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  • 07/05/2016

The fun never runs out for Invesco’s Leisure portfolio: the new spending habits


Committed to Growth, Leisure Fund Fun

By Matthew Fletcher

With a 50-year track record of investing in Asia Pacific markets, Invesco’s commitment to the region remains rock solid. Moreover, with so many quality mutual fund providers serving the Hong Kong market, Invesco was understandably delighted to be given, among all awards, a Best-in-Class award in the Retail Top 100 – Sector Equity Consumer Good & Services Category for the Global Leisure Fund and named Mutual Fund – Provider of the Year, Hong Kong.

As the name suggests, the Global Leisure Fund invests in companies involved in the design, production or distribution of leisure-related products, i.e. those that are purchased with consumers’ discretionary dollars.

Portfolio Managers, Ido Cohen and Juan Hartsfield, invest in a spread across a range of companies in sub-sectors as diverse as broadcasting, advertising, hotels, restaurants, Internet-related products and auto manufacturers. Ido Cohen explained how investment opportunities are identified within a relatively large global investment universe: “A bottom-up research process helps us narrow the field of stocks through the identification of attractive trends. Trends identified may be fundamental, valuation opportunities or catalysts for change.”

Individual Drivers

Cohen, Hartsfield and the team build detailed investment case for each company, which clearly outline the different drivers of that particular stock. Hartsfield added: “A variety of valuation techniques are utilized based on the enterprise in question, the industry in which the company operates, the stage of the business cycle, and other factors that best reflect a company’s value.”

Typically, the investment process favors companies with an attractive revenue growth profile, strong free cash flow growth and which are led by management teams that are good stewards of capital. The Fund aims to remain well diversified across multiple industries directly levered to consumer discretionary spending, while industry exposures are actively managed according to prevailing secular themes.

Evolution in Spending Habits

People’s spending patterns are changing rapidly; not just in Asia, but worldwide. Technology is changing our shopping habits, travel patterns, and how we consume media.

Cohen noted that one of the biggest shifts currently is towards online retail consumption. He said: “We think we are still quite early in this change in most of the world, including developed markets. There are still large parts of retail that are only just beginning to change, such as food, apparel, luxury items, furniture, appliances and auto.”

There have also been notable developments in the media sector, where consumption has shifted from traditional formats to internet protocol and mobile. According to Hartsfield: “This is driving significant changes in how content is packaged and is creating new network needs to meet these demands.”

The team also aims to exploit opportunities resulting from changing consumer preferences and demographics. Both managers were keen to point out that: “Healthier lifestyle choices, for example, are an increasing focus for more educated consumers. What’s more, large, developed markets like Japan and the US have large numbers of older age consumers, which we think is driving changing discretionary choices as well.”

“It is an attractive sector in which to invest, and we are honored to be recognized in the BENCHMARK Fund of the Year Awards 2016,” concluded Cohen.

Building Local Presence

Along with its existing operations in the US and Europe, Invesco has established a strong presence in Asia, with investment teams in Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. Clarence Lee, Director, Head of Intermediary Sales, Hong Kong, believes this specialist fund management focus is important. “Fully understanding local market trends would be challenging if you are sitting in the US or UK, for example,” noted Lee. “With today’s technology, we can stay connected to some extent, but there’s no substitute for being on the ground to keep abreast of local and regional developments.” As well as its offices in the region, Invesco has a joint venture in China, Invesco Great Wall.

“We offer more than just scale. First and foremost, we have a pure focus on investment. It is the only thing we do – we are not a subsidiary of a banking organization or a subsidiary of an insurance group. I think that helps us focus on delivering a superior investment experience, without any outside pressures or distractions,” he continued.

Moreover, according to Lee, there are some significant advantages of being part of a global organization. “This enables us to provide local clients with a broad range of insights, trends and perspectives,” he said. In fact, that is only half the story; as well as enjoying the benefits of a large organization, Invesco values the importance of maintaining a strong local presence, incorporating both investment management expertise and first-class client support.

Working Closely with Clients

Notwithstanding technological advances and a steady stream of innovations in the industry, investment management primarily remains a people business. “To succeed you need to have superb client engagement, to be talking with customers on a daily basis,” noted Lee, “only then can you completely understand their needs and the everyday issues they are facing in their businesses.”

As well as an unwavering focus on clients, Invesco works hard to cultivate relationships within its own business.

Lee explains that at its heart, Invesco is a collaborative business, enabling new ideas to be shared and debated: “We embrace diversity of thought. Ideas can be exchanged freely, which I think is unique in such a large company. With this kind of culture, we can develop innovative investment solutions that our clients are looking for.”

Breaking New Ground

Currently, outcome-oriented solutions are among the key focus areas for the firm’s product development teams. Over the past couple of years, Invesco has seen an increasing trend towards these types of vehicles and is working to provide bespoke solutions to meet the unique requirements of individual investors. Therefore, Invesco is increasingly turning its attention to how it can better help its investors achieve their increasingly complex investment goals. Lee also notes the investors’ increasing attention towards factor investing.

“In a study, we conducted late last year, we found that 71% of institutional investors, private banks and consultants surveyed in Asia, North America and Europe expect to increase their allocations to factor products. In fact, overall assets under management in this space are expected to double over the next five years,” noted Lee.

Since the Global Financial Crisis, investment objectives for many clients have evolved, and increasing numbers are seeking a better understanding of their risk and return profile. With this in mind, Invesco is committed to developing factor products and other solutions that can help clients navigate the market volatility that appears likely to persist.

