The underlying technology that enables advanced robotics is only in its formative stages but considerable value has already been created, says Johan Van Der Biest, Senior Fund Manager at Candriam Investors Group.
Candriam, a European multi-specialist asset manager with €102bn of assets under management, launched a new Robotics and Innovative Technology strategy in March this year. The fund has been designed to invest in companies within the technology and robotics space who are developing innovative products to positively impact the future.
And it’s not just start-ups that investors should be eyeing, says Van der Biest. “Opportunities also exist in known brands, which have reinvented themselves to benefit from this automation trend. These include Delphi, which was a unit of General Motors and is now a prominent independent player in autonomous and electrical vehicles. Or John Deere, the largest producer of agricultural equipment, which is reinventing its legacy products.”
Candriam perform sophisticated screenings on thousands of companies worldwide and assess which companies derive meaningful revenues from robotics and/or innovative technologies. The use of machine learning, big data technology, virtual reality, 5G technology, advanced robotics and programmatic advertising are examples of exciting trends the group are investing in.
In the sensors and mechatronics area there are still some excellent names with nice upside, explains Van der Biest, but in terms of industrial robots and service robots, those valuations are starting to become rather stretched.
The manager, who has been with Candriam since 1993, added that the demographic angle is a long-term market driver behind all this and to cope with an ageing population we will have to automate.
“Going forward one of the most important factors to evaluate is economic activity. If we observe that global economic activity continues to go well then I think there might be some further upside.”
Value and wealth in the sector has been created for years and this is likely to accelerate as the “fourth industrial revolution” becomes a significant driver of the global economy, Candriam’s manager concludes.Discover More