Despite the myriad effects that the coronavirus pandemic will have on the economy and the investment world, fears that globalisation will be unwound are unwarranted and the global economy will not shift to “domestification” in the near future, according to the CIO of TCorp, Stewart Brentnall.

Speaking on a panel at the Fiduciary Investors Symposium 2020 recently, Brentnall said that the fate of supply chains will be one of five key themes in the post pandemic global economy. While there may be a shift towards “domestic diversification”, he argued, risk will still continue to be spread across countries due to the efficiencies of globalisation.

The global market has embraced inter-connectedness over the last 40 years, he said, “for good reason”.

“It costs less, and I think it’s not going to just flip on a sixpence,” the English-born Brentnall said. “We’re not going to see domestification in the next 6 months to a year.”

Brentnall was joined on the panel by Geoff Rubin, chief investment strategist at CPP investments, who agreed that the march to globalisation would not be hampered in the long term by the pandemic.

“I don’t believe that globalisation is something that gets reversed,” Rubin said, before sharing his faith that “fundamental human ingenuity and productivity” would prove to be a “persistent and reliable engine” to drive recovery.

 

Brentall described five themes in total that will shape the future of the global economy in the wake of the pandemic, including the distinction between mature and immature markets, sustainability and the role of labour moving forward.

He also highlighted how fundamental economic models have played out as they should have in distressed markets.

“The capital stack and the Markovitz framework is well and truly alive and to argue that it’s not would be like arguing against gravity,” Brentnall said.

The session was hosted by Top1000Funds editor, Amanda White, and also included Alaska Permanent Fund CEO Angela Rodell. The chief executive highlighted the need to look at technology investment differently in light of the pandemic and the rapid adoption of internet-linked commodities ranging from video conferencing software to cryptocurrency providers.

“We’ve learnt a lot in a short amount of time,” Rodell said.

To watch the full session, visit the FIS Global video archive here.

Tahn Sharpe is a Sydney-based financial services journalist with a background in financial planning. He writes on advice, superannuation, investment, banking and insurance issues, is a certified SMSF Adviser and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning. Contact at [email protected]
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