The intention is that, over time, some of this new product development initiatives will complement Invesco’s existing suite of investment products. BM

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致力抓緊增長

Matthew Fletcher 撰文

景順在亞太市場屹立半個世紀,擁有輝煌的投資往績,而且對亞太區的投入始終如一、堅定不移。景順在香港市場云云的優質互惠基金供應商之中脫穎而出,其「消閒基金」榮獲「《指標》年度基金大獎 – 行業股票消費品及服務」類別,同級最佳,並勇奪「《指標》年度基金大獎 – 供應商(互惠基金)」的殊榮。顧名思義,景順的消閒基金投資的企業業務涉及設計、生產或分銷消閒相關產品(即消費者餘裕金錢購買的奢侈消費品)。該基金投資組合經理Ido Cohen和Juan Hartsfield所投資的公司業務相當廣泛,涉及廣播、廣告、酒店、餐飲、互聯網相關產品及汽車製造商等分支行業。Ido Cohen解釋如何在相對較大的環球投資領域中物色投資機會:「團隊採用自下而上的研究過程,透過確定具吸引力的趨勢,收窄選股範圍。所確定的趨勢可以是公司的基本因素、估值機會,或者是改變的因素。」

個別上升動力

Cohen、Hartsfield及其他團隊成員為每間公司建立詳細的投資檔案,清楚概述個股的不同正面因素。Hartsfield補充說:「我們運用了採用各種估值方法,考慮條件包括公司本身、公司所處行業、經營週期的階段,以及其他最能反映公司價值的因素。」

一般而言,在投資過程中被看好的公司,多是收入增長可觀、擁有穩健的自由現金流增長,並由資本管理經驗豐富的團隊所領導的。基金旨在分散投資於多個奢侈品零售業板塊,而行業分布則根據普遍主題進行積極管理。

消費習慣的演變

大眾的消費模式正在迅速改變;這情況不限於亞洲,亦在全世界發生。科技正在改變我們的購物習慣、旅行模式,以至我們對媒體採取的態度。 Cohen指出,目前最大的變化之一是網上消費變得受歡迎。他表示:「我們認為,在世界上大多數地區,仍剛剛發生這種變化,包括已發展市場。尚有很大部份零售業的網上化變革才剛剛起步,例如食品、服裝、奢侈品、家具、電器和汽車業等。」

媒體行業也有明顯的網上轉型,大眾獲取信息的習慣已從傳統渠道轉向互聯網和流動模式。根據Hartsfield所說:「這正促使內容包裝方式發生明顯變化,並創造新的網絡以滿足這些需求。」隨消費者偏好和人口改變,產生出一些投資機會,團隊亦希望能充分把握。兩位基金經理都積極地說明箇中原由:「舉個例說,受過教育的消費者越來越注重健康的生活方式。更重要的是,我們認為,日本和美國等大型已發展市場擁有大量的老年消費者,他們導致消費模式不斷變化。」

「這是一個具吸引力的投資領域,我們很榮幸獲得《指標》雜誌2016年年度基金大獎。」Cohen總結道。

增強本地業務網絡

除了在美國和歐洲的現有業務外,景順在亞洲建立了強大的業務網絡,投資團隊遍及香港、印度、日本、新加坡和台灣。景順分銷業務總監李偉賢認為,專業基金管理的目光很重要。「例如,如果我們身處美國或英國,要充分了解另一地方的當地市場趨勢將有一定難度。」他指出:「有了當今的科技,我們可以在一定程度上接收資訊,但總比不上直接在當地緊貼地方和區域發展。」除了在亞太區開設辦事處外,景順亦在中國設有合資企業「景順長城基金管理有限公司」。

「我們的賣點不僅僅是公司規模。首先,我們專注於投資業務。這是我們的唯一業務——我們並非隸屬於任何銀行機構或保險集團。我認為,這一點有助我們專注為客戶提供超卓的投資體驗,全無外界壓力,亦不會分心。」他續說。此外,李偉賢指,作為跨國集團的一份子,確實有一些顯著優勢。

「這讓我們可向本地客戶提供環球見解、趨勢和觀點。」事實上,除了享有大型機構的優勢外,景順也重視維持強大的本地業務網絡,並在業務中結合專業的投資管理識和一流的客戶支援服務。

與客戶緊密合作

儘管科技不斷進步,行業持續創新,投資管理仍然是以人為本的業務。李偉賢表示:「要成功便需要與客戶緊密互動,一定要與客戶每天交流。只有這樣,我們才能完全了解客戶的需求以及他們日常在業務面對的問題。」除了以一貫的積極態度關注客戶,景順亦努力在自己的業務架構中建立良好網絡。李偉賢解釋,景順實際上是以合作為本的業務,使大家能夠分享並討論新想法:「我們支持多元思維。大家可以自由交換意見。我認為,對這具規模的大公司而言,這可說是獨有特色。透過這種文化,我們可以開發客戶所追求的創新投資方案。」

開闢新天地

目前,以目標為本方案是公司產品開發團隊的焦點領域。過去幾年,景順目睹這類投資工具的增長趨勢,並致力於提供量身訂造的方案,以滿足投資者的獨特需求。因此,景順越來越注重如何更有效地幫助投資者實現日益複雜的投資目標。李偉賢還注意到投資者日漸關注因子投資法。李偉賢指出:「我們在去年年底進行的一項研究中,發現在亞洲、北美和歐洲的受訪機構投資者、私人銀行和顧問之中,71%預計將增加對因子投資產品的投資分配。事實上,在這個領域的整體資產管理規模預計將在未來五年增加一倍。」

自環球金融危機以來,不少客戶的投資目標不斷演變,越來越多客戶希望更清楚了解自己的風險及回報狀況。考慮到這一點,景順致力開發因子投資產品和其他投資方案,幫助客戶應付可能會持續存在的市場波動。開發計劃的長遠目標,是這些新開發的產品,可與景順現有的一系列投資產品產生協同作用。 BM

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