Final Word 2020: Rishabh Saksena, Bank Julius Baer

Rishabh Saksena, head, investment specialists Asia, Bank Julius Baer shares his views with Asian Private Banker in ‘The Final Word’, a year in review by the region’s private banking leaders as they share their thoughts and opinions on key issues around industry trends, business performance, investments, regulations, and technology.

Investments | From a portfolio perspective, how important will (a) Chinese assets and (b) alternative investments be for delivering clients’ objectives over the next five years?

Our Secular Outlook 2020-2029 envisages China rising to core asset class status, offering attractive opportunities in both the equities and debt markets. As an example, the Chinese IT sector benefits from digital transformation of the economy, as well as supportive policies. In an environment of falling real yields, Chinese government bonds can offer benefits of income and portfolio diversification.

Alternative investments will help in portfolio diversification, benefiting from investment strategies in the hedge fund space that are less correlated to traditional ones. In the private markets, there will be continuing opportunities, both in equity and debt, with manager selection being key to realising commensurate risk premium objectives.

Investments | What key investment themes shape your bank’s 2021 outlook — and why?

Against the macro backdrop of an on-track global economic recovery, backed by unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy support, our preference is for cyclicals and select value stocks, along with a continued focus on IT stocks. On the thematic side, we favour cybersecurity, digital health & life sciences segments. The focus on China will be across asset classes (equities, bonds and currency), with the continuing economic recovery and the new Five -Year Plan as performance catalysts. In the fixed income space, emerging markets hard currency bonds as well cross–over USD bonds offer selective opportunities. Smart energy and smart mobility themes provide opportunities within the sustainable investments spectrum, and alternative investment strategies do so from a diversification perspective.

Investments | What important steps did your bank take to drive the sustainable investing agenda and to increase access to sustainable investing opportunities in 2020?

Sustainable investing has been centre stage of our Responsible Investments focus. ESG factors have been incorporated in our product selection processes, and we made available to our clients both in-house mandate solutions as well as third party offerings.

As an example, one of the recent solutions offered in this space targets three UN Sustainable Development Goals: sustainable food production, climate transition and life below water (the “Blue Economy”).

Meet 2020’s industry leaders in the full round up of of Asian Private Banker‘s The Final Word 2020.


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