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Amplified: three themes to watch in 2020

What is on the horizon for financial markets as we enter a new decade? From fixed income markets to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and stewardship, we discuss our outlooks for 2020.

In our final episode of Amplified in 2019, Aoifinn Devitt, Head of Investment – Ireland, asks Andrew ‘Jacko’ Jackson, Head of Fixed Income, Will Pomroy, Lead Engager of SDG Engagement and Small & Mid Cap Equities, and Bruce Duguid, Head of Stewardship at Hermes EOS, about their outlooks for 2020. What key themes will be top of the investor agenda? What would be your New Year’s resolution for financial markets in 2020?

2020: a case of the emperor’s new clothes?

In 2020, Jacko hopes that “markets will wake up and realise that the emperor is not wearing any clothes”.

“I think that there are a lot of overvalued assets out there, and we need to recognise that $17tn of negative-yielding assets and 12 years’ worth of QE is not positive. Everything is not tickety-boo,” he said.

‘Step back and raise our ambitions’

Pomroy would like us to “step back and raise our ambitions” in 2020. Today, there are still 38m people living with AIDS/HIV – and it is one of the issues the team will be focusing on going forward.

“Companies are uniquely placed to address the issue – whether that is addressing stigma, through collaborations or workplace policies.”

Climate activism

Climate change will remain a key focus of Hermes EOS, where there has been increased activism in society this year.

“Greta Thunberg raised the issue at a much broader level, and now companies are really reacting,” says Duguid. “There’s been quite a few companies setting net-zero carbon goals for 2050 and pledging to align their business model to the Paris Agreement.”

What’s in store for financial markets in 2020? Tune in to Amplified.

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