Ali Unwin to run Neptune’s Global Technology fund

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Alastair Unwin of Neptune

by Natalie Kenway, via Investment Week |

Neptune Investment Management is launching a Global Technology fund, the first retail mandate to be run by its head of technology research Ali Unwin.

Technological disruption across all investment sectors is a major theme for the group over the next decade, which led to the decision to launch a fund dedicated to investing in companies that will benefit from this “generational change”.

Unwin (pictured) has already been running a model portfolio of technology stocks, from which the group’s fund managers draw ideas. Based on that, the new fund will invest in 40 to 60 stocks, benchmarked against the MSCI World Information Technology index.

Robin Geffen, founder and CEO of Neptune, said: “We believe the current moment offers a particularly compelling opportunity in the technology sector, which is still largely misunderstood by the wider market.

“Many UK investors’ portfolios lean heavily towards UK income funds and UK bond funds and are underweight the US and Japan. Yet this is where many of the key technological disruptors are found.

“Likewise, investing passively will offer no protection because we believe that 30% to 40% of the large companies in most mature stockmarkets will be eviscerated by this change.”

Unwin, who joined Neptune in May 2014 and previously worked at Herald Investment Management as a technology analyst, will be supported by assistant manager Alex Portz.

Unwin said: “Technological advancement is gathering pace at an incredible rate, with the digital economy set to hit £3.2trn by 2020 according to recent estimates.

“Having the expertise to differentiate between the winners and losers of this revolution will define investment returns over the next ten years.”

The fund will launch on 15 December with sterling and US dollar share classes. Its annual management charge will be 75bps.

A number of technology funds were launched in the late 1990s as investors flocked to the sector during the dotcom boom.

However, many have since closed, with the most recent being the Man GLG Technology Equity fund.

The IA Technology and Telecoms sector, where the Neptune vehicle will be situated, is now down to 14 funds.