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2021 NB Asia Equity Forum: Positioning For Alpha Opportunities

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2021 Equity Roadmap

Positioning For Alpha Opportunities

Bumpy Roads Ahead? Navigating Higher Volatility

From the accelerating coronavirus surge, uncertainty regarding future U.S. policy and unknown timeline on widespread vaccination and ‘return to normal’, we believe 2021 will be another year of significant volatility. During this panel, we will discuss how potential ongoing volatility could create opportunities for investors as markets continue to assess the COVID-19 winners and losers.


The Long Run Importance of Quality

Japan’s traditionally overlooked stock market is winning new fans as global investors are betting that a less fractious global trade policy under Biden and a COVID-19 vaccine will lead to a stronger economic rebound. Corporate governance has always been firmly on the Japanese government’s agenda and even before the pandemic, there’s already a new level of open-mindedness amongst Japanese companies to change and improve.

During this panel, we will discuss the opportunities in undervalued Japanese equities, through using a fundamental research approach with active and constructive engagement. In particular, we will discuss how engaging Japanese small and mid-cap companies on material ESG topics could create a significant opportunity for alpha and impact.


Building Momentum: Drivers of Real Estate Opportunities

The real estate markets has been heavily impacted as a result the COVID-19 crisis and 5G connectivity. Investors have needed to evolve alongside the current societal shift. With a large percentage of non-essential workers still working from home, many of us wonder what lies ahead for real estate investors. Among the many questions on our minds perhaps the biggest is, is now too risky to invest in real estate? Or perhaps because of the COVID-19 crisis there are even more opportunities in front of us? In this panel, we will discuss real estate investing today and the opportunities ahead.


The Road Increasingly More Travelled: ESG Trends and Return Opportunities

The COVID-19 crisis has reiterated the importance of understanding ESG factors. How companies treat employees, manage supply chains, plan for business continuity, and manage governance, has been crucial for understanding long-term performance implication during the crisis. During this panel, we discussed how a deep understanding of ESG factors combined with fundamental analysis can help identify higher quality companies, uncover hidden risks in business models, and serve as both opportunity and risk control in the long term.


5G Connectivity: An Unstoppable Trend Shaping Our Future

5G trends will enter an accelerated growth phase as we head into 2021 driven by stronger demand for better connectivity. While the impact from COVID-19 will subside as vaccination becomes available, we believe the trends of 5G and digitalization of the economy are structural and irreversible. As the world recovers from COVID, it is increasingly clear that 5G will play a critical role in enabling key technologies to building a more sustainable future.


China Equities: Geared to Tomorrow’s World

The coronavirus crisis began in China, but China was also the first economy to recover, and the only major economy in the world to finish 2020 bigger than it started. Improved access and inclusion in benchmark equity indices mean growing international allocations to China’s onshore A-Shares, rapidly institutionalizing a previously retail-dominated market. Those international investors know that the onshore market can take them beyond the banking sector and deliver exposure to the real China–which is increasingly geared to the technological and consumer growth themes shaping the entire world.


Small Caps in the Driver’s Seat

The coronavirus pandemic and recession put an end to one of the longest economic expansions in history and set the stage for an earlycycle recovery. These conditions have tended to favor small-cap stocks in the past, and thus far they have offered pockets of value in a market that has been dominated by mega-cap secular growth. Smaller companies have been more exposed to the disruption of the crisis, however, we believe making stock selection is even more important in a market that already has lower analyst coverage and greater company differentiation compared with large caps.


Top Down 2021 Roadmap – Where We’ve Been and Where We May be Headed

2020 was an unprecedented year for global markets. Between deep recession in the real economy to new highs in the stock market, institutional allocators are navigating unchartered waters, with many factors and risks still unknown. During this discussion we will recap where markets closed in 2020 across sectors, geographies and market caps. We’ll address our thoughts on a potential value run vs. growth, and consider where we see more potential for alpha, small caps vs. large, and international markets vs. the U.S. We’ll also discuss what we believe institutional allocators should be thinking about as they rebalance portfolios to try to benefit from the changing equities landscape.