SIC themes for 2019

Sustainability & Climate Change – The role of investors

Should investors prioritize sustainability and replace short-term objectives in investment strategies? How can Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) incorporate sustainability and long-term objectives into their portfolios? Leading sustainability experts from UBS and senior officials from SWFs share their insights and challenge participants about combining long-term thinking with adequate returns.

Innovation, Fintech and Data as an investable asset

A lot has been discussed about the future role of innovation and Fintech, but how will they actually impact countries, business models and ultimately global investors?

At the same time, data has developed into one of the hottest but also the most controversial asset in developed markets. But emerging markets (EM) are falling behind the trend. What role can blockchain technologies, which do not rely on trust or institutions in making transactions, play in monetizing data in emerging economies? How will the world look like if personal information, including social relations or health data, can be monetized on a global scale? What is the role of global digital platforms?

Notwithstanding the holy grail of data monetization, the flip side of the coin is catastrophic data breaches and systematic misuse of personal data and social networks, influencing elections for instance. How will regulators react to this challenge and will we see dramatic actions like company break-ups in the future? Are tech companies acting too defensively and uncooperatively when it comes to these matters?

Country competitiveness: People & talent management

The ability to attract and retain talents from a global talent pool is of growing importance, not only for corporations but also for nations. With more and more countries (e.g. post-Brexit, Switzerland) rejecting immigrants, including those whom are highly skilled workers, how will talent flow develop over the next decades? What will be the determining factors that attract and retain talent, and which countries are going to be the winners? How do countries rank in terms of their ability to attract talents?

China, the US and the future of Globalization

The recent rise of protectionism and populism have already put both the free flow of goods and free flow of people under threat, which are generally considered as one of the key liberties defining globalization. For now, the free flow of capital as the remaining key freedom seems to be largely untouched, but how long can this last? What could be the unexpected effects of more localism in an interconnected world? And how should investors prepare for an outright rollback of globalization? What countries would be the winners and losers in a less globalized world, and how would China, in particular, fare? What are the implications for long-term investors?

Event highlights

The annual Sovereign Investment Circle event brought together 40 high level executives from sovereign institutions around the globe to discuss themes that shape the world and the investment landscape in the future.