Global wealth inequality may begin forcing more substantial government intervention in markets, offering an investment opportunity alongside intergenerational regulation aiming to benefit broader societies.

This is just one example of the long term secular drivers that Steve Wreford, portfolio manager of the Zurich Investments Global Thematic Share Fund, applies to his macro view of investing.

“People are no longer sure whether money transmits through the system effectively,” says Wreford, pointing to souring views on globalisation and the rise of populism.

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“We’ve watched asset prices push higher thanks to unorthodox monetary policy globally, but you’ll see society begin to push back against the distorted distribution of that wealth.

“And that pressure, combined with rapid technological evolution, we believe will get codified into government policy. We see high quality investment opportunities there.”

Rampant quantitative easing remains at the heart of most global investment discussions, though it has divided investors into two distinctive camps. The first argues that quantitative easing can continue indefinitely and governments are not constrained by fiscal deficits. This world suggests asset prices will rise indefinitely, supported in an investment spiral by leverage.

But the other camp believes QE may be reaching its limits, and the deficits will come home to roost for governments with the investment spirals sharply reversing.

“There are clear signs we are at the end of this current version of monetarism,” says Wreford, referring to centralised institutions controlling how much money is printed in an economy.

“The way that capital is distributed is likely to come under review, even if, in the meantime unorthodox monetary policy is being used to create money.”

“So rather than be pulled towards industries inflated by easy money, we’re deploying our capital to what we think is the right side in the forthcoming changes in policy, which will be led by the populations of those countries.”

WOEFULLY NEGLECTED INFRASTRUCTURE

Wreford points to the poor infrastructure investment in the western economies as a clear opportunity, particularly in increasing the productivity of long life assets.

“By adding a cloud layer or a software layer, we can see a great opportunity to upgrade existing infrastructure,” says Wreford.