Capturing the Powerful Tailwind of Technological Disruptions


Paul Wick

Paul Wick
Portfolio Manager
Columbia Threadneedle Investments

How will the year 2017 be remembered? For many, it was the year of Brexit and Trump; for investors, it was, undoubtedly, the year of technology. As a testament to the “disruptive power” of technology stocks, the NASDAQ index tracking US technology companies led major indices in 2017 with a near 30% gain. But is investing in technology worth a longer attention span than a single year? Paul Wick, Portfolio Manager at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, believes it is. Taking home this year’s House Award in the Technology Equity Sector, Columbia Threadneedle Investments demonstrated how rigorous bottom-up analysis is key to picking winners in the technology industry, in 2017 and beyond.

BENCHMARK (BM): Technology stocks have been gaining prominence in the recent stock market surge. What do you look for in a company to be included in your portfolio? And how do you make sure your portfolio’s constituent stocks meet your stock selection criteria?
Paul Wick (PW): We manage a concentrated and conviction-weighted portfolio consisting of technology companies of which our team of analysts has a high degree of proprietary insight, gained through deep fundamental research and industry knowledge. We seek to invest in profitable companies with attractive valuations and sustainable growth potential, thereby achieving long-term capital appreciation.
BM: Technology-themed offerings are plentiful in the marketplace. What is your edge over your counterparts? And after the remarkable tech rally in 2017, how do you uncover undervalued tech stocks in the current market?
PW: Our 11-member team has an average of over 21 years of industry experience, making us one of the largest and most experienced teams managing technology assets. We seek to invest in misunderstood and under covered companies and are sometimes referred to as contrarian in nature, as we want to have an early mover advantage before an idea becomes a consensus among other investors.
We like companies that possess intellectual property which are difficult to displace, as these types of companies tend to be sustainable franchises. We attempt to anticipate the future impact of technological changes and then identify both the beneficiaries of those changes and those adversely affected. We are keenly aware of valuation and like to invest in companies where the reward-to-risk ratio is in our favor.
BM: As a long-term investor in the technology space, what drives your optimism in the long-term prospect of the sector? Do you think the investment themes in this sector are sustainable?
PW: Many of the themes that we are excited about are on the ascendant trend: the rising electronics content in autos; cloud data center build-out; the rising capital intensity in the chip industry and the declining chip industry cyclicality; growing importance in cyber-security in response to state-sponsored espionage and criminal activities; the rise of artificial intelligence; the continued growth of online advertising and e-commerce; and the movement of software from on premises to the cloud. My team and I view these themes as key trends underpinning the health of the technology industry, and many of our investments are directly tied to them.
BM: Do you think the up-cycle in tech stocks can last? If so, what kind of tailwinds should investors expect going forward?
PW: While it is true that we are in the ninth year of a market upturn in equities, we are still sanguine about the outlook for technology stocks. Global economic growth is healthy, US corporations are benefiting from lower tax rates and access to past and future offshore cash flows. Furthermore, there are numerous positive technological and economic trends providing further ballast for the sector. Therefore, we believe that the big picture remains optimistic for the global technology industry. BM



Paul Wick

投資組合經理Paul Wick

們將如何記得2017 年? 對許多人而言, 去年必定屬於英國脫歐及特朗普。於投資者, 去年無疑是屬於科技行業。追踪美國科技公司的納斯達克指數,於2017 年力壓各主要指數颷升近三成,科技股的衝擊性可見一斑。可是,投資科技行業是否值得關注比一年更長的時間?天利的投資組合經理Paul Wick 深信不疑。於行業股票-科技類別擇下基金公司大獎同級最佳的天利,引證了嚴謹的自下而上分析理念,無論於2017 年或以後,也是挑選優質科技股的關鍵。

Paul Wick (PW):我們所管理的投資組合具高集中性及擁信念加權,組合中所包括的科技公司,均由分析員團隊通過深入的基礎研究及運用行業知識精心揀選。我們投資於具有吸引估值及可持續增長潛力的公司,令資金可長遠增值。
《指標》:市場上以科技為主題的基金比目皆是,您的優勝之處是甚麼?科技股於2017 年勢如破竹,您怎樣於市場上搜羅估值偏低的科技股?
PW:我們的團隊有十一人,平均行業年資達21 年以上,屬市場上其中一支最大、最有經驗管理科技資產的隊伍。我們致力投資於被誤解及未被發現的企業,有時被指逆向行事。因為我們希望於某個想法成為共識之前,比其他投資者早一步洞識先機。擁有難以被取替知識產權的企業,特別受我們青睞,因為此等企業通常擁特許經營權。我們嘗試預計科技趨勢轉變的未來影響,然後確定當中受益及被影響的一群。我們十分關注估值,並鍾情投資於擁有利報酬對風險比率的企業。