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Global equity star: two ways to play automation

Global equity star: two ways to play automation

Automation is one of the biggest opportunities in tech and shows no signs of slowing down from here, according to Artisan Partners’ Jason White.

Speaking to Citywire Selector, + rated White, who was recently handed a new fund by the firm, highlighted the companies investors should be positioned in if they want to make a profit from the automation industry.

‘Keyence and Daifuku have been strong performers for the Global Opportunities fund,’ he said. 'Keyence develops and manufactures automation sensors and vision systems.

'What is exciting is that more and more industries are adopting that, so there are more and more applications opening up. Automation has been where Keyence got its early start and it’s still growing 10% today.

‘But other vehicles like electronics manufacturing are also adopting it and driving growth today. New areas such as guiding robots, aligning components and track & trace are being opened up as the technology gets bigger and better.’

White currently has 31.0% of the $874 fund allocated to information technology and said the automation sector still has another couple of years of ‘nice growth’ ahead of it.

Elsewhere, White also highlighted material handlings company, Daifuku, as an automation company set to profit from e-commerce's rise.

‘Daifuku is an example of warehouse automation. As e-commerce proliferates these companies are expanding their warehouse spaces very quickly. Amazon is growing faster outside of the US, but in the US alone it’s going to expand its warehouse base by 40% over the next two years.

‘Daifuku makes the conveying systems and software that run the conveying systems. They are the preferred provider of that kind of warehouse equipment and are well represented across the globe.’

Over the three years to the end of October 2017, the Artisan Global Opportunities fund returned 43.34% in US dollar terms. This compares with a 28.10% rise by its Citywire-assigned benchmark, the MSCI AC World TR USD, over the same time period.

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