The Conference

Hosted by Credit Suisse, the Global Supertrends Conference is a unique opportunity to hear from thought leaders and industry leaders from the world of business and politics on the key trends shaping investment markets.

Inaugurated in 2013, this annual conference saw a change, following the launch of Supertrends, our new approach to thematic investing that aims to capture major societal shifts. The Conference aims to provide investors with the insights necessary to make smart and informed investment decisions for the long term.

What are Supertrends?

The Supertrends framework was created to help our clients identify opportunities that support a sustainable approach to investment. Supertrends are long-term investment themes that are driving deep and long-lasting economic, social and political change around the world.

We currently have five high-conviction Supertrends: "Angry societies – Multipolar world", "Infrastructure – Closing the gap", "Technology at the service of humans", "Silver economy – Investing for population aging" and "Millennials' values".

We believe that accurately analyzing these trends is critical to successfully investing in global markets. The framework also supports a cross-asset and portfolio approach towards investing in these trends.

Angry Societies – Multipolar World

This trend looks at how factors such as rising inequality and insecurity are fueling sweeping political and economic policy change around the world.

National champions and brands

Ongoing global trade tensions that started in 2018 are beginning to directly impact businesses around the world. Major domestic companies with a large domestic workforce and strong regional product demand will appear less vulnerable in such a protectionist environment.

Security and defense

Terrorism continues to be a major concern globally, and has highlighted the increasing importance of physical security measures like ID and access control, man guarding or explosives detection. Companies that provide physical and cyber security should benefit from higher spending in these areas.

Emerging market consumers

Contrary to popular perception, the majority of emerging market (EM) countries are not major exporters and depend on domestic consumption to fuel growth. As such, EM consumer companies, especially those with a strong digital offering, are well-positioned to benefit from a growing middle class that is increasingly transacting online.

Infrastructure – Closing the gap

The need for infrastructure upgrades and investments continues to be a key global theme. The impending arrival of fifth generation (5G) wireless networks could be an interesting catalyst for this Supertrend.

Transport

Infrastructure investments in the global transport sector is expected to offer great potential over the next two decades. Key beneficiaries of this trend will be engineering and construction companies that build and operate ports, airports and roads, as well as materials companies that provide construction materials for infrastructure projects.

Energy and water

Governments are increasingly trying to balance the policy goals of achieving economic growth and meeting stricter environmental standards. Utility companies with a growing share of renewable energy sources in their generation mix are likely to profit from this dynamic.

Meanwhile, in the water sector, significant new investments in filtration plants, pipes and pumps are needed, as nearly six billion gallons of treated drinking water are lost daily due to leaking pipes.

Affordable housing

Housing affordability remains a key issue not only in developed capital cities, but also emerging markets. To address this problem, governments and private developers can work together to develop undeveloped land. The construction industry can also help to keep costs down by improving the productivity and employ standardised construction techniques.

Telecom infrastructure

With network infrastructure investments in fifth generation (5G) mobile data transmission technology having started in 2018, the telecommunications sector has entered its next phase of evolution. Companies that provide 5G network equipment and datacenter capacity will be able to ride this next wave of growth.

Technology at the service of humans

While technology stocks have rallied significantly since the launch of our Supertrends, this sector has been the subject of controversy due to data protection issues. However, we believe that technology will continue to be a key theme for investors over the long term.

Digitalization

The roll-out of 5G data transmission networks is one of the most important new catalysts of the technology theme. Internet platform and cloud computing companies that are able to collect, manage, analyze and monetize increasing data traffic growth will benefit from the emergence of this technology.

Virtual reality/Augmented reality

Driven by 5G networks, virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) solutions have moved beyond the niche gaming space into a host of other commercial applications.New innovations will continue to make VR/AR devices more convenient and further improve user experience.

Artificial intelligence

The increasing digitalization of our homes, industries and cities will fuel demand for artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that can address societal challenges, such as energy consumption, traffic flow and healthcare costs.

Industry 4.0

Robotics continues to be an important sub-theme as the technology becomes more pervasive in wide range of old economy sectors such as and even agriculture.

Healthtech

Health technology (healthtech) is a market that has shown strong growth in recent years and is expected to continue growing. This sub-theme is also a critical complement to our "Silver economy" Supertrend.

Silver economy – Investing for population aging

With the world's senior population expected to double from just under a billion people to over two billion by 2050, this major demographic shift will remain relevant over the long run.

Old age diseases

The medical sector will look to provide more effective and affordable cures for the diseases or disorders that come with age.

Health & life insurance and asset management

The need for funding solutions to address rising healthcare costs will continue to increase globally, representing an important driver for the insurance and healthcare sectors.

Senior lifestyle

Seniors are the fastest-growing consumer age group in the world, with baby boomers accounting for around 50%−60% of consumer spending in developed markets. They also have a rising share of income compared with other demographic groups and, as a result, higher spending power.

Senior housing and care facilities

Demand for customised senior housing is likely to increase significantly as the elderly remain independent and healthier for longer.

Millennials’ values

Millennials are increasingly shaping future consumption as well as investment and business trends. In response, consumer companies are focusing their product development, marketing and sales efforts on this important demographic segment.

Sustainable business and investments

Sustainability is a core value for Millennials. Younger consumers today demand that  brands demonstrate how they are making a positive contribution to society before buying their products.

Clean energy

Clean energy is continuing to develop as scale and technological innovation drive the costs of solar panels and wind turbines lower and facilitate their growth.

Digital natives

Tech-savvy Millennials are disrupting the way business is being conducted. Having grown up with instant access to information, they expect the same immediacy in the goods and services they consume. As such, there is much scope to further monetize digitalization in markets such as advertising, retail or media.

Fun, health and leisure

In recent years, brands that successfully rode the Millennial Supertrend have led their respective markets, be it in the apparel, beverage, cosmetics, food or luxury goods space. We expect this outperformance to continue.

Millennials' housing

As in other areas of their lives, Millennials have their own unique ideas when it comes to the type of homes they want to live in. Among other preferences, this group has little interest in the over-sized suburban houses of their parents' generation.

For more information on Credit Suisse's Supertrends, please click here.