Insights

Seeking Value

Value investing, says our U.S. value equity team, is like seeking a four-leaf clover in a field of three-leaf clovers. And to do that, they take a particularly collaborative approach.

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Asset Allocation: Your Biggest Investment Decision

Building a portfolio involves countless decisions. But none is more important than how you allocate your wealth across asset classes. This white paper describes the process of developing a customized asset-allocation strategy, achieving meaningful diversification across and within asset classes, and monitoring allocations and reviewing portfolios.

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Inspiring Philanthropy Across Generations

For philanthropic families, charitable giving is more than just a way to strengthen their communities and support causes that are dear to their hearts. Philanthropy is a central part of the family’s mission, values, and legacy.

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Estate Planning Checklist

Estate planning is a method for determining how to distribute your property during your life and at your death. William Blair published an organizer to help facilitate the process.

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Collaborative Learning Drives Outcomes

Deep expertise is essential in investment management, but operating in silos limits potential investment outcomes. Here are some examples of how we learn as a team—and why failing is as important as succeeding.

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Record of Personal Financial and Family Information

Having access to the right information when you need it most is essential to managing your wealth. Our new booklet helps you organize your family’s critical personal and financial information and serves as a consolidated record of your various assets.

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The Appeal of Mid-Cap Value

Historically, mid-cap value equities have been strong performers—and market conditions today might only enhance the potential opportunity they present.

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Seeking an Edge in Mid-Cap Value

Investors are always looking for an edge. In the mid-cap value space, a consistent research process and analyst sector expertise may have the potential to provide it.

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Brand Matters: Consumer Health and Wellness

We believe the consumer health and wellness market is attractive for industry participants and investors, whether those be venture capital seeding promising early-stage start-ups looking for proof of concept, private equity funding growth of midstage businesses looking to scale, and public market capital allocators looking to create value for shareholders.

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Investing in People

When Aoifinn Devitt created The Fiftyfaces Podcast in 2020, she wanted to showcase the diversity of the world’s investors by telling their stories. Now, she tells William Blair's Hugo Scott-Gall her own story.

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Education Financing

Among its many benefits, a college education can have a significant impact on future earning potential. It is an important investment. It is also becoming a more expensive one as increases in college costs continue to outpace inflation.

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SOFR Use Rises as LIBOR Sunsets

William Blair’s Leveraged Finance group shares insight on the transition from LIBOR to SOFR, how the rates compare to each other, and where the leveraged finance market stands today.

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Key Factors Driving M&A Activity in Commercial Aerospace

Dealmaking is picking up in commercial aerospace. Private equity sponsors and strategic buyers are seeking businesses that are well positioned to benefit from the sector’s post-pandemic rebound. We discuss key valuation drivers in the current M&A environment.

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The Shift to the Cloud

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a number of existing trends, and the digitalization of corporate America—more specifically the expansion of the public cloud—is one of the more significant investment trends given its vast growth potential.

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Quick Reference Guide to Retirement Plans

Understanding the nuances between retirement plans can be challenging. William Blair’s Quick Reference Guide to Retirement Plans compares and contrasts features such as account establishment, account contributions, and accessibility.

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The Future of Manufacturing

A fully digitalized factory, which includes robots and cobots, combined with full connectivity via a localized internet of things, drives change.

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China 2022: A Year of Opportunity

China is accelerating efforts to achieve Common Prosperity and implementing other policy initiatives aimed at sustainable growth. What might this reshuffling of policy priorities mean for investors across China’s equity and bond markets?

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2022 Planning Strategies

High-net-worth individuals and families, philanthropists, and business owners should evaluate their tax and estate plans so they are best positioned for the long-term outlook. You might consider reviewing the following strategies to help meet your financial, wealth-transfer, and philanthropic goals.

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Leveraged Finance: 2021 in Review

Debt financing experienced powerful momentum in 2021 as deal volume hit an all-time high and new financing options emerged. William Blair’s Leveraged Finance Group reviews the key themes that drove debt financing markets in 2021.

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Dealmaking Amid America's Water Dilemma

The United States has a problem with water. Water supply shortages and aging infrastructure have led to a critical need for upgrades, repairs, and entirely new water systems. This has created a rich M&A environment for companies that can solve America’s most pressing water issues.

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Snack to the Future

Snacking is becoming a more central feature of consumer eating habits and innovation is resulting in more healthful and functional options appealing to a wider range of consumers.

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Innovations in Smart City Technology

What is driving smart city innovation? The pandemic has stimulated the adoption of smart city technology. But the Infrastructure Bill has the potential to shift things into overdrive.

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The Impact of 5G

The fifth generation of the mobile network is notably different from the generations before it. Discover how 5G will have a significant impact on the economy in years to come.

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U.S. Infrastructure and Closing the Digital Divide

Internet access has immensely evolved over the past few decades, and the need for high-speed internet has drastically increased since the beginning of the pandemic. Find out how the U.S. Appropriations Acts will fund and benefit internet infrastructure, helping to close the digital divide.

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Privacy is Power: Highlights

As the data economy grows in power, privacy erosion is affecting both policymakers and investors, says Carissa Véliz in this one-minute video that highlights our CONNECTIVITY 2021 virtual event session.

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Spouse Lifetime Access Trust

The SLAT is a type of irrevocable trust used to transfer wealth outside your estate in which one spouse creates a trust for the benefit of the other spouse and his/her heirs.

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Perspectives on Private Equity Investing

There has been a tremendous amount of capital raised over the past 10 years, and the deal environment remains incredibly robust in 2021. With private equity continuing to be raised at a record pace, we try to target funds that fall into three buckets.

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Imbedding ESG Factors Into Strategic Decision Making

The drivers of sustainable investing appear to be structural in nature and represent emerging risks and opportunities for companies across different industries. For investors and companies seeking to demonstrate their green credentials, we expect to see net zero commitments become the norm.

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Our Value Approach

Our value equity team explains its approach to value investing: not deep value, but high-quality value.

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Our Edge in Small Cap Value

We believe three things define our edge in small-cap value: our team’s experience; a well-defined and interactive research process; and the fact that we’re all pulling the oar in the same direction.

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The Current Technology Ecosystem in the Restaurant Industry

The restaurant industry has been forced to adapt and innovate throughout the pandemic. As a result, a major opportunity for technology providers is stemming from restaurant operators implementing a wide range of digital improvements in ordering and hiring efficiencies.

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Digital Reality

We envision an internet where the virtual and physical worlds become a single seamlessly interconnected realm.

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Enabling Technologies in Digital Reality

In less than a decade we’ve moved from early versions of smart glasses like Google Glass to virtual reality gaming headsets like Oculus. This takes us ever closer to a digital reality that is often referred to as the metaverse.

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ESG Integration Across the Cap Spectrum

With large- and small-cap companies in different stages of ESG adoption, tracking, and reporting, we believe investors should take a tailored approach to engagement to drive the most positive outcomes.

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Technological Transformation

Strong demand for technology-led innovation can help more businesses digitalize their operations in order to make their products and services better, faster, cheaper, and more convenient.

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The Pandemic's Impact on the Childcare Industry

Considering the pandemic, research shows female representation in the workforce could take a significant step backwards. Find out what impact this has posed on the childcare industry from an environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) standpoint.

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Persistent Transformation Within Technology Companies

Strong demand for technology-led innovation can help more businesses digitalize their operations in order to make their products and services better, faster, cheaper, and more convenient. We believe these transformative shifts are here to stay.

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The Need for Structural and Technological Transformation in Healthcare

The pandemic has highlighted just how much digital ground the healthcare sector needs to cover. In fact, the fax machine would no longer exist if it was not for our healthcare system. As the market continues to grow, investors will look for opportunities among companies that provide improved quality, decreased cost, and a better experience for patients and caregivers.

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Retirement Plan Beneficiary Options

The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act”, which was passed into law in December 2019, introduced substantial updates to longstanding retirement account rules. One of the most notable changes was the elimination (with some exceptions) of the ‘stretch’ provision for non-spouse beneficiaries of Inherited IRA accounts.

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Moving Forward: Optimistic Economic Outlook

The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, President Biden’s economic plan, and hopes for consumer spending to return to more normal levels raise the prospect for strong economic expansion in 2021, says William Blair analyst Richard de Chazal in Client Focus.

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Connected Commerce: Beyond Bricks and Clicks

Learn about opportunities presented by "connected commerce," which is an increasingly integrated shopping experience—that is, transactions that can take place anywhere, anytime, in a frictionlesss manner.

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Defining the Distribution Tech Landscape

When looking at the rapidly emerging distribution tech sector, P&C insurance analyst Adam Klauber notes that, “Shifts in the distribution value chain are the main theme to understand and to watch over time.”

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William Blair FinTech: 2020 in Review

The push toward automation, digitalization, and predictive analytics across all aspects of financial services gained momentum during the pandemic. This has set the stage for what should be an incredibly active year in 2021 in terms of consolidation and capital raising.

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Current Trends in Equity Capital Markets

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been one major trend in equity capital markets: the convergence of public and private. Learn how companies are utilizing access to public markets.

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Retirement and Wealth Transfer: What They Mean For Shareholders

For many investors, the two most important financial goals are to fund a long and successful retirement and to transfer their wealth. With thoughtful planning and strategic management of their portfolios, investors can successfully balance their retirement and wealth-transfer goals.

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A Back-to-School Season Like No Other I Client Focus Q3 2020

COVID-19 continues to accelerate broad structural changes in society. The reopening of schools this fall is a perfect example. Client Focus takes a look at how teachers are embracing technology to help students and the ed-tech companies seeing a big demand for their products and services.

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New Tax Breaks Target Investing in Struggling Communities

A program established under the sweeping Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has created opportunity zones, which offer significant tax breaks to individuals and companies who invest in these selected urban and rural areas that meet income or poverty thresholds.

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China's Post-Pandemic Recovery

China's consumer, healthcare, and technology sectors are experiencing significant impacts from COVID-19. Learn how China is recovering from the pandemic from both a societal perspective and an investment standpoint.

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State of the Consumer Recovery

COVID-19 has had profound influences on the U.S. economy, institutions, and lives and livelihoods of consumers. William Blair's consumer equity research team anticipates the recovery in consumer spending to continue, albeit probably at a less steep pace in coming months and with likely volatility as coronavirus cases begin to rise again.

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The Industrial Sector’s Response to the Recession

Facing the third recession in 12 years, the industrial sector is familiar with navigating periods of economic uncertainty and fluctuation in demand for products and services. In fact, many industrial companies have actively responded to the pandemic by shifting their manufacturing processes.

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How the Biotech Industry Has Adapted to the Pandemic

The biotech industry has had to adjust to recent stress placed on the healthcare system. However, biotech companies have adapted, and have an opportunity to continue to hold the attention of physicians, investors, and the larger industry community.

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Setting Economic Recovery Expectations

As shelter-in-place policies are lifted, we begin to assess the economic damage and form expectations for economic recovery. But, how short will the current downturn be, and how swift the recovery?

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COVID-19’s Effect on Global Utilities & Real Estate

Stocks in the global utilities and global real estate sectors are typically thought to be defensive in nature. While global utilities have held up their end of the bargain, global real estate stocks have been one of the worst-performing sectors as we navigate the pandemic.

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IT Budgets After COVID-19

Executives and board members are going to look at digital transformation—from data analytics to chatbots—as a logical area of spending coming out of this global health crisis.

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What COVID-19 Means for Biotechnology

From the importance of investing to improved perception of the pharmaceutical industry, here are three observations on COVID-19’s impact on healthcare from a biotechnology equity research standpoint.

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Digitization of Healthcare in America

The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that the ongoing digitization of healthcare in America is only accelerating. Impacts of the crisis have shown a clear call-to-action for innovation and spending in the industry.

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COVID-19’s Economic Impact on Education

The economic impact of the novel coronavirus has had a significant effect on the education sector. Early trends of the pandemic may indicate how the industry will rebound in a post-COVID-19 world.

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COVID-19’s Impact on Specialty Distribution

As a result of the novel coronavirus, we have identified immediate trends taking place in the industrial distribution space. However, the long-term impacts of COVID-19 may create areas of opportunity within the space.

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How COVID-19 is Impacting the Insurance Industry

Based on conversations with management teams and investors, we examine how the pandemic is shaping near- and longer-term market conditions for insurance brokers, P&C carriers, claims service providers, and warranty and F&I administrators.

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Food for Thought: Update on COVID-19’s Impact on the Food and Beverage Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to drastically alter the food and beverage industry, presenting wide-ranging challenges and opportunities for company CEOs, employees, investors, and consumers. Retailers and food manufacturers continue to assess when pantry loading will begin to moderate. Companies across the supply chain are adapting to ensure the safety and continuity of their workforce; meanwhile, the CARES Act has added new complexity to these unprecedented times.

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COVID-19 Philanthropy Resources

Our firm is dedicated to assisting our nonprofit clients with both their social and financial returns. We are also proud to partner with our philanthropically inclined clients to help them channel their support.

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Coronavirus Federal Tax Relief

Our firm is dedicated to assisting our nonprofit clients with both their social and financial returns. We are also proud to partner with our philanthropically inclined clients to help them channel their support.

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Why ESG Matters in Emerging Markets | February 2020

As ESG factors come to the forefront of investing, more and more issuers are taking heed—including those in emerging markets. In this Q&A, members of our emerging markets debt team discuss how they view and integrate ESG factors in a highly analyst-driven approach.

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ESG in Emerging Markets Debt

As ESG factors come to the forefront of investing, more and more issuers are taking heed—including those in emerging markets. In this Q&A, members of our emerging markets debt team discuss how they view and integrate ESG factors in a highly analyst-driven approach.

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Client Focus: Women in Investment Management

In investing and other arenas, women are trending higher—and their voices, together, can improve decision-making and success. In this publication, we celebrate experienced women in the asset-management industry.

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Investment Opportunities in China A-Shares

In this webcast, William Blair’s Vivian Lin Thurston discusses three investible themes in China: the rising middle class and growing domestic consumption; innovation and technology-led growth; and the secular growth of healthcare spending.

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Focus on Infrastructure Investment Drives Future Opportunity

At the recent P3 Conference & Expo, the Trump administration’s push for a massive infrastructure spending plan sparked new conversations about infrastructure services opportunities and public-private partnerships playing a bigger role in the delivery of new projects.

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Why China A, Why Now?

The domestic Chinese equity markets are some of the largest and most liquid in the world, and they offer unique investment opportunities—yet they have been largely neglected by institutional investors.

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Starting to Re-Risk

Having navigated a number of geopolitical events in 2016, our Dynamic Allocation Strategies team entered 2017 with a more optimistic view.

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