global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  11-Jul-2024

Independent thinking 

William Lock
While active versus passive is a well-worn debate, it needn’t be an either/or decision. We would argue there’s a strong case for both index investing and active management to co-exist in portfolios. While passive funds provide broad-based exposure and nimble, cheap access to tactical themes, there is still an opportunity to be selective – particularly given indices’ biases. When stock prices become disconnected from fundamentals, skilled stock pickers can take advantage if they have the luxury of a longer time horizon and a lopsided multiples-powered bull run still has momentum.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  28-May-2024

The importance of discipline in the long game 

Anton Kryachok
In a market obsessed with chasing the next big thing, we make sure that companies’ valuations look justified by the underlying fundamentals, building a portfolio of those rare companies with the ability to compound at a high and sustainable return over the long term. Because while multiples have accounted for 85% of returns this quarter, over 20 years this falls to 4%. Meanwhile, earnings growth counts for much more – as much as 71% over 20 years. Compounding requires discipline and patience.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  30-Apr-2024

Compound interest 

Bruno Paulson
A combination of ebullient and concentrated markets makes for a challenging investment environment, particularly in relative terms. The International Equity team’s response is to continue to think in absolute terms, be fussy on both quality and valuation, and look to compound over the long run.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  26-Mar-2024

Quality is worth the wait 

William Lock
From understanding how to pick great companies to the secret of longevity in the investment business, William Lock shares 10 lessons learned from 30 years of investing in high-quality companies that are able to sustainably compound capital over the long term—providing clients with attractive long-term returns.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  27-Feb-2024

Driving Quality 

Bruno Paulson, Alistair Corden-Lloyd
Compounding is a powerful force—but what tells us whether a company might be a high quality compounder? We focus on return on operating capital employed (ROOCE) and gross margins. Companies with high ROOCE typically have high-margin and asset-light operations, while high gross margins generally reflect pricing power. These attributes indicate to us which companies are worth looking at more closely, and where we ought to be spending our time evaluating franchise durability.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  29-Jan-2024

“Nobody knows anything”… but the market thinks it does 

Bruno Paulson
After a year that suggested nobody knows anything, we’re entering 2024 with good arguments for both sunny optimists and cloudy pessimists. And while we can’t be certain where the world economy will land on the sunny/cloudy spectrum, the market is clearly pricing in a sunny outcome. Combined with high multiples, that creates an unfavourable asymmetry with limited upside and plenty of downside. The trick—as always—is to hold on to the healthy long-term absolute returns when markets take a knock.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  28-Dec-2023

GLP-1: The Weight of Speculation 

Nic Sochovsky, Helena Miles
GLP-1 agonists have been heralded as game changers in treating obesity, with the drug manufacturers seen as the immediate market winners, and medtech and U.S. food & beverage stocks as losers. As they explain, the International Equity Team remains sanguine about the overall effects on their portfolios and believe that the medium- to long-term impacts are likely to be minimal.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  27-Nov-2023

Executive pay: “Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome” 

Bruno Paulson
As long-term investors, we want our companies’ pay plans to encourage longer-term thinking over short-term opportunism. We favour incentive schemes that align goals with shareholder interests, structured on sensible and disciplined performance-based targets. And we take the compensation process seriously, with our proprietary Pay X-Ray scoring system and established principles based on 20 years of talking to companies about executive pay.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  30-Oct-2023

Walled Gardens: The Slow Burn AI Winners 

Bruno Paulson
Alongside the early winners of the AI gold rush, the International Equity Team believes there are others for whom the benefits of GenAI will take longer to emerge but will be significant over time. These “slow burners” will not only generate value from AI, but also have the pricing power to hang on to the resulting benefits. This challenge is easier in relatively closed systems, or “Walled Gardens,” that include proprietary data.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  06-Oct-2023

Finding Diamonds in the Rough? Searching for Quality in Financials 

Isabelle Mast
Financials is a value sector – typically cheap and quite frequently not so cheerful. Or is it? We believe that select high quality companies within financials do exist and make excellent candidates for our portfolios. Well-managed companies with strong intangible assets in balance-sheet light subsectors such as exchanges, payments and insurance niches can achieve the combination of high returns, moderate cyclicality and recurring revenues that we favour.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  28-Aug-2023

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait: An Argument for Long-term Thinking 

William Lock, Annabel Stanford
While society may be driven by immediate rewards, the International Equity team would argue that patience in investing leads to enduring results and positive long-term investment outcomes.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  31-Jul-2023

Compounding Through the Hype 

Bruno Paulson, Emma Broderick
As artificial intelligence enters its next chapter, the early winners of the “AI gold rush” have been the semiconductor and cloud computing providers. But the surge in generative AI also included two surprises: the speed of consumer adoption and the lack of barriers to entry. While the full impact of AI remains unclear, the International Equity Team continues to invest through its high-quality lens, focusing on further opportunities in cost reduction and value creation, and with an eye on risks.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  29-Jun-2023

To Buy or Not to Buy 

Marcus Watson and Richard Perrott
In the world of M&A, not all acquirers are equal. The International Equity Team is cautious of M&A, typically a high-risk choice for a company’s capital allocation. But there are companies out there—some of which they own—with a track record of relatively low-risk acquisitions that add meaningfully to shareholder returns. Good acquirers are a rare breed, but there are common characteristics to their strategies that suggest it is a repeatable process.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  01-Mar-2023

Welcome to the Multi-Stage Life 

Emma Broderick, Jinny Hyun
Which companies are well placed to capitalize on the long-term behavioral and lifestyle changes that a multi-stage life might bring about? The International Equity Team discusses.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  23-Dec-2022

When Money Isn't Free 

Anton Kryachok
As higher interest rates make it harder to engineer growth through debt, we think the relative value of businesses that can grow organically should only go up. Learn how our companies are better placed to use their balance sheet resilience to enhance their competitive positions, increase the sustainability of return on operating capital employed (ROOCE) and drive steady, predictable growth.

global-equity-observer page
Global Equity Observer  •  29-Nov-2022

The Power of Premium Pricing over Private Label 

Nic Sochovsky, Alistair Corden-Lloyd
In the current climate of rising prices and a global squeeze on the cost of living, do big brands face the risk of consumers “trading down”? The International Equity Team discusses why price perception matters, and the power of cues to influence decision making.

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The International Equity team follows a disciplined investment process based on fundamental analysis and bottom-up stock selection. They believe that the best route to attractive long-term returns is through compounding and providing reduced downside participation.

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