Credit Suisse Global Supertrends Conference 2020 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 six high-conviction Supertrends: "Anxious societies – Inclusive capitalism", "Infrastructure – Closing the gap", "Technology at the service of humans", "Silver economy – Investing for population aging", "Millennials' values" and “Climate change – Decarbonizing the economy”.
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.
At the time of the launch of the “Angry societies” Supertrend a few years ago, a disgruntled middle class was shaking up politics in many developed countries, leading to the rise of political populism and protectionism in an increasingly multipolar world. Three years later, anger is ceding to anxiety. Faced with the coronavirus pandemic, governments and companies are facing a unique time of social responsibility. Investors can and will play an increasing role in enabling solutions that address the key concerns of citizens around the world, including inequality, rapidly changing work environments, old age funding, housing affordability, healthcare and education. Now is the time for inclusive capitalism.
Infrastructure stocks tend to offer solid dividend yields, which lends them appeal as investors struggle to generate returns amid low or even negative interest rates in many parts of the world. This low or negative interest rate environment, which aids the approval process for new projects, should remain a tailwind for the “Infrastructure – Closing the gap” Supertrend in the months ahead. Separately, climate change concerns are creating powerful regulatory and political catalysts within the infrastructure space. Finally, our new subtheme “Smart cities” focuses on the infrastructure challenges facing fast-growing urban centers, including new challenges revealed during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are many reasons why companies continue to invest in their digital transformation, such as adapting more quickly to changing customer needs, gaining operational efficiency, and boosting profitability. The coronavirus pandemic has uncovered many new reasons to further increase investment in digitalization. Increased mobility, automated real-time processes (edge computing), and at-home education and entertainment are just a few of them.
At the heart of the “Silver economy – Investing for population aging” Supertrend lies the projection that the world’s senior population will double to more than two billion by 2050. This evolution is set to proceed regardless of the state of the world economy or political events, creating needs associated with an aging population in healthcare, insurance and funding solutions, and consumer and property markets. Looking ahead, a focus on emerging markets (EMs) makes sense, given that two-thirds of the incremental number of seniors will live in that group of countries, which remain underresourced in both healthcare provisioning and public and private insurance solutions.
Sustainability has been a key subtheme of the “Millennialsʼ values” Supertrend since launch. Take food choices: while vegans remain a small minority in developed countries, Generation Z and Millennials are more likely to adopt a plant-based or vegetarian diet due to concerns about the environment and health. This cohortʼs evolving food preferences are influencing broader society, driving sales of meat and dairy alternatives. Now even well-known fast-food chains are testing plant-based meat and hamburgers on their menus. Millennials are also taking the lead in other areas, including subscription based services.
Global warming has caused major disruption in weather patterns, and extreme conditions appear to be becoming the new norm. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization estimates that if we do not change the way we consume and produce worldwide, global temperatures are likely to rise by 3–5 °C by the end of 2100. In light of these prospects, governments around the world have stepped up efforts to fight climate change and embarked on energy transition strategies to achieve the targets established under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
For more information on Credit Suisse's Supertrends, please click here.