Shock tactics

Barry Gill, Head of Investments, and Suni Harford, President UBS Asset Management, introduce this edition of Panorama and explain why they believe 2020 may be a year of surprises, and how investors may address those challenges.

27 Nov 2019

Barry Gill

Head of Investments, UBS Asset Management

Suni Harford

President, UBS Asset Management

A new year and a new decade approach, yet at first glance the major challenges to investors look set to remain unerringly familiar. A crystal ball for predicting the course of 2020 would be top of the wish list, but amid a maturing demand cycle and heightened geopolitical risks, there is increasing potential for major events that could disrupt markets.

In our latest infographic, 'Are you prepared? Unexpected outcomes, potential opportunities' we highlight how investors should consider positioning themselves against some potential unexpected events. Our investment experts across asset classes also give their views on the outlook for 2020 to provide some clarity in what continues to be a clouded market.

In our featured video, Barry Gill give his views on whether 2020 will see a recession and discusses why investors may need to rethink their alternative asset return expectations.

As detailed by Evan Brown, Dan Heron and Ryan Primmer of our Investment Solutions team, our macroeconomic base case is for a modest bounce in global demand growth into 2020. We expect global yield curves to steepen relative to current flat levels, but do not expect any material shift away from the broader low policy rates/low yield environment.

The outlook for China is likely to remain a key concern for investors and Bin Shi, Head of China Equities, provides some strikingly simple but powerful advice in his five step plan for 2020. Adolfo Oliete, Head of Asia-Pacific Investments, UBS Hedge Fund Solutions, takes up a similar theme in focusing on the huge opportunity for alpha generation in inefficient Asian equity markets.

In a low/negative yield environment, we also believe that investors will continue to embrace alternatives in a continuing quest for improved risk-adjusted returns. Paul Guest, lead Real Estate Strategist, argues that real asset capital values remain supported by both technical and fundamental factors.

Meanwhile, with a number of potential market risks on the horizon for 2020, Markus Benzler, Head Multi-Managers Private Equity, Real Estate & Private Markets, and Andrew Craighead, Head of Hedge Fund Specialists, UBS Hedge Fund Solutions, examine how private equity and private credit will fare in this environment.

Finally, as we focus on delivering the best possible experiences and outcomes for our clients, to call Sustainability issues an investment 'theme' feels wholly inadequate. It is an imperative. Michael Baldinger, Head of Sustainable and Impact Investing, argues that institutional investor coalitions, active voting and stewardship can and must play an influential role in pressuring corporates to transition to lower-carbon business models.

With insights across both traditional and alternative asset classes, we trust you will find our year-end edition of Panorama thought-provoking and helpful in meeting the investment challenges that lie ahead.

More from Panorama: Investing in 2020


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Views and opinions expressed are presented for informational purposes only and are a reflection of UBS Asset Management’s best judgment at the time a report was compiled, and any obligation to update or alter forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise is disclaimed. Commentary is provided at a macro level and is not with reference to any investment strategy, product or fund offered by UBS Asset Management and is provided in Canada generally pursuant to the registration exemption provided for in Section 8.25(2) of National Instrument 31-103 and in Ontario pursuant to Section 34 of the Securities Act (Ontario) and does not purport to be tailored to the needs of the person or company receiving the advice.. The information contained in the materials should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. The materials and content provided will not constitute investment advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for investment decisions. As individual situations may differ, clients should seek independent professional tax, legal, accounting or other specialist advisors as to the legal and tax implication of investing. Plan fiduciaries should determine whether an investment program is prudent in light of a plan's own circumstances and overall portfolio. UBS Asset Management services offered to Canadian persons are provided by UBS Asset Management (Canada) Inc., a Nova Scotia corporation. UBS Asset Management (Canada) Inc. is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of UBS AG and is registered as a portfolio manager and exempt market dealer (in all provinces of Canada), commodity trading manager (Ontario), adviser – commodity futures (Manitoba) and investment fund manager (Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland), all pursuant to Canadian securities law. Materials may include forward-looking statements. Actual future results, however, may prove to be different from expectations. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Potential for profit is accompanied by possibility of loss.

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