Institutional Investment Management

Market commentary and strategic analysis by institutional portfolio managers in our Investment Management group.

William Blair Investing Insights Blog:

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Emerging markets are complex and rapidly changing, and successfully navigating them requires the focus and skill of a dedicated investment team. 

We have consistently been attracted to three investment themes in China—the consumer, healthcare, and technology—and we believe all three themes are enhanced by COVID-19-related developments.

While the impact of the COVID-19 recession has been severe and widespread across the industrial sector, there are likely to be differences in the timing and magnitude of recovery by company and by industry.

The commitment of companies and investors to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors has been stress-tested during the COVID-19 crisis, but has shown resilience.

Our expectation is for emerging markets debt issues in local currency to outperform other fixed-income asset classes in coming quarters, and several factors underpin this positive forecast.

As an asset class, emerging markets corporate debt has shown quite a bit of resiliency. Longer term, we think the COVID-19 crisis will likely accelerate trends that were already underway.

We believe the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating several big-picture secular trends, including the rise of e-commerce and digital payments, the shift away from traditional television, and an increasingly remote workforce.

William Blair's quality growth investment philosophy in the large-cap market segment focuses on identifying growing companies in growing industries—what we call structurally advantaged companies.

As shelter-in-place policies have gradually given way to businesses reopening and people returning to their daily lives, we can begin to assess the scale of economic damage and form expectations about the path to economic recovery.

The current environment opens up a number of opportunities for managers who look at fundamental value, but it also forces navigation.

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