Paris-headquartered AXA Investment Managers has added the AXA World Funds Framlington Digital Economy fund to the fund range managed by AXA IM Framlington Equities.
The fund invests across the digital economy value chain, including companies involved in the discovery, decision making, delivery and execution of the online commerce process, with no geographical and capitalisation constraints.
Also companies acting as ‘enablers’ for traditional businesses looking to take advantage of digitalisation will be considered for investments.
The investment universe encompasses firms involved in:
- Discovery of the product – e.g. online marketing and advertising such as search engine and social media;
- Decision making – e.g. e-commerce, web portals and mobile app companies;
- Delivery of the product(s) – e.g. companies that help facilitate payments (fintech) and logistics;
- Digital data and enablers – e.g. specialist companies who assist businesses with their digital migration.
The fund’s strategy will result in a portfolio of around 40-60 holdings.
The AXA WF Digital Economy fund is available to investors in the UK, Austria, Belgium (retail only), Germany, Denmark, Spain (retail only), Portugal (retail only), Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
Domiciled in Luxembourg, it will be managed by Jeremy Gleeson, also portfolio manager of the AXA Framlington Global Technology fund since 2007, supported by the AXA IM Framlington Equities’ thematic team.
Commenting on the launch of the AXA World Funds Digital Economy fund, lead fund manager Jeremy Gleeson, said: “The digital era is still in its infancy when you consider that only 9% of global retail sales are transacted online, and internet retailing is expected to grow at an average rate of 14% over each of the next 5 years.
“The constant advances in technology continue to have an impact on our everyday lives. We are only at the beginning of this digital journey and we believe this represents a huge opportunity for investors.
“There are two significant drivers in play here, the more obvious one being the ability to access products and services via connected devices. The smartphone that many of us carry around with us all the time is providing a gateway to how we as consumers get information, and make purchase decisions.
The other driver, said Gleeson, is more subtle – demographics. Millennials, defined as those under the age of 35, have grown up with the internet always being there and with the option to shop online. They are also just entering their peak spending years.
“Businesses need to prepare themselves to cater for this digitally savvy segment of the population,” he added.
Mark Beveridge, global head of Framlington Equities at AXA IM, saidd: “The launch of this fund follows the success of our circa US$3bn robotech strategy launched in 2015 and is part of the expansion in Framlington Equities’ broader thematic fund offering.
“Digital economy is still a relatively new theme, but it is growing rapidly with new business segments already emerging such as the sharing economy. We have a long history investing in technology driven themes and firmly believe that investing through an actively managed portfolio is the best way to identify the future winners of the digital migration we are witnessing.”
AXA IM had approximately €735bn in assets under management as of end of June 2017.