term market movements.
Investment themes are identified through four frameworks – demographics, innovation, environment and global realignment. Within each of these frameworks, investment themes are identified.
Looking at demographics helps to identify investment opportunities in firms that benefit from demographic change while the environment helps to find firms benefiting from environmental change. Innovation is used to find firms that will prosper from innovation and technological change, while global realignment refers to the theme of deleveraging in the developed markets and growth being driven by developing regions.
On the plus side, the flexibility to invest anywhere in global equity markets is useful at a time when markets are so uncertain. However, as Richard Troue of IFA firm Hargreaves Lansdown says, IFAs may wait to see how this new team beds in before investing in this fund.