A special guest speaker Jean-Claude Juncker discuss in the conference call how geopolitics, technology and trade differences might shape the EU’s decision and the impact their eventual alignment will have on financial markets and investments. The session has been moderated by Kirk West (Executive Director and Head of International Business Principal Global Investors) and Investment Implications with Patrick Chang, Binay Chandgothia and Juliet Cohn, moderated by Thomas Cheong (President Principal Asia).
The US vs China webinar had two sections, one section concerning a chat with Jean Claude Juncker. Juncker is a Luxembourg politician, who served as President of the European Commission from 2014 to 2019 and as the 23rd Prime Minister of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2013. He was also the Minister for Finances from 1989 to 2009.
Jean-Claude Juncker is one of the founding fathers of the euro and a pioneer of European unification. As Prime Minister of Luxembourg, he was the longest-serving head of government in the European Union – with 18 years in office – as well as the longest-serving democratically elected head of government worldwide.
Jean-Claude Juncker studied law at the University of Strasbourg and earned his law degree in 1979. After he had joined Luxemburg’s Christian Social People’s Party in 1974 he was named parliamentary secretary for the CSV in 1979. Three years later he received his first government post when he was named secretary of state for employment and social security under CSV Prime Minister Pierre Werner. Juncker was elected to the legislature in 1984, and he was appointed to the cabinet of Prime Minister Jacques Santer as labour minister. In 1989 he was named finance minister and took a seat on the board of governors of the World Bank. He was selected chairman of the CSV in January 1990, and throughout 1991–92 he served as one of the chief architects and proponents of the Maastricht Treaty, the foundational document for the European Union.
According to Jean Claude, the situation between the US and China shows a slow but steady improvement. The economic relations with China are greatly important and taking action is crucial.
In the second half of the webinar, the audience could get some insightful answers from Patrick, Binay and Juliet. This section of the webinar was on blurring the line between central banks and governments. The moderator of the section was Thomas Cheong, President of Principal Asia.
Thomas Cheong is senior vice president of Principal Financial Group® and president of Principal Asia. He is responsible for leading the development of the retail pension and asset management business in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, while managing key partnerships in the region. He currently serves on the board of the company’s China joint venture and the boards of several Principal companies in Hong Kong. Cheong joined Principal in January 2015 and has more than 20 years of management experience in Asia, holding various senior management positions with profit and loss responsibilities.
Chief Investment Officer, Equities, Principal Asset Management, Malaysia
Patrick brings with him over 19 years of extensive asset management experience and will now manage our investment team in Malaysia and the ASEAN equity team in the region. He was previously the Head of ASEAN equities at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Malaysia where he was overseeing ASEAN equities for both Malaysian and offshore clients from 2012. Prior to that Patrick served as Senior Vice President for CIMB-Principal Asset Management where he specialized in ASEAN and specialist Asia ex Japan funds. He also worked as a portfolio manager at Riggs and Co International Private Banking in London specializing in managing Global ETFs portfolios.
Managing Director, Portfolio Manager and head of Asia, Principal Global Asset Allocation
Binay is a Hong-Kong based Managing Director, Portfolio Manager at Principal Global Asset Allocation, a specialized investment boutique within Principal Global Investors that engages in the creation of asset allocation solutions. His entire career spanning 25 years has been in portfolio management, encompassing asset allocation, fixed income, and equities. Previously, Binay served as Chief Investment Officer for Principal Global Investors (Hong Kong) and Principal Asset Management (Asia) where he was responsible for overseeing investments in the Hong Kong region. He joined the Principal Financial Group in 2000 in India and has been in the investment industry since 1993.
Portfolio Manager, Principal Global Equities
Juliet is a portfolio manager for Principal Global Equities, based in London. She is a portfolio manager for the firm’s international (global ex-U.S.), regional European and emerging global leaders strategies. Juliet is also active in company research focusing on the international telecommunications and utility sectors. She joined the firm in 2003 as a portfolio manager for European equities. Prior to joining Principal, Juliet served as a director and senior portfolio manager at Allianz Dresdner Asset Management (formerly Kleinwort Benson) where she managed European and International portfolios for institutional and retail clients. She has also managed funds in the EEMEA (Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) region.
US – China tensions have been at the forefront for over 3 years. How have you adjusted your portfolio or plan to adjust in response?
According to the panelists, 43% opined that there was not much change, view it largely as political noise vs a real threat to economic growth and according to 25% tensions are due to limited impact on earning growth rate.
What is the most important long term driving fore that will impact global economic growth potential?
According to the panelists, 26% replied that it is the ageing demographics and declining global fertility rate, 33% said that the de-globalisation and reconfiguration of global supply chains and 17% opined that it is due to the bifurcation of the internet and technology standard. A small 6.7% replied that it is the higher long term inflation.