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In the Moment or Fit for the Future?

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed many aspects of our daily lives. As long-term fundamental investors we are focused on distinguishing themes that reflect a momentary advance from those that are fit for the future. Leading companies with a structural advantage will grow due to a cycle of innovation, underscoring the importance of a forward-looking, active approach to equity investing.

Speed Read


   

Healthcare:
You can never be too prepared.
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We expect healthcare to remain top of the policy agenda even as a vaccine is found, generating a regulatory reset. Risk-embracing regulations will help spur new medicine development and serve as a tailwind for genomics and precision medicine. Risk-avoiding regulations can help advance new health technologies that increase health system preparedness.

Telemedicine:
The doctor will video conference you now.
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We think use of telemedicine will be retained for certain appointments in certain areas after the pandemic ends. A prime example is repeat prescription appointments in rural areas with fewer doctors. This trend creates opportunities in companies that provide digital health infrastructure.

Working from Virtually Anywhere.
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We see investment potential in companies that can create effective working from home arrangements even after offices and workplaces reopen for 1.25 billion knowledge employees globally, defined as those using technology for at least an hour during their working day. Investment opportunities span virtual desktops to e-signatures and cloud computing to high-speed broadband.

Accelerated Adoption of Automation.
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Disruptions amid lockdowns have led businesses to reevaluate global supply chains. We expect some localization of supply chains that will entail increased adoption of automation. More broadly, manufacturing technologies—including automation and robotics—have potential to impact every sector we invest in.

The Millennial Mindset Goes Viral.
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The pandemic has led more generations to adopt online habits and lifestyle choices catalyzed by the millennial generation, including e-commerce, online entertainment and e-learning. We think the new familiarity with the online world will endure beyond the health crisis. Companies with solid digital footprints stand to outperform.

A ‘New Social Contract’:
A Problem Halved is a Problem Shared.
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We are optimistic that companies will be part of the solutions to global challenges, including racial injustice, structural inequity and the climate transition. A unified approach to solving problems can place us on a cleaner, more equitable and sustainable growth path. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors can help us identify structural companies’ competitive advantages and risks. We believe it is our fiduciary duty to encourage good ESG behaviors and actions among our portfolio companies.

Quotes


Kathryn Koch,
Co-Head of Fundamental Equity;
Co-Chair, GSAM Sustainability Council

 

 

 

“Digitization has been advanced across sectors: retailers have turned to e-commerce, patient care has pivoted to telemedicine, and restaurants have added online order-and-pay services.”

Steve Barry,
Co-Head & CIO of Fundamental Equity

 

 

 

 

 

“The pandemic has led us to try and test new technologies that we may otherwise have been hesitant or slow to adopt. The transformative power of genomics has been demonstrated by its contribution to vaccine development.”

Laura Destribats,
Co-Portfolio Manager, GSAM Global Millennials Equity Strategy

 

 

 

“All generations have had to tap into their inner Millennial adopting new habits from online shopping to banking. We expect many of these habits will stick even as we come out of lockdowns around the world.”

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