Thematic funds should form a structural part of the portfolios and not be seen simply as a niche investment. This is some of the conclusions of the ABC-Funds Society Live digital meeting titled “The new paradigm for integrating the future of portfolios”, an event in which he has analyzed the keys of thematic funds, an investment style focused on investing in long-term trends such as the energy transition, the aging of the population, robotics or health.
“Some thematic funds have outperformed the MSCI World index,” he said. Raúl Fernández, distribution director of Amundi Iberia, who participated in the forum together with Santiago Matossian, Sales Director of AXA Investment Managers; Leonardo Fernández, director of the Schroders intermediary channel Y Elena García, scientific researcher at the CSIC and founder of the Marsi-Bionics company. The event was moderated by Jose Maria Camarero, economics editor at Colpisa-Vocento.
“We expect returns above 10%,” Matossian remarked regarding the returns that AXA’s thematic funds could generate. These types of instruments are available in fixed and variable income, but in your opinion equities make more sense due to the profound transformation in which many companies are immersed after Covid-19, a new paradigm that has accelerated trends related to thematic investment.
The energy transition and technological disruption are some of the topics in which Fernández, from Schroders, sees the greatest opportunities. «The main thing is to select trends that have durability over time, that are not fashions, and in which we are going to be up to 10 years to get the best out of it ”, he advised those interested in these actively managed funds, that is, they are managed by a team that tries to obtain a higher profitability than that of a benchmark index.
«Active management is important because it gives flexibility to move and looking for opportunities, “added Fernández, who has seen how in recent years there has been enormous interest in this type of fund that has already existed for years. “We launched our first theme in 2007, but until the last 4 years there was hardly any interest”.
Raúl Fernández, distribution director of Amundi Iberia expects higher growth rates in thematic funds than those that invest in “more obsolete models” because they invest in the “Digital transformation”. In turn, they allow greater diversification than if we invest in sectors or geographies. By investing in companies focused on trends such as population aging or biotechnology, we reduce the risks associated with a specific country or type of industry.
“Thematic funds are trends that will grow above average”predicted Matossian, who recommended the AXA Framlington Longevity fund focused on aging populations. From Schroder, Fernández recommended the Global Energy Transition focused on the energy transition, while Raúl Fernández advised reviewing the 15 different thematic strategies proposed by Amundi.
The event also featured the participation of ELena García, founder of Marsi-Bionics, a company owned by the CSIC that has developed two exoskeletons: one for children and the other for adults. ‘An exoskeleton is an intelligent robotic frame that supports a person who cannot walk. Its function is to rehabilitate or enable when it has lost that capacity, “explains García, who points out that the exoskeleton for adults is already on the market, while the one for children is about to leave.
“We have an open funding round. We also hope to launch a series A in the summer and maybe going public next year in alternative markets such as Euronext, “he commented to explain the company’s financing plans. In this sense, he regretted that private capital in Spain does not bet on this type of company, so that so far a large part of the financing has fallen on “crowdfunding” campaigns.
The developments of Marsi-Bionics are precisely a perfect example of the assets on which a fund focused on the subject could focus. ‘biotechnology’. “Our exoskeletons address market segments that are not covered. Projects like ours have a return on investment superior to others and are aimed at creating a better lifestyle. It is looking forward and betting on the future, “he concludes.