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Pictet AAA-rated robotics manager: why I don't see a bubble

Pictet AAA-rated robotics manager: why I don't see a bubble

Robotics is not entering bubble territory, as its underlying themes are transforming people's everyday lives.

That's according to Citywire AAA-rated Peter Lingen, the manager of the Pictet Robotics fund, which amassed €3 billion shortly after launch and is now sitting closer to €6 billion.

In his latest interview with Citywire Switzerland's sister website Citywire Selector, the fund manager explained his view of the sector. 

'We get a lot of questions about the quantum of flows that have come into the fund. I do not believe that the robotics theme is a bubble, as the technology trends which underpin it are so transformational.

'It touches all of us as individuals through our own personal tech interests, from questions over whether or not robots are going to take over all of our jobs to the ways in which robotics will improve our quality of life.'

The Pictet star said the fund’s investible universe is always developing, allowing for a flurry of new ideas.

'The universe develops all of the time. We have a universe of about 200 companies and about 12-18 months ago consolidation began to happen.

'I was concerned and thought ‘is my universe disappearing’? We were sitting on all of these great assets which were getting gobbled up by companies embracing the change themselves. However, our investible universe has actually continued to expand since then.

'There are areas which we have not addressed so far – for example, business process automation – which opens up new interesting opportunities for the fund in the longer term.

'Healthcare companies have been an excellent area for investing as well as larger companies targeting spin-out businesses,' Lingen added.

Top drivers

Nearly a fifth of the portfolio (19.4%) is currently allocated to the Japanese markets, as companies in the country have contributed to performance in the short term, Lingen said.

'Companies like Fanuc (4.6%), Nidec (3.2%), Keyence (3.2%), Yaskawa and Daifuku have all benefited from the cycle as well as from the structural rise of automation and robotics in China.

This is while there has been a fairly strong recovery in semiconductor companies over the course of the autumn.

‘There has not been one single area that we would say is detracting or contributing, performance has actually been fairly broad.’

Over the year to the end of September 2017, the Pictet Robotics fund returned 30.01% in US dollar terms. This compares with a 19.22% rise in its Citywire-assigned benchmark, the FTSE World TR USD, over the same period.


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