The last few years have been characterised by signiﬁcant shocks, including the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These have had profound consequences on the global economy and have resulted in higher inﬂation, higher interest rates, pressure on corporate margins, challenges to supply chains and energy security and lower growth.
Our portfolio plays to this theme through our focus on value-for-money and discount, as we expect consumers’ focus on value to increase as a result of growing economic uncertainty.
Increasing life expectancy and reduced birth rates in most of our core markets are resulting in an ageing and often declining population, which is increasingly urban. These structural, long-term trends are causing profound changes in consumer behavior and preferences, and in the development of policy responses to meet the challenges of greater longevity and the prevalence of age-related chronic illness. Many of our healthcare and consumer sector investments beneﬁt from these trends.
The transition to a more sustainable consumption model and the development of solutions to tackle global warming and climate change, as well as the more recent challenges to energy security, will provide investment opportunities for many decades. We have exposure to the renewable energy and waste management and recycling sectors, as well as to companies making signiﬁcant investments in the circular economy theme, either by adapting their business models or by offering products or services which directly support the circular model.
Technology is developing rapidly and changing business operating models across sectors. Digitalisation is part of daily life, permeating all spheres of human activity and interactions. It is also intertwined with climate change and a precondition to many of the available decarbonisation pathways. We have been careful to select investments that beneﬁt from this megatrend, while avoiding areas likely to be impacted by disruption